Stuart Frusco
Bdaily Business News

Whitby fish and chip shop tackles fish scandal

Yorkshire and the North East’s top fish and chip shop – the only fish and chip shop in Yorkshire to be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, as reported recently in Bdaily - Fusco’s of Whitby, has pledged that it knows where each and every fish it batters comes from, in response to new research that shows much of the fish sold in the UK is mislabelled.

The new research, which shows that cheaper fish – and never-before-consumed varieties – are being substituted in place of more expensive fish, also reveals that seven per cent of cod and haddock in our traditional fish and chips is actually cheaper fish, such as pollock and Vietnamese pangasius – used to cut costs.

But family-run Fusco’s of Whitby – voted number one chip shop in Yorkshire and the North East for the second consecutive year in the Seafish Awards – has hit out at these ‘lazy’ fish buyers, and says it travels out to Iceland and Norway to meet the skippers of the trawler boats that bring in the Fusco catch.

“We recognised a long time ago that if we wanted to be the best we must use the best,” said Stuart Fusco, frier manager and director of its Quayside branch and Young Fish Frier of the Year award winner.

“Quality comes first before price and we never just say ‘fish and chips’ on our menus, it’s always ‘haddock and chips’ or ‘cod and chips’ – it’s named fish so the customer knows exactly what they’re getting.

“We go right back to source to check that our fish is what it says it is: we know the boats that catch our fish – the Hrafn in Iceland for our cod and the Gier in Norway for our haddock – and it’s frozen on the boat within hours of being caught so comes to us fresher than any ‘fresh fish’ we could buy.”

“It makes me angry that some places are sourcing sub-standard species and selling them as cod and haddock,” added Stuart. “Ultimately, it’s not giving consumers the honesty they deserve and that brings the whole industry’s reputation down.”

Fusco’s has built an enviable reputation for its fish products since it opened 50 years ago. Its 100 per cent cod, haddock and plaice is fried in its special-recipe crispy, golden batter and its breadcrumb coated cod fishcakes and Quayside Fish Pie are made to old (and secret) family recipes that have gained almost legendary status in Whitby.

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