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Fried fish fingers on plate. Selective focus, shallow DOF.

Finger Fish

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Finger Fish (British English) or fish sticks (American English) are a processed food made using a whitefish, such as cod, hake, haddock or pollock, which has been battered or breaded. Finger Fish are commonly available in the frozen food section of supermarkets. They can be baked in an oven, grilled, shallow fried, or deep-fried.

Finger Fish

History of Fish Finger

The term “fish finger” is first referenced in a recipe given in a popular British magazine in 1900, and the dish is often considered symbolic of the United Kingdom.

The food restrictions during and after WWII expanded the consumption of fish fingers, but companies struggled to maintain decent quality. The commercialization of fish fingers may be traced to 1953 when the American company Gorton-Pew Fisheries, now known as Gorton’s, was the first company to introduce a frozen ready-to-cook fish finger; the product, named Gorton’s Fish Sticks, won the Parents magazine Seal of Approval in 1956. The developer of those fish sticks was Aaron L. Brody.

There was an abundance of herring in the United Kingdom after World War II. Clarence Birdseye test-marketed herring fish fingers, a product he had discovered in the United States, under the name “herring savouries”. These were tested in Southampton and South Wales against “cod fingers”, a comparatively bland product used as a control. Shoppers, however, confounded expectations by showing an overwhelming preference for the cod. The snack was nearly called Battered Cod Pieces, until a poll of Birds Eye workers opted for the snappier Fish Fingers.

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