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Only problem with paper or any form of wrapping that keeps in the heat is that the fish and chips steam and lose their crunch. On the rare occasions when I purchase fish and chips, I immediately unwrap them to stop them from getting steamed. My preference is for less warm and crispy than warm and soggy.

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
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Ah - that's where my local shop is ahead of the game. The final step, before they hand the package over, is to jab it several times with a sharp object. I still break the land speed record coming back up the hill, but it possibly helps - the stuff is always crisp.

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Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

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Ah - that's where my local shop is ahead of the game. The final step, before they hand the package over, is to jab it several times with a sharp object. I still break the land speed record coming back up the hill, but it possibly helps - the stuff is always crisp.

Smart people those.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
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I'm probably not the only one guilty of consuming chips and driving. Will be pulled over one day. Probably charged. Driving under the influence of frites.

Also guilty. It's a friteful thing to do.

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Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

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IMG_20140309_135800.jpg

 

Flathead and chips at a Greek cafe in Hastings, Victoria.  The best batter I've had here.  Lovely.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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That does look good (needs more chips, though).

Greeks and Cretans seem to be particularly good at F&C.

 

It may need more chips, but I don't (and I would eat them if they were there.  There were a few more before I took the picture).


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Ah - that's where my local shop is ahead of the game.  The final step, before they hand the package over, is to jab it several times with a sharp object. I still break the land speed record coming back up the hill, but it possibly helps - the stuff is always crisp.

 

I have taken to ripping small holes in the paper when I leave the shop.  I'm not sure how to optimise the heat:crispiness ratio, though.

 

We seem to be settling into a routine of 1 butterfish (EMP's preference), 1 hake or snapper, 2 pumpkin cakes (not quite cooked last time), and $2 chips. Malt vinegar, ketchup, and lemon at home.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Pumpkin cakes? I take it that we're talking a potato cake-type affair with, er, pumpkin in place of potato? 

 

Correct.  Or if you prefer, tempura with fish batter instead of panko. :raz:


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Just scrolled back in this thread to see if I had posted in it and indeed I had in 2011. :raz:

 

Here we are back in Moab and nothing has changed.  It's the land of red rocks, blue skies, much sun (although not this year, alas) and really dreadful restaurant fish and chips.

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Darienne

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Just scrolled back in this thread to see if I had posted in it and indeed I had in 2011. :raz:

 

Here we are back in Moab and nothing has changed.  It's the land of red rocks, blue skies, much sun (although not this year, alas) and really dreadful restaurant fish and chips.

 

I guess it is comforting that things change slowly in the fish & chip world. My last post is nearly the same as one from a year ago!

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I've shifted loyalties recently and I'm starting to regret it. The first date was impressive but the second and third were a bit dull. The batter was just sad. The chips mediocre. And, yeah, I still drive under the influence of frites. I even have a bottle of emergency Tabasco in the centre console. 

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Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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If you can get the imported catfish from Thailand (known as Basa or sometimes Cobler), then I think that should work.  After all isn't catfish famous for being deep fried? Shark as an alternative to cod or haddock is sold in fish and chip shops in London (where it is called 'Rock Salmon') and used to be a popular choice. 

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I used to own a small restaurant and we were known for really good battered fish, mostly frozen of course, we  usually used Pearl perch, but  Basa is good too, the secret is the batter of course. Which is no secret at all, after a dusting in the flour, a dip in the batter which is just Self Raising Flour and water, mixed to a rather thin consistency, then let a lot of it drip off before laying gently into the oil.

If you make the batter thick it is not nice, and using eggs or milk just makes it rubbery, IE: you don't want your fish enclosed in a pancake.


Edited by Herdy (log)
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Just came across this topic. I am new and I realize the last post is several years old.

I just came back from Victoria. Fish and chip capital of Australia. Read through the posts and am amazed at some of the posts.

 

Flake: is the generic universal name for shark. There are many different species, only a very few are protected. Gummy sharks are protected because of over exploitation. But its not as one would think, it was not line fishing it was scuba divers of the 1960 & 1970.

This was a new and exciting sport along with the invention of the power head. This was a tip for a spear gun or more usually a spear. It consisted of a short hollow tube into which a 12 gauge shotgun cartridge was fitted. It had a firing pin at the base and either a spring or rubber to hold the cartridge away from the pin. To use it you just thrust it at your prey. Since gummy sharks tend to congregate close in shore and are not aggressive the sport of shark hunting resulted in many thousands being slaughtered and the species came close to extinction. Even snorkelers got in on the act. Power heads are now banned. There are many different type of shark used for flake but most sharks have some sort of enzyme that breaks down within the flesh to form ammonia, even during freezing. Though not harmful, the unpleasant taste makes them not suitable for long term storage (freezing) or consumption. Also, mercury accumulated in the fat layer close to the skin so larger sharks are usually discarded, though the high enzyme content gives these large specimens a distinct "off" smell and taste even after a few hours. It may surprise you that a great number of the "save the shark warriors" were some of the worst offenders. There are many old films of some of the respected researches hunting all types of shark with all sorts of things. I remember one husband & wife team chumming up sharks and shooting them with a machine gun. They would keep count and the numbers were in the hundreds per day.

King George whiting: The bigger specimens are caught of South Australia. But they are also caught in Victoria. They are a premium product. Cook them delicately (just butter) and eat them without sauces. 

Barramundi: Sadly, most barramundi are farmed and as far as I am concerned are bland and tasteless. Wild caught barramundi demand a premium price but well worth the price.

Snapper: The smaller snapper are much better table wise than the larger specimens They are caught round the coast from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia to Western Australia.

Blue eye cod: (Trevalla) are caught offshore in very deep waters (usually over 200 meters. They are a premium fish, mostly sold in high end restaurants. Hapuka Cod are caught in the same places as Blue Eye cod.

Pearl Perch: Caught in the sub tropical & tropical regions they are considered by some to be the top of the charts for taste. Personally I prefer the smaller snapper.

Flat Head: Biggest catch is probably in New South Wales but it is caught in other states. Over fishing has actually increased the biomass (total tunnage of fish). There are a lot more but most specimens are smaller. Theses fish are somewhat cannibalistic with the larger specimens keeping the smaller numbers down.  This is one fishery setting itself up for a catastrophic decline, because as the fish size decreases the breeding stock also decrease in size. A natural disaster (like global warming) could tip the balance. I find the taste of fresh flathead superb. It is not as delicate as whiting, pearl perch or snapper but very tasty. Lovely cooked in butter with freshly milled black pepper.

Mackerel: Much loved in Queensland. Caught in sub tropical areas. Not a fan of them myself but each to his own.

Blue Grenadier: Caught in very deep water off Victoria, Tasmania & New Zealand. This is a long lived species a lot of the fish take being 30~50 years old. They are usually processed on board trawlers and snap frozen. Sold as Hoki and other names (depends in which state you are in). 

Trout: An introduced sport fish. Also farmed. I find them bland and pretty tasteless. You can improve them with smoking. If you can catch wild trout in the small cold rivers and streams in the high country of Victoria or New South Wales, the difference in taste is staggeringly better, but the fish seem to be much smaller.

Tasmania Salmon: Farmed, similar to trout. In appearance the flesh is similar to Atlantic salmon, but the taste is no where as good. Still, its a quality product and can be treated like Atlantic salmon.

Hake: (marketed as Gemfish) a migratory species past the New South Wales Coast. Caught in huge numbers by deep water trawlers to the point where the greedy over fishing of these fish means the species no longer migrates in these areas. Nearly all were processed and frozen. Lovely taste when fresh and reasonable taste after being frozen & thawed. Most "gemfish" or "Hake" sold these days is actually imported frozen usually from South Africa.

 

Fish are marketed in 3 ways in Australia. Fresh, Frozen & Chilled. Because of the limited market size its very hard to market only fresh fish. In the capital cities its fine but as soon as you get to regional centers the transport costs and keeping facilities are limited. It is a good way for a regional restaurant to quickly go broke relying on fresh fish.

Chilled fish is the supermarket chain attempt to convince us to buy fresh fish. Chilled fish is fish that has been frozen and then thawed for sale. It must be kept chilled and should not be refrozen.

 

Fresh fish may well keep for 14 days if they are bled, chilled when first caught. Unfortunately, trawler caught fish tend to die within the trawl, and may be dead for some hours before they are iced. They then may not be processed (gutted, gilled filleted) for a day or so. This reduces their shelf life by as much as a week. The fish may be still edible but may have become soft and mushy and the taste will have deteriorated.

 

Unfortunately, most of the fish people are exposed to are farmed, then frozen, processed and imported usually from Asia. Compared to fresh local fish, most are bland and tasteless. If you have never had fresh fish, I guess these other frozen offerings are quite good. They are certainly convenient. Eat them with a tasty sauce!

 

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Welcome Bernie. Good summary. It's a shame that pretty much everything is getting over-fished. I just bought some frozen flathead - from South America. If you can't walk down to the dock and get your fish, I think flash-frozen is the best bet.

 

I've only lived in Victoria so I didn't realise that fish & chips was such a Victoria thing until a student from New South Wales was laughing about how you can get it in every small town. I think I mentioned up-thread how my borough has 3 shops in a two block area.


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21 minutes ago, haresfur said:

Welcome Bernie. Good summary. It's a shame that pretty much everything is getting over-fished. I just bought some frozen flathead - from South America. If you can't walk down to the dock and get your fish, I think flash-frozen is the best bet.

 

I've only lived in Victoria so I didn't realise that fish & chips was such a Victoria thing until a student from New South Wales was laughing about how you can get it in every small town. I think I mentioned up-thread how my borough has 3 shops in a two block area.

Unfortunately, fish names and species differ from staste to state and country to country. Bendigo, I guess, benefited from being on a major inland route so transport passing through and to the area meant that there was generally efficient fresh produce to and from Melbourne. In New South Wales for instance the long haul inland routes from Melbourne & Adelaide and the time from these cities to some of the major towns mean the cost of fresh produce is prohibitive for small volumes. Any fresh fish (unless local freshwater) comes from Sydney and the transport is not as regular. It is really interesting to see how fresh food distribution effects the way who towns and population view food.

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19 minutes ago, heidih said:

Vey interesting summary. Bit tangential but we had our massive tuna fleet back in the day and it is all gone. I grew up with the children of the fhishermen on those boats. https://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/migratory_species/san_pedro_ti_tuna_industry_historical_overview.html

Co incidentally, in a previous life (well it seems that way) I was a Tuna fisherman. I poled Bluefin Tuna, Striped Tuna (skipjack) and long lined for Yellowfin Tuna for the Japanese sashimi markets.

The Bluefin Tuna fishery was almost destroyed in this country by over fishing. A strict quota ensured there is still a fishery. Its interesting to note the American fishery towards the end relied heavily on purse seine fishing. It was certainly the most efficient method.

There is still a Bluefin Tuna fishery in South Australia both wild and now farmed and long line fishery all round Australia. A South Australian firm has successfully bred Bluefin Tuna artificially, the first in the world, so perhaps the wild stocks may be under less threat into the future.

In Australia, most would consider the local purse seine fleet the major contributor to the rapid decline. The fleet of local purse seine fleet numbered between 2 & 10, depending on the season. Most would fish elsewhere (South Africa?) in the off season. In long line & pole fishing, the take from a school of fish is estimated to be in the order of 30% while in purse seine its about 98% or more. Fuel prices and the change in currents (global warming) meant that the returns in good years no longer offset the poor years of bad weather and no fish runs or fish runs far out to sea put paid to most of the fleet.

I have seen where the ocean was blood red as far as the eye could see. A purse seine trawler tried to take a school of Bluefin tuna that was too big for their net. The purse seiner herself was almost capsized until the net was cut. Unfortunately the crush of fish in the net destroyer most of the school. Their blood covered the ocean. It was one of the most shameful & sickening sights any of us had ever seen. We were just glad the we were not on that purse seiner. I hope they still have nightmares about the incident.

Towards the end of the fishery, there were a couple of American "super seiners" fishing under licence in Australian waters. These very large boats fishing with gigantic seine nets would fish whole schools of Skipjack tuna. There were so many in the nets and in the massive holds of these ships that much of the catch was crushed. The resultant mush was only suitable to be used for fertilizer. This made the fishery barely sustainable economically. These large boats were able to fish in atrocious weather but because of the size of their nets they would be restricted to deep water areas over the continental shelf. Local outrage by green activists at what appeared to be needless slaughter eventually led to the withdrawal of licence to fish in Australian Waters. Some of these boats then fished in less developed South Pacific Island waters. Russian Trawlers of the same ilk also fished these waters. Fortunately, the very lack of infrastructure mean the use of mother ships for processing which appears to have been non sustainable.

I guess once you build a boat you have to use it, regardless of what part of the world you originate.

Nearly all of these species are migratory round the world, though there seems to be localized migratory stocks as well. 

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