Sotonians & Fish Fingers

Cover of Goodwood Revival Meeting 2015, sponsored by Birds Eye - logo used with kind permission.
Cover of Goodwood Revival Meeting 2015, sponsored by Birds Eye – logo used with kind permission.

American inventor, Clarence Birdseye, developed industrial fast-freezing in 1925. After making his fortune in the USA he launched fish fingers in Britain in 1955. Of all the places to trial his ‘cod sticks’ he chose my home of Southampton. They became a sensation here.

Cap'n Birdseye
Cap’n Birdseye

For a small group of islands surrounded by sea, the British do not eat that much fresh fish, most of it is exported. We rely on battered white fish with chips, tinned fish – and those Birds Eye fish fingers which are a real hit with children – I grew up on them!

25 thoughts on “Sotonians & Fish Fingers

  1. It was 1960 in New Zealand and we lived way in the country. But we visited an aunt in the city. She brought out fish fingers for dinner. We had never seen them before. “They are quite the latest-newest thing to eat”, said my aunt!

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  2. I visited a fish finger factory near Aberdeen when I was a fisheries student. Quite an incredible process. Also, the best quality fish was (at that time) reserved for M&S and Birdseye!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I have heard that about M&S, Waitrose and Birdeye are always earmarked for quality and taste – it is why they are allowed to charge ridiculous prices. Did you ever see fish fingers when you were in The Falklands?

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      • The Falkland Islanders are more British than the British. I seem to recall that when I was there one of the main shops was a coop. I don’t remember if they had fish fingers.

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  3. And yes,indeed — in the American midwest in the 1950s, Birdseye fish sticks were quite the thing. I loved them, and still can remember the taste of them served up with my mother’s homemade tartar sauce. I’ve not thought of them for years, and now I’m tempted to try some again. I probably won’t, though, just because the memory is so delicious. I’d be afraid they wouldn’t measure up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read that they were called fish sticks in the USA. I have just started eating them again – it has done wonders for bringing back forgotten memories – and as for the taste – it remains the same.


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