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Baked fish fingers on baking paper
Filling inside a fish finger
Fish fingers, known as fish sticks in North America and by translations of that name in most other languages, are a processed food made using a whitefish, such as cod, haddock or pollock, which has been battered or breaded.
They are commonly available in the frozen food section of supermarkets, and on children's menus in family-oriented restaurants. They can be baked in the oven, grilled, shallow fried, or deep-fried.
In 1953 the American company Gorton-Pew Fisheries, now known as Gorton's, had been the first company to introduce a frozen ready-to-cook fish finger, named Gorton’s Fish Sticks, which won the Parents Magazine Seal of Approval.
There was a glut of herring in the United Kingdom after World War II. Clarence Birdseye test marketed herring fish fingers, a product he had discovered in the US, under the name 'herring savouries'. These were tested in Southampton and South Wales against 'cod sticks', a comparably bland product used as a control. Shoppers, however, confounded expectations by showing an overwhelming preference for the cod. Cod fish fingers were first produced in Great Yarmouth, and introduced in Britain on 26 September 1955. The name 'fish fingers' was chosen by factory workers.
The fish used may be either fillets cut to shape or minced/ground fish reformed to shape. Those made entirely from fillets are generally regarded as the higher quality products and will typically have a prominent sign on the box stating that the fish is 100% fillet. Minced fish is more commonly used in store brand economy products. They may have either batter or breadcrumbs around the outside as casing, although the coating is normally breadcrumbs.
In addition to white fish, fish fingers are sometimes made with salmon. A commercially available variant of fish fingers is "Omega 3" fish fingers, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
In an episode of Doctor Who, the Eleventh Doctor manages to stabilise his regeneration by eating fish fingers and custard. This meal is then referenced in further episodes.
- ^ Pacific Fisherman 54 (1956) p. 55.
- ^ Cyril Dixon, "The facts of fish fingers", The Independent, 21 August 1994 (online at Highbeam; subscription required)
- ^ David Hillman and David Gibbs, Century Makers: One hundred clever things we take for granted which have changed our lives over the last one hundred years, London: Weidenfeld, 1998 / New York: Welcome Rain, 1999, ISBN 9781566490009.
- ^ a b "Teatime staple marks half century ", BBC news, 26 September 2005.
- ^ a b Matt Roper, "50 Years of the Fish Finger: Ahoy Shipmates! A Teatime Revolution Comes of Age", Daily Mirror, 26 September 2005 (at Highbeam; subscription required)
- ^ a b Stephen Rigley, "Why Cod Fish Fingers Have Had Their Chips", The Daily Mail, 8 October 2001.
- ^ Samantha Booth, "Smash Hit Food: Nosh Creations that Made a Stir, Daily Record (Glasgow), 16 March 2011 online at Highbeam; subscription required).
- ^ Fish Custard Doctor Who Wikia .