Fish is fried in many parts of the world, and fried fish is an important food in many cuisines. For many cultures, fried fish is historically derived from pescado frito, and the traditional fish and chips dish of England which it inspired. The latter remains a staple take-out dish of the UK and its former and present colonies. Fried fishcakes made of cod (and other white fish, such as haddock or whiting) are a widely available in the frozen food sections of U.S. grocery stores and at fast-food restaurants, such as McDonald's. Filet-O-Fish. Long John Silver's, Skipper's, Captain D's, and Arthur Treacher's are well-known North American chain restaurants that serve fried fish as their main food offering. Catfish are also a prevalent farm-raised type of fish that is often served fried throughout the world. A classic fried fish recipe from France is the Sole meunière.
Community fish fries are popular in the southern region of the United States. These social gatherings may center around a church, a civic organization or serve as a fundraiser for a club, volunteer fire department, a school or other organization. In the U.S., especially the Upper Midwest, the Northeast, and the Mid-Atlantic states, community fish fries are somewhat popular, sometimes held in church basements or lots in observation of Lent. A fish fry is generally informal. A "shore lunch" is a tradition in the northern U.S. and Canada, where outdoor enthusiasts cook their catch on the shores of the ocean, or lake where the fish was caught.
An Andalusian dish, made by coating the fish (blue or white fish) in flour and deep frying in olive oil. The fish is then sprinkled with salt as the only seasoning. Spanish Jews brought the recipe to England during the 17th Century, helping the eventual development of Fish and chips.
Whitebait is a collective term for the small fry of fish. These are tender and edible, and can be regarded as a delicacy. The entire fish is eaten including head, fins and gut. Some species are more desired than others, and the particular species marketed as "whitebait" varies in different parts of the world. In New Zealand whitebait fritter are popular. Whitebait is combined with eggs or egg white, and cooked as an omelette is cooked.