Glasgow: Dear Gillian Duffy, #iloveimmigrants


Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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Dear Gillian Duffy,

You asked Gordon Brown: Where did all these immigrants come from?

Fish and Chips: In 1860, Joseph Malin, a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe, opened the world’s first first fish and chip shop in the east end of London.

Burgers: In the 1850s, the German Hamburg-Amerika line boats brought immigrants to America and with them hard Hamburg salt beef, good keeping meat for a long sea voyage: it was minced and cooked stretched with soaked breadcrumbs and chopped onion. These “hamburg steaks” became hamburgers when Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, Wisconsin, first served them as a sandwich in Seymour Fair in 1885. “Hamburgh Sausage”, a British-German immigrant was known to Hannah Glasse in 1747, but the hamburger as we know it came to the UK in the 1950s, an American immigrant.

Pizzas are immigrant food from their earliest beginnings: they are Neapolitan cuisine, and the history of food and cooking in Naples has been constantly enriched by immigration and cross-fertilisation from Greece, Rome, Spain, France, and many other cultures. Pizzas went to America with Italian emigrants and became American cuisine: pizzas came to Scotland with Italian immigrants and American influence and we’ve even got our own dubious Scottish dish, the unique deep-fried pizza, frozen dough dipped in batter, heart-attack heaven.

Kebab is Arabic (also kebap, kabab, kebob, kabob, kibob, kebhav, kephav) but our Scottish kebabs are Turkish immigrants, döner kebabs of lamb roasted on a vertical rotating spit, invented in Bursa in the 19th century.

Southern Fried Chicken, though its name is American, may be the only Scottish-origin dish on this menu: Scots have been deep-frying chickens since the immigrant bird Gallus gallus got here – from northeast India.

Scotland is a country that welcomes immigrants. Please remember that next time you get a chance to speak to a Prime Minister, or even just your local MP.



This photograph was taken in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

Artwork Comments

  • heznel
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  • Yonmei
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