Today is National Fish and Chips Day in Ireland! Specifically, it’s celebrated every year with half price fish and chips at chippers within the Irish Traditional Italian Chippers Association (ITICA). Wait, what? Well, if you’re ever been to your local chipper, you’ve probably noticed that it’s mainly staffed by Italians (or Italian-Irish). As is often the case in immigrant communities, when the first wave of Italian families immigrated to Ireland in the late 1800s, they found their niche and created a business model that could be copied and expanded. It’s pretty fascinating given that fish and chips are such a staple of the cuisine in Ireland, particularly when you consider the huge popularity of Italian foods like pizza and pasta, and pair that with the practically non-existent chipper culture in Italy. But hey, Irish people love fried food (and who doesn’t!?) and they tapped into a goldmine. This is why roaming around Dublin and across Ireland you’ll see local fish and chip joints with names like Roma, Borza’s, and Macari’s. Hey, that’s pretty neat!
For a full history of fish and chips in Ireland, check out this article from The Irish Times: How fish and chips enriched a nation
Visit the Chipper Directory for participating locations!