FISH & CHIPS; LANARKSHIRE LOVES ...
Advertising feature A fish supper takes some battering as Lanarkshire's favourite dining delicacy.
Fish in crispy batter, plump chips, with salt 'n' sauce for some and salt 'n' vinegar for others, it's always been Lanarkshire's favourite fast food.
Guzzled outside in the cool of the evening, washed down with a glug of Irn Bru, what could beat it? Freshly cooked, piping hot fish and chips, smothered in salt and soused with vinegar, wrapped in newspaper and eaten out-of-doors on a cold and wintry day - it simply doesn't get better.
On average, each year there are 300 million servings of fish and chips - that equates to six servings for every man, woman and child in the country.
There are now around 8,500 fish and chip shops across the UK -- that's eight for every one McDonald's outlet, making British fish and chips the nation's favourite take-away.
So how, when and where did this love of fish suppers come about? If you think about it, it really stemmed from Sir Walter Raleigh bringing the potato to England in the 17th century although many think the French invented the fried potato chip.
Both Lancashire and London stake a claim to being the first to invent this famous meal - chips were a cheap, staple food of the industrial north whilst fried fish was introduced in London's East End.
In 1839 Charles Dickens referred to a "fried fish warehouse" in his novel, Oliver Twist.
The demand was for putting fried fish and chips together and so was born the national dish of fish and chips.
Fish and chip shops were originally small family businesses, often run from the front room of the house and were commonplace by the late 19th century.
Through the latter part of the 19th century and well into the 20th century, the fish and chip trade expanded greatly to satisfy the needs of the growing industrial population of Great Britain.
And the development of the steam trawler brought fish from all over the North Atlantic, Iceland and Greenland and the steam railways allowed easy and fast distribution of the fish around the country.
There was no turning back and soon, fryers were developing more recipe ideas including sausages, black pudding, hamburgers, chicken, steak pies and of course, haggis.
And of course, the tempting deep fried Mars Bar has become a popular choice with diners too.
So are fish and chips any good for us, nutritionally? Fish and chips are a valuable source of protein, fibre, iron and vitamins, providing a third of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins for men and nearly half for women.
So there's no need to worry about being unhealthy as you peel back the newspaper, smell that vinegar and tuck into Lanarkshire's favourite -a fish supper.