510: Fish and Chips

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:04

I'm Matthew and I'm Molly and this is spilled milk. The show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any

Molly 0:10

Today we are recording in the park again. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:13

let's do this right through the winter.

Molly 0:15

Oh, this is gonna be fantastic. I will bring a tent will sit inside a tent.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:21

I will bring a sweatshirt.

Molly 0:22

Okay. Anyway, today we are talking about fish and chips.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:28

Yes. Two of my favorites. So, so we're going to do the fish which What should we do first? Which came first? The fish or the chips? Matthew.

Molly 0:36

This is like a real like, classic dad joke you're

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:39

trying to really? Yeah.

Molly 0:41

Okay, but first, I think we should say that this episode was suggested by a listener.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:46

Oh, yes. listener Hillary solenoid on Reddit. And thank you listener, Hillary. I feel like this is the thing maybe neither of us know as much about as we should? I don't know.

Molly 0:56

In truth, we should probably have producer Abby's husband, Brandon Not to be confused with my ex husband, Brandon.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:05

So Oh, wait, I was under the impression that after after you and your ex husband split up the producer Abby snapped him. Well,

Unknown Speaker 1:13

I mean,

Molly 1:14

that would actually be an amazing, amazing thing to write a fourth book about.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:21

Okay, let's see if we can get that going. Alright, let's we'll plant the seeds now. But instead of bringing husband of the producer of the show,

Molly 1:27

wait, we haven't talked about why we would bring husband of the producer of the show on to this

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:31

point. Let's talk about that first, and then let's talk about who you brought instead.

Molly 1:34

So a husband of the producer of the show. His name is Brandon Hoff.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:39

Yeah. Wait, what's that? What's that accurate? h? o T. P. Oe t@hotmail.com? Did I do that? Right?

Molly 1:53

His name is his initialism. produce,

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:57

it's just not gonna fit. It's not gonna be hot pots, but it's just hot pots. Alright.

Molly 2:06

Has for some reason, gone to a bunch of fish and chips shops in Seattle and has made a spreadsheet ranking them.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:14

Yeah, I'm gonna reveal some of his rank. It seems like we could get him in trouble.

Molly 2:18

It seems like we could but then again, we could also if we have any listeners who run fish and chip shops in Seattle, maybe they'll like thank him by giving him a coupon or something.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:26

Maybe they'll mail him a coupon he'll have an expiration date.

Molly 2:34

Okay. All right memory lane.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:37

So instead, you've brought your dog Alice is also gonna weigh in.

Molly 2:40

Well, I figured since we were recording in the park, where your cat who has a lot of skin issues is not

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:51

to take potshots at my cat for no reason. Like I wasn't gonna bring my cat to the park regardless of her conditions.

Molly 2:58

The way I brought my dog, because this is her natural habitat. Yeah, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:03

mean, the thing about a cat is like if you bring your cat to the park, the cat's gonna run off like fuck you guys. Like I've been trying to escape for years.

Molly 3:10

Look how quiet and obedient My dog is. Hi. Wow.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:14

Yeah, very cute.

Molly 3:15

Oh, she's a good girl. Okay, all right. Do

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:17

you wanna you want to take us down memory lane? Yeah. All right, it's

Molly 3:20

good memory lane. So I there's a lot of fish and chips on my memory lane.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:24

Okay, that's good. Mine is mine is more sparse.

Molly 3:26

So perhaps you remember Matthew when we went to Oklahoma City that we went to Brahms on May Avenue horse? Yeah. Okay. Well, just a few Cod, a few doors North maybe or maybe a block north of where that rose

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:40

laughing at hotpots?

Molly 3:42

Actually, or maybe south of where the Brahms's either way on May Avenue near the Brahms there was passed. I'm not sure what verb tense to use a long john Silver's. Okay. Okay. And

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:56

because you don't know if it's still there, or you're still learning English grammar, I

Molly 3:59

don't know if it's still there. Okay. Anyway, so when I was a kid, going to long john Silver's was like a thing my dad and I did like having hot dogs and baked beans when my mom wasn't home for dinner. Okay, okay. So Bergen, I would go to long john Silver's, and this was like to me at this was like more common than going to like McDonald's or Wendy's.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:21

Okay, going to long john silver. Yeah,

Molly 4:23

my dad and I would always get it was probably like a kid's meal of some sort. It was like a one piece fish meal. Sure. with fries. It always came with a few like crispy, you know, like when they they intentionally fry some of the dough, but that isn't actually breaded on to anything. The little bits of

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:45

dough. In Japanese we call that 10 cost. Oh, maybe when it's temporary. If it's if it's like,

Molly 4:51

oh, it's I love that it has a special name. What

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:53

are the two special names is called 10 casu. Like in the east and Agha dama and the West maybe Okay, what

Molly 4:58

should we call it in American English ah crispy, crispy bits crispy bits. Okay, well so yeah, I would get this like, you know kind of like thick paper boat and it would have illustrations on the outside like have long john silver and his parrot or whatever he had. And yeah, the I remember the french fries were like plank shaped like not like like I think of steak fries as being our steak fries wedges.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:26

No, those are like potato wedges or Jojo steak steak fries or like, I mean they're playing shaped. They're shaped like a diving board. So

Molly 5:33

maybe these are these were steak fries. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:36

do you think you were playing shaped like to go with the long john Silver's theme like like you're gonna walk these planks

Molly 5:41

as I was typing up this agenda last night and was trying to come up with a description for what shape the fries were. I did wonder if I was being influenced by like, the whole pirate thing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:50

I think maybe you were

Molly 5:51

Yeah. Anyway. So yeah. And then there would be crispy bits and then I would get that then there was like also a hush puppy or 209. And anyway, so yeah, this was something my dad and I would go do and I remember there were always bottles of malt vinegar on the tables in long john Silver's, and we would eat there. And that was where my dad introduced me to like the glories of malt vinegar on french fries.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:16

Oh, that's so nice. Yeah, okay, so my fish and chips memories like really start like after wife the show Laurie and I moved to Seattle because we quickly learned about the existence of spud fish and chips on Altai.

Molly 6:30

Does it still exist? Yeah, I've never heard so

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:32

on Altai beach in West Seattle, there are two longtime rival fish and chip places spot and Sunfish spot is more as more like evocative decor Sunfish has better food I think although certainly people right into argue that

Molly 6:47

and their thesis on the part of of lk that's sort of more like north facing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:51


Molly 6:52

I think I've seen one of these places.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:55

Yes. But it's got like big, you know, like Windows on the beach. Yeah. So we'd go and get fish and chips. And they had malt vinegar. I think they put like slices of garlic in the malt vinegar bottle, maybe. So that was like a really special treat for us because we didn't live anywhere near West Seattle. And there was a beach and like, I don't even think we knew there was a beach in Seattle until the first time we went to this.

Molly 7:15

And there's something really interesting and kind of delightfully disorienting about el Kai anyway, because it feels all of a sudden like you're in like San Diego or something. Yes. It really feels like you're in a different city.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:28

It feels like you're in cold San Diego. Yeah. Cold Sandy and so and then we we did later try Sunfish also, I do think the fish is a little better at Sunfish and you have a choice of cod or Alaskan halibut and Sunfish and then I have had fish and chips in England I think maybe twice and like it was it was enjoyable from like a you know I'm eating fish and chips in England kind of perspective but like i didn't i just like God whatever whatever like p shop people were ordering from it. It wasn't particularly good or memorable. And I think probably like anyone agree would agree there's a enormous range of quality efficient chips in England it's not all good. Just like like you know if you go to America and get a hamburger you can get a really bad one or a really good one or anywhere in between. Can I

Molly 8:14

can I tell you something that I realized as I was researching this yesterday, please do I knew this fact but somehow like it didn't register that fish and chips is a British thing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:25


Molly 8:26

like I I'm sure that I knew this but like it I didn't like know it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:32

Where do you think? Beefeaters come from anyway but spotted deck.

Molly 8:36

Hang on, but it's like I don't know where I thought that it came from like pirates.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:44

I think but I think a pirate foot is being like hard tack like maggoty hard tack

Molly 8:48

maggoty hard tack. That sounds like a really good name for what would that be a name for maggoty hard tag any

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:56

hard tack? Like maybe a like a pirate themed roller? roller derby? Yes, Maggie.

Molly 9:03

I love it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:07

I like like their real name would be like Maggie Hardwick or something.

Molly 9:10

Maggie Hart. Are there any any roller derby players out there? whose names are Maggie Hardwick? Okay, yeah, something like that. You can have

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:22

this nominal licensing fee.

Molly 9:25

The other thing I want to say is that I had a friend who lived in London for a while about 12 years ago. And I went over to visit him at one point and spent like, a weekend with some friends with with him and some friends of his And anyway, I remember riding a bus somewhere in London. Okay with everybody. Double Decker. Yes. And we passed I think it was a double decker. Anyway, we passed a sign. That was really an extremely cute sign for a fish and chips place. It was a fish. If this was like, it was like, you know and illustration,

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:03

I've got a flashback to the bonus episode where you describe New Yorker cartoons.

Molly 10:08

Yes. So it's a fish that's like standing up on its tail. And it's wearing a top hat. Sure.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:15

snazzy like a posh fish.

Molly 10:17

Yeah, posh fish, indeed. And it's holding a cane, but the cane is a chip. Okay, so it's with a chip cane.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:24

I love it.

Molly 10:24

If for some reason, it's just seared into my brain.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:27

It's like jump. No,

Molly 10:29

we didn't go It was just sort of an eye. It quickly became an iconic sign for us. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:35

wouldn't have you ever tried to google it? And like I wonder if it's like a chain? Fish?

Molly 10:38

How would I google it fish with a chip cane?

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:41

I think Google fish with a chip cane. Okay, well listeners listeners in England like Do you know what the place is in London?

Molly 10:48

It might be an Edinburgh because the friend that pointed it out to me is actually like now lives in Edinburgh.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:53

Okay, so listeners in those places, listeners

Molly 10:55

in those places. I'm pretty sure we were in London. I sound like somebody who's done way more traveling than I have. But

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:02

I mean, you've been to London and Edinburgh. It's

Molly 11:04

true. It's true. But anyway, Isn't it weird? The things we remember like I Oh, yeah, this was fully like 12 years ago, and I still remember the fish with a chip cane. Oh, no, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:15

don't. Can you imagine like if the person who designed that that logo is listening to this show, like how great he must feel right now?

Molly 11:23

Yes, this is I mean, this is what all logo designers possibly are graphic designers aspire to to be mentioned on a very small to midsize podcast where

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:35

where the President does not remember the name of the shop that the logo is associated with? Yes. Is the dream, right? Yeah,

Molly 11:41

yep. Okay, hold on. Now, let's get right down to it though. What is fish and chips?

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:46

You're asking? You did the research. Okay. I have some guesses.

Molly 11:50

So obviously, that what we're talking about here for anyone who's newly arrived to planet earth is we're talking about fried fish in a crispy batter served with chips, aka french fries. For those of us who speak American English.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:04

Like it's got to be like a white fleshed fish now that you couldn't have like a fried salmon. But if you ordered fish in Chile and got something other than white fish, you would feel like what just happened? Yeah,

Molly 12:14

no, the the default is a white fish. Although, you know, the, as we'll talk about in a little bit, the the the choice of fish is highly regional. Okay. And certainly in areas where like salmon is prevalent. You salmon is an option. Yeah. Anyway, yeah. Okay. So the dish, of course, originated in England. But the two components of it the fish and the chips, were introduced by separate immigrant cultures. Okay, so

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:41

fish did not originate in England.

Molly 12:44

Correct? Yeah. Nobody really knows who put the two of them together and like coined the name, but it was definitely in the first half of the 1800s.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:53

Okay, that's that seems right somehow.

Molly 12:56

Yeah. Yeah. You know, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:57

really did not know much about well, anything, okay. But I'm gonna ask something that you may or may not be able to answer is like, who would be like a contemporary historical figure of the time either like a like a politician or monarch or writer, I

Molly 13:12

can tell you that. That in Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens mentioned, like fish frying established. Okay. And that was in 1838. Okay, so there, we're just gonna say Dickens and then I was like, wait, was Dickens like later in the 19th century? But no, I guess. I mean, maybe he wrote Oliver Twist when he was a baby, maybe. And then he lived until later in the 19th century. Because he was so young in 1838.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:39

Well, I mean, that way. Was he young in a No, no,

Molly 13:42

when he got Oliver Twist, because Oliver Twist came out. 1938 so let's start a rumor that he was a baby. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:49

Yeah, he was he was a very talented baby.

Molly 13:53

It's a good joke, isn't it? Yes. Yeah. Thanks. Anyway. Okay, so the tradition in the UK of battering and frying fish came from Western Sephardic Jewish immigrants.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:05

Wow. Yeah. No, that

Molly 14:07

was the part that I really didn't know. So these Western Sephardic Jews had come from Holland, England, but the thing is, here's what's pretty cool, or at least, I think it's pretty cool. So the actual idea and technique of battering and frying fish came from Spain and Portugal, before the Jews were kicked out of there in the late 1400s 1500s. Because of a lot of oppression. Yes. And so there was sort of a, you know, a migration of these, these Jews who had picked up like the Spanish and Portuguese ways of frying fish, all right, migrated up to Holland, and then made it over to England, where for some reason it really took

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:51

that's interesting because like frying the frying tradition in Japan also comes from the Portuguese in like the 17th century. Oh, like, did do it. like staying the Portuguese just give like deep frying to the world. I imagine it was being done in other places, but a lot of it seems to trace back to Portugal.

Molly 15:08

Yeah, that is fascinating. Yeah. Yeah. When, when I was first kind of piecing this together, of course from Wikipedia, I was like, wait a minute. So wait, how did these Western Sephardic Jews who came from Holland wind up frying fish like Spaniards? But yeah, they had left Spain and Portugal like in the 1500s. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:28

And they're not going to stop frying fish.

Molly 15:30

Oh, no, they're like, we have found the way to cook fish. And we're going to do this everywhere. Yeah. Okay. Anyway. So this, of course, quickly became a prominent meal in British culture. And it became popular in wider circles in London and Southeast England, by the middle of the 1800s. So yeah, so we've got, you know, Oliver Twist in 1838. Charles Dickens is a baby. And anyway,

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:55

I hear that the Charles Dickens worked in a in a chippy in a chip shop.

Molly 16:00

Well, are we just spinning this yarn?

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:02

Yeah. When he was like six months old, and like got the experience he needed.

Molly 16:06

It's such dexterous little fingers. Such Yeah, pincer grip was really well done.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:13

Right. However, he had not yet developed object permanence. And then turned out to be like, Wait, what? Just?

Molly 16:21

Well, no, he would pass them off to the next person.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:24

Right? That was his secret. That's why like, he approached every every dish as if he'd never done it before, because he did not remember ever doing it before I realized that's not what object permanence. That's just like, anterior grade amnesia, but he had that too. Okay. It's amazing that he was able to write novels. Okay, but anyway,

Molly 16:43

so Okay, we've got also apparently like in the north of England, like there was a real like trade in deep fried like chipped potatoes go

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:53

in. All right, like in the early 1800s. When you say chipped potatoes, is that different from what we think of as chips or fries today? Or is it the same thing?

Molly 17:01

No, I think this is I pulled this off of Wikipedia. So I think this is like how maybe in British English you say like potatoes that have been turned into French fries shapes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:10

Okay. You call that chipped potatoes? Yeah.

Molly 17:13

Let's try it. Anyway. So the first chip shop stood, I have to read this part from Wikipedia. Okay. The first chip shop stood on the presence site of Oldham's Tommy field market. Grace. Yes. British place names. It remains unclear exactly when and where the two trades combined to become the modern fish and chip shop industry. Isn't this confusing, didn't it say didn't it just tell us where the first chip shop

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:40

anyway? Well? Oh, yeah.

Molly 17:41

Okay. A Jewish immigrant Joseph Malin opened the first recorded combined fish and chip shop in London in 1860. And a Mr. Lee's pioneered the concept in the north of England in Mossley in 1863. Mostly pretty funny also, yeah. So anyway, somehow, you know, so you had these Western Sephardic Jews who brought their wonderful fish frying you had from the north of England, a bunch of deep fried chipped potatoes, and they collided in a few choice locations in between.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:09

So so like the the fried fish was, like, slowly accreting its way northward and the chips were on. South Southern trend. Yeah, okay. Yeah,

Molly 18:19

yeah. Yeah. I'm picturing this like one of those,

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:23

like a weather map.

Molly 18:24

Yeah, picturing it like a weather map with a bunch of sort of like flashing arrows going in different directions and stuff.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:29

I have a question. What's an occluded front? This is the thing I always used to see in the weather map in the paper and never bothered to learn what

Molly 18:36

occluded would that mean like somehow blocked or you know, when you're in the dentist chair and you hear them talking? Like you hear the dentist talking to the hygienist about like, you know, your various teeth

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:47

like that. So like

Molly 18:48

occlusion watch on such and such or what isn't occlusion one of them?

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:54

Yeah, like I just learned, I learned a new one that I don't like, which is resorption. That's bad. Like, yeah, every time

Molly 19:01

like your tooth is being reabsorbed into your, your

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:05

job or something like like, the like the root. I feel. So like, when they're talking about my teeth by number does that make you feel kind of dehumanized?

Molly 19:14

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I like to think that I'm exceptional. And I have teeth, like each of them has it. Right?

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:23

Yeah. Yes.

Molly 19:27

cockfosters This one's Oldham. This one's Tommy field. Okay, anyway, fish and chips were a staple of the English working class after and sort of because of the development of trawling for fish in the North Sea. So So fish got cheaper fish got much cheaper. And around the same time, railways were developed that could connect ports to cities. And so not only was the fish cheaper, but they had a way of getting the fish to the cities where there was more population. So

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:58

I mean, really like I feel like All human history is this the history of supply chains.

Molly 20:03

Exactly. So more arrows moving across maps?

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:06

No. There's nothing nothing about like class conflict. No supply chain.

Molly 20:11

Yeah. Anyway, so yeah, of course, you know, we know that fish and chips first appeared like in terms of shops around 1860. Well, by 1910, there were over 25,000 fish and chip shops. Wow,

aka chippies across the UK. By the 1930s. There were over 35,000 and

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:30

that was the that was the depression.

Molly 20:32

That was the depression. But then of course the trend reversed. And now humans like you know, we think frying is bad and stuff. So So as of like, 10 years ago, there were down to 10,000 fish and chip shops in the UK and who knows that still, it

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:46

still seems like a lot.

Molly 20:48

It's true. It's true. It's still like, a common takeaway food. Okay, as they would say in the UK and the Commonwealth.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:57


Molly 20:58

Is there a food that that is like, a common takeaway food in the US like I think Chinese food

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:05

well, bad Chinese American food? I

Molly 21:07

think so fish and chips is has traditionally been served like in like a paper cone that you hold in your hand?

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:13

Oh, you're mean like something that you can like eat out of hand? The big bite hotdog from 711. That

Molly 21:20

is not a common takeaway food. I think it's very common. Really? I guess I just

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:26

does it have to be like something from a rest? Because I mean, like a hot dog from a cart is a takeaway food. Right? That doesn't have to be the option of eating in in order for it to be okay. No, I

Molly 21:35

think I think you're right. I think that maybe the hot dog, especially in the form of like the New York hotdog cart. Is the American takeaway food.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:44

Yeah. Okay. But I mean, like, but but like, isn't it fast food burger. American takeaway food also, with chips and or fries?

Molly 21:53

I guess you're right. I guess you're right. Yes. Yeah. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:58

I'm just picturing, you know, okay. So I feel like you're trying to make the case that America doesn't have takeaway food? Well,

Molly 22:04

no, but I think that I mean, American cities are certainly built for cars differently. Sure. UK, or from you know, a lot of European cities. And so I'm thinking of when a picture sort of the like paper cone that fish and chips traditionally come in. Okay. You know, it feels like it is designed to be held in your hand not like put in your lap while you're driving.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:24

It's designed to be very balanced

Molly 22:26

in your hand, like while you're walking along, and you're eating ice, right. Okay. There are not very many American foods that are despite the fact that Americans constantly walk and eat ice cream cone. ice cream cone. Yes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:40

As heard on the recent waffle cones episode.

Molly 22:44

Yes. Also, I think you're right. Hot dogs. I mean, people don't. When you're eating a hot dog, you you hold it in your hand for like the entire time you're eating. It's not Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:52

I never put it in my mouth. I feel like last week, we were eating hot dogs in the park. And it was so fast in this week. We're not

Molly 23:02

this week. We're eating toasty cheese. You're testing which I haven't had any of yet. Okay, but wait, hold on. I'm not done.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:10

I know. So.

Molly 23:12

Yeah. So British fish and chips were originally served in a wrapping of old newspapers.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:18

Oh, yeah. No, I can picture that. Like I don't like absorb.

Molly 23:21

absorb the grease, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:22


Molly 23:23

Yeah. These days. It's usually plain paper, sometimes like plain paper that's been printed with newsprint on the outside to look fancy. Or like sometimes thin cardboard, maybe kind of like the long john Silver's boat I used to get Yes. Although that was literally boat shaped.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:40

Oh, yeah. No, I know exactly what you're talking about. I don't even know if I've been too long john Silver's. And I know what you're talking about. Yeah, like a kid's meal served in a boat.

Molly 23:46

So this was like very much a food of the the working class. Right. And this was a real inexpensive staple. And one thing that I thought was really interesting, and so did we compete yet because it literally mentioned this four times, over the course of the fish and chips entry is that the British government like safeguarded the supply of fish and chips during the or fish and potatoes during the First and Second World Wars like it was one of few foods in the UK not subject to rationing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:18

Oh, okay. It's not interesting. It's interesting.

Molly 24:21

Winston Churchill referred to the combination of fish and chips as the good companions.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:27

Not just charming it is Yeah. Did he did he like make a lot I know he was famous for his speeches, like did he make a lot of speeches just about like, what foods he liked? And and

Molly 24:38

I sure hope so. I hope somebody has done like a, like a master's thesis or something on Winston Churchill's, like, favorite foods and how they impacted world supply chain

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:46

there was so I know like I'm way late to the Great British Bake Off train and like I talked about it too much on the show, but in the earlier seasons, they used to do segments, for no reason, just like we do say thanks for

Molly 24:59

the animal. You need

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:01

to know they call it quilts they checked in on now what was happening on Mary Berry's Animal Crossing Island

Molly 25:12

would love to visit Mary parish Animal Crossing Island. Yeah, great.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:15

Mosley is just like she misplaced her switch. It was like somewhere in this couch cushions and she couldn't find it. But they did one that was about like they interviewed like an old Baker who had baked a cake for Winston Churchill. I don't remember what the occasion was. It was like either his birthday or like he won World War Two. There's no more to it than that. It was just like this guy was like, it was like, you know, this was like 70 years ago, but like, I was like the highlight of my life and it's all been downhill since.

Molly 25:47

The highlight of my life was actually my dream last night. I know you're going to hear about people's dreams, but you're going to love these. Okay, so we're recording this episode listener. Two days after the end of the Olympics. I'm grieving because I loved the I don't know what I'm gonna do now. But last night in my dream watch highlights last night in my dreams. I won a gold medal in extreme poetry. No, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:11

don't believe you remember any of the poll?

Molly 26:15

I don't but it was what made it? No. Sorry. Not extreme poetry. It was experimental poetry. Okay. Yeah, it was like free verse mixed with rhyme and meter mix. We'd have to be a little extreme to win a gold battle. Well, okay, but then hold on, get ready. Yeah. Then in like the next scene of my dream. I was in like the middle rounds for like, regular like volleyball not beach volleyball. Okay, but the only two players on the ball, but it was regular. And I was in the finals and ash and I were you know, we're like, we we played doubles together basically in volleyball, regular volleyball. And we won the gold against this really tall Serbian guy who was playing by himself. And it was just us against this one really tells Serbian guy. So I won two gold medals, experimental poetry, and doubles volleyball.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:15

Do you think like, like you and I could win in like volleyball against one good volleyball player? Probably. No,

Molly 27:22

I don't think so. This guy was so tall.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:25

What is it one of the American women beach volleyball players is six five.

Molly 27:30

Wow. Wow.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:33

She is like like percentile wise. Like, it's gotta be like, Oh, right. That's amazing. Yeah.

Molly 27:48

I got to tell you like it's taken me a while this morning to get over my disappointment that that dream you woke

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:53

up and had no metal to bite? Yeah, no. Bite the metal? Well, I mean, I think probably like the idea is like to see if it's real gold. But I think really just like, you know, that reveal nothing like it's just because like, that's what other like Olympians do. And it's funny, and so why not? Hmm, I don't know, do you want to make this topic of a bonus episode where we'll bite will bite some metals and see which one's the atheist?

Molly 28:19

The atheist? Which one is an atheist? Well find out. Stay tuned for our bonus. All right. Anyway, so fish and chips has persisted, I think in some ways, because it really got a foothold as like the thing you eat on Friday nights.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:36

Oh, so like, like, if you're Catholic. Yeah. Sorry. Whoa, also, I guess. So it was looking, I think

Molly 28:42

Roman, originally Roman Catholic tradition of not eating meat on Fridays, but it was quickly adopted by like a lot of non Catholic faiths as well as by like secular communities. Okay, so fish and chips is still I think, you know, kind of like a traditional Friday night dinner.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:00

Yeah, it sounds like, I don't remember when the last time I had fish and chips was I have to admit like, I feel like it was within the last couple years, but not more recently than that.

Molly 29:09

I had some for lunch on Friday.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:11

Oh, wow. Yeah. Well, did you make it at home?

Molly 29:14

No, no. Can I can I get there? Yes. I mean,

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:25

your ears? I can't Can I finish my story, please? For once

Molly 29:30

leaving school. Kind of self conscious. And somebody said recently that I was I wasn't nice enough to you on the show. I like it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:43

Yeah, you should get don't ever like, like tease me or make fun of me on the show anymore. Like, I can't take it. Okay. I think the show would end immediately.

Molly 29:52

I think you're right. Okay, so one last thing about like sort of history etc. Okay, which is that in the early 2000s Then like some sort of law or whatever was passed by like the the food part of the British government, okay. So that vendors now have

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:10

like a plaque on the wall, the food part

Molly 30:16

whatever, and not the FDA the what is what, what else is there? There's something else besides the FDA in the US a USDA, USDA, whatever.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:27

I don't think either of those. It covers England. I

Molly 30:29

think so either. Anyway, but since the early 2000s vendors have had to label the type of fish.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:37

Oh, I like so.

Molly 30:38

So now you see cod and chips more often than fish and chips.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:42

Interesting. Okay. Yeah. I feel like cod is like is like the prestige age. Right? Is it? I don't know. I know it's common, but also like, at least hearing

Molly 30:51

here in Seattle. I feel like it's kind of like the default. Yeah, like halibut would be the prestige

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:59

right? Here Be the prestige here. Although I don't know if it's palette that is really better for fish and chips than cod because there are other like cheaper white fish that you can use in place of cod. Exactly.

Molly 31:09

Well, let's talk about the fish that people use. Okay, so in the UK, the most commonly used fish are cod and Haddock. Okay, so that's true for the UK and Ireland. Of course, vendors also sell other kinds of fish, but in general, the type of fish used varies by region. So in the US common types are also cod and Haddock, but halibut, flounder, tilapia, that kind of stuff is also calm. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:33


Molly 31:34

then of course in the southern US Cat Cat.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:36

Yeah. Delicious.

Molly 31:38

Anyway, in the UK and Ireland the batter is usually a water and flour batter plus baking soda and some vinegar for lightness. Okay, but often they use beer instead of the water.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:50

We talked about beer batters. detail on some recent episode. Do you remember what it would have been where we were talking about some fried thing? We didn't do a fried chicken episode, did we?

Molly 32:00

I don't I don't think so. I don't know what it would have. Okay, tempura Maybe? Maybe? Yeah, although

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:06

beer batter is not common in tempura but we did do a temporary episode at some point. Well, I guess we'll never know.

Molly 32:12

Well so to get back to your question a second ago when when things got so tense for a minute there. I recently ordered fish and chips actually I didn't my child did okay, but she is of my loins therefore she she is me. Therefore whatever.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:27

Well I mean I think more to the point whatever she orders you have a claim on

Molly 32:32

Yeah. Plus she had like she had walked down the street to go see some like wild rabbits that were like a block away.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:39

Oh, yeah. No, no.

Molly 32:41

And I was like more for me. Anyway, um, okay, so we had fish and chips at a place called salt water on Whidbey Island in the town of Langley. Okay, salt water is hot tip restaurant people you should move to Langley and open like a really good seafood place down the street from saltwater because that place is so hard to get into it is like the only seafood game in town and everybody wants to eat there

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:11

okay, but if you if you take our hot tip and things don't work out like don't be reliable.

Molly 33:16

So anyway, we went to salt water tips or hot takes no no but what about hot pots?

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:22

We are liable for hot pots. So if we if we tell you which is which is hot pots his favorite fish and chips place and you don't you don't agree we're in big trouble.

Molly 33:33

Anyway, at saltwater you can get either COD or halibut June chose Cod, I think I would have chosen halibut. It was really nicely browned. And there's something about the like the breading on fish on the fish part of fish and chips that I don't think of as being the breading on anything else. Like it's

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:51

Yeah, puffy, it's puffy.

Molly 33:53

It's usually like deeply brown it doesn't have like the same kind of crankiness that fried chicken right you know what I really my favorite fish and chips experience though and I think a lot of people are gonna roll their eyes at this but well so I really love every now and then ivers fish shrimp so ivers being a chain hearing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:13

I'm afraid to say it because I know there's the way you're supposed to pronounce it if you live in Seattle, and I don't know if I say it that way.

Molly 34:18

I don't know if I always want to say I bars but I think you're right. But I think it's ivers Yeah. Anyway, so when you're taking the ferry to go to Whidbey you leave from Makayla to on the mainland. That's the name of the town where the ferry terminal is. And they recently built a new ferry terminal building and it's really pretty and whatever but I am so disappointed because for me, like I always knew that my like getaway was beginning. You know, I like I was heading off to Whidbey to have a lovely wonderful time outside the city. I always would begin by getting in the ferry line at Makayla to and like right next to the ferry dock is an ivers I would usually get myself fish and chips which are totally mediocre sure, but totally hit the spot especially with like little single serving tartar sauce and then I would get soft serve on a cake. Nice. But ivers but now that they've opened the new Ferry Terminal ivers is like two blocks away. Okay. And it's not that that's too far but you know, especially if you get there and there's not a long ferry line, you do not have time to go get your ivers

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:29

Yeah, there's an ivers at like terminal, a dead SeaTac airport and teenager the show December we usually get clam clams, fried clams and chips from the ivers they're pretty good.

Molly 35:41

Ash really loves to get ivers clam chowder whenever we're on a ferry that has like a galley.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:49

Did we do a clam chowder episode?

Molly 35:51

I don't know.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:52

I don't know if we have we should if we haven't,

Molly 35:55

maybe Yeah, I've

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:56

made clam chowder a few times. And it's it's a lot of work, but it's very tasty. Mm hmm. All right.

Molly 36:00

You mentioned you haven't had this stuff. You're not

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:03

in a while. Although I do like I remember having it within the last couple, like three years. Maybe it was 1832. I was. I hadn't been born yet. Charles Dickens hadn't been born yet. But I had and I was and I was a young orphan boy, I fell in with a bad crowd. But they were like, they were like the family that I never had. And they were they were friars, they would fry. They were Dominican friars. Um, do I

Molly 36:32

like Christian brothers who made brandy? Yeah. And yeah, and you just lived on Brady fried

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:37

fish. It was great. Great. Okay, so I like I do like fish and your dog escapes. I do like fish and chips. I always feel like it's like a little too much for me.

Molly 36:51

It's you know, you always feel really excited when you order it. And then like three bites in you're like, what have I done?

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:58

Right. But I mean, the malt vinegar does help. Yeah, no, I think I've gotten definitely too and past the age where like, I start complaining about how I can't handle fried foods the way I used to. So what else about fish chips? Oh, oh,

Molly 37:11

yeah. So it's, you know, when it's delicious. It's really delicious.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:15


Molly 37:16

But it does always. It's very filling. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:20

you can imagine a thing that like that, I think requires a lot of care to make well, and and such care is not always applied.

Molly 37:28

Yeah. But I feel like it's also the kind of thing where I don't want to go into a fancy restaurant and encounter fancy fish and chips.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:35

No, you're right. So it's like, you need a play that specializes in it and like churns it out all day long and does it well, yes. Edinburgh. That's where I should go.

Molly 37:45

Yeah. Also, I do want to say you have the the breading at ivers is not the breading I think of with fish and chips. And so it's just it's not quite right. Okay. But it does the job. Oh, hey, we didn't we didn't mention Brandon. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, hotpots we got

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:01

so, hotpots like, producer Abby sent us hotpots his rankings. Okay. I forgot to print it for myself. So you have the only copy so tell us what's up.

Molly 38:11

So, so this is Seattle fish and chips. I don't know how current This is and it doesn't even include ivers which clearly is like below hotpots is standard. Sure. Anyway, but um, so let's see here. His number one favorite is nosh. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:27

I've never even heard of it.

Molly 38:28

I haven't heard of it either. Is it even around anymore? Pacific in in Fremont. We should go there sometime. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:34

it would be fun. I'd love to I've never been to bait shop and I have had the fish and chips pretty good.

Molly 38:40

Okay, Seattle Fish Company don't

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:42

I've had fish and chips and marination MCI also let's just this people are gonna love this. Let's just like mention the names of a bunch of places in Seattle you've never heard of, okay.

Molly 38:50

Most of the places on this list I've never heard

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:52

Well, I want to know like, what are the criteria because he's broken it down. He's given each one five scores. So there's five different criteria.

Molly 38:59

Yeah, so it looks like it's also a one to five ranking system.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:03

So it's an average of the five scores. Yeah.

Molly 39:04

Okay, so it's ranked on batter, fish chips, extras and price.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:12

What what the extras entail? I feel like it Bait Shop maybe there's like a slaw.

Molly 39:16

It seems like the highest ranked extras are we're at nosh. Whatever that was and marination Mike,

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:23

but it doesn't say what the extras are.

Molly 39:25

Yeah, okay. But anyway, here's some places that that hotpots really liked. So Pacific and Seattle Fish Company. Where's that?

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:32

I'm not sure. ton. No, I don't know where that is either.

Unknown Speaker 39:37

Yeah, it

Molly 39:37

seems like capital cider, whiskey. Capital cider is Yeah, okay. Chinooks was pretty good. The White Swan if you've been to the white swan, oh, it's a it's like a pub vibe on South Lake Union. And it's got some nice outdoor seating. Okay, it's tasty. Anyway, but sadly, it's fish and chips. Only On an average of 2.80

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:01

boy Yeah, here's we're gonna get into trouble.

Molly 40:03

Yeah. Anyway, but yeah, so I want to check out the Pacific in

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:06

Alright, let's. Yeah, let's let's check out the Pacific in well, it'll be a date sometime not super soon. Okay, um, and let's talk toppings and then let's talk segments. Great.

Molly 40:17

Okay, so what do you like on your fish and chips? Definitely

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:20

malt vinegar love this stuff and you put it on the fish too. Yeah,

Molly 40:25

I've only ever put it on the fries.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:26

Yeah, like how would you describe the flavor of malt vinegar? Like it's, it's made it's made from beer right? I mean so theoretically I

Molly 40:35

think so. it for me it has so much less of that like kind of whiny astringency that you would get from a wine vinegar.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:45

Yeah, it's very it's very mild and you can use a lot of it and it has like its own flavor. Yeah,

Molly 40:50

it's very mild compared to other I wonder what the actual like, acidic or you know, yeah, I'm

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:56

guessing I'm guessing like 3% or something. Okay, lemon juice. Love it. Like any lemon juice on fried fish. Always good.

Molly 41:03

Well, yes, lemon juice on fried fish. But I think if that more like if I'm having fish tacos or something like Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:08

but like I've definitely like squeezed a lemon on on fish and chips probably is probably like a thing that would get me banned from England.

Molly 41:15

What about tartar sauce? He scared of it?

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:16

I'm scared of it. Yeah, like I feel like I kind of want to try like someone if someone vouches that like a particular tartar sauce is a good one. I'd like to give it another try. Yeah, because it does seem appealing.

Molly 41:27

June's came with tartar sauce at Salt water and it was delicious. But I get tired of of tartar sauce really fast and there's something like the mouth coating this of tartar sauce with the mouth coating this of fried food is

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:39

intense. Right now I want something that's gonna cut through like a vinegar or lemon juice.

Molly 41:43

I don't want to catch him. So no, no, like not even with my fries.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:47

No, I mean, I don't want to catch up ever. But I think even if I liked ketchup, I wouldn't want it with fish and chips.

Molly 41:52

I think I would want ideally, tartar sauce with the fish malt vinegar with the fries. Okay. Yeah, I'm gonna go. I think that's our fish and chips episode.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:00


Molly 42:00

That was really long. Yeah, that's good. And featured one dog escape.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:05

Alright, yeah, I wonder how many dog escapes will be in our next episode? This episode isn't even over.

Molly 42:10

Oh, right. Right. What's our segments? Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:12

We've got spilled mail from listener Robin.

Okay, so Oh, you forgot to mention that in Scotland. They like brown sauce with fish and chips, which I think is like HP sauce. Right?

Molly 42:29

Yeah. Except there's a different one that is popular in Scotland. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:31

Okay. listener Robin writes. You mentioned that nobody is named Billy. Nowadays. I just wanted to report that my hairdresser had a baby around three years ago and she named her baby Billy. Not William. Not bill. But Billy. That's it. love your show. This is fantastic. So the thought I had when I was reading that was like, I want us to get famous enough that people name their babies after us. Wow.

Molly 42:52

That is such a great goal. Yeah. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:58

Yeah, like the way someone might name their baby Rianna. That's gonna be us. Yes. All right. That's it for segments. Our producer is Abby, circuit Ella. Please rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts.

Molly 43:08

You can jump on our subreddit to talk to other spilled milk fans about whatever kind of ridiculous things we've been talking about lately on the show. And yeah, do that@reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk?

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:22

Yeah, I pop in there occasionally. Like someone will say you should do such and such. And I'm like, Good idea. I'll put it on the list. Yeah. All right. Until next time, thank you for listening to spilled milk. The show that that's just too, too good. pinions I'm fish

Molly 43:39


Alice. Alice. Alice.

Unknown Speaker 43:55

Alice. She's gotten

Molly 43:57

really belligerent in her old age.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:00

Oh, yeah, me too.

Molly 44:01

Oh, my God. Okay, I'm going to go get her not that she's going anywhere. But I should pay attention to my dog. Sorry. Sorry, my dog. That's okay. Sorry about her breath. She's She's old.