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Happy Birthday, Fish and Chips

Abbiamo incontrato Giovanni Fionda, uno scozzese di origini italiane, che è il campione ufficiale britannico di “fish and chips”!

Everybody thinks that fish and chips are the quintessentially British dish, but the truth is that Italian immigrants have played an important role in their evolution. Take the example of Scottish pop star Paolo Nutini: his family run a fish and chip shop in Paisley, to the west of Glasgow. And if you head east of Glasgow, the town of Coatbridge is home to Atlantic Fast Food. This was voted  “British Fish and Chip  Shop of the Year.” It is run by Giovanni Fionda, whose parents moved to Scotland from Italy. In October Giovanni Fionda went back to Italy. He was guest of honour at the British Consulate’s stand at the “Salone del Gusto,” or “Slow Food,” in Turin:

Giovanni Fionda (Scottish accent):

I’m Giovanni Fionda from Atlantic Fast Food in Scotland. I’m here because we’re the British champions for frying fish and chips. We’re proud to be here. We’ve been giving samples away today, to the Italian… to the Italians and seeing what they make of  British fish and chips. Basically, we’ve been frying fish from the Calabria coast, halibut, and then we’ve been frying our potatoes and we’ve been putting that together, preparing in the kitchens.

And we asked why the British love their fish and chips:

Giovanni Fionda:

Basically, I think it’s a few things. It’s to do with climate, also to do with Britain’s location, we’re an island, we’ve got lots of rain, so potatoes grow really well, the temperature’s quite medium, all year round, so on a wet, damp, cold day there’s nothing better than fish and chips, which gives you that comfort food feeling, it’s as  if somebody’s just cuddling you and making you feel, you know, that kind of secure way and… everybody’s got that memory, that lasting memory from childhood: fish and chips.

(Giovanni Fionda was talking to Mark Worden)

For more on Giovanni Fionda and Atlantic Fast Food, visit: http://www.atlanticfastfood.co.uk

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