Fish and Chips: The English equivalent to Wiener Schnitzel.

Posted on 14.09.2013

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fish-and-chipsThere is really no question about it, Fish and Chips is to England as Wiener Schnitzel (and maybe the Currywurst and the Döner) is to Germany. It’s the fast food that defines the nation, and accordingly, it’s available everywhere.

I’m putting it closer to Wiener Schnitzel for the actual dish, which is similar to F+C. Something breaded and fried, served with french fries. About the same there, even if the other two serve to add to the cultural identity.

I will say that I do like Wiener Schnitzel, and although I’m not a HUGE fan of pork, this was the thing on the menu during my time in Germany that I’d default to if I couldn’t find anything else to eat. That is quite a contrast to Fish and Chips, which I actually find myself CRAVING. This doesn’t happen for many things, although it seems to happen a lot when it’s seafood. My favorite.

Sushi is still my number one, but while I’m here and it’s good everywhere, Fish and Chips is a great #2. Or #4. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to drop hot dogs.

This leads me to ask, though: What is the equivalent in the USA? We’re a country full of immigrants and nothing is really OURS. Clearly, you can get Wiener Schnitzel, Sushi and Fish and Chips ANYWHERE, but they do still hold significance for their respective places. Does this mean that America’s food is the Hamburger? The Hot Dog? The pizza? These are all things that came from other countries, which we have really made our own. The bagel? Eggs Benedict? Pastrami sandwich? Crab cake? Tacos?

I went to a dinner in Germany, and the hosts asked me to cook something American to bring. I couldn’t imagine what they would want, so I asked. They told me to make Tacos. I LOVE tacos, but I wouldn’t call them American… would I?

I think it might have to be a cheeseburger. But I’m going to keep thinking about it. I welcome suggestions, though!

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Posted in: Culture shocks, food