Friday Fish Fry
What is a Fish Fry? We all have our own ideas of Fish Frys and what they mean to us here in Cleveland, Ohio. But what exactly is a Fish Fry and how did they become so popular here in Cleveland?
A typical Cleveland Fish Fry is a meal containing battered or breaded fried fish. It usually includes french fries, coleslaw, lemon slices and tartar sauce.
Fish Frys in Cleveland are often served on Friday nights during Lent, the Christian season of repentance, as a restaurant special.
Fish Frys are very common in the Midwestern and northeastern regions of the United States. This is especially true for Christian communities in Cleveland on Fridays during Lent, especially in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and Methodist traditions, when regulations call for abstinence from meat.
The tradition of Christians fasting on Fridays to recognize Jesus's crucifixion on Good Friday dates to the first century AD. Fish had been associated with religious holidays even in pre-Christian times. The first mention of fish in connection with Lent, the season of repentance in Christianity, comes from Socrates of Constantinople, a church historian in the third and fourth centuries who spoke of abstaining from meat and meat products (such as cheese and eggs) during the 40 days of Lent. The custom was mentioned by Pope Gregory I, who was elected in 590, and was later incorporated into canon law. The Roman Catholic tradition of Christianity has been that the flesh of warm-blooded animals is off limits on Fridays, although the 1983 Code of Canon Law provided for alternative observances of the Friday penance outside Lent. In Methodist Christianity, The Directions Given to Band Societies mandate fasting and abstinence from meat on all Fridays of the year. The Book of Common Prayer of the Anglican Christian denomination requires abstinence from meat on all Fridays of the year too.
A Cleveland Fish Fry typically features battered or breaded haddock and cod. Some restaurants offer fresh Lake Erie Perch dinners, however, 2022 has proven to be difficult to source the Northeastern Ohio favorite. Some Cleveland Fish Frys even feature other delicacies from the sea to give a little variety. A Gunselmans Fish Fry features Shrimp dinners, Lobster rolls as well as our favorite Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese to spice things up! Irish Kevin will prepare special cauldrons of clam chowder and lobster bisque for each Friday Fish Fry.
At Gunselmans, we will continue to honor our time-tested tradition to provide fresh delicious Fish Frys every Friday during the Lenten season. So be sure to enjoy a perfectly poured pint of your favorite lager or ale, savor one of our Lenten specials and immerse yourself in good ole Gunselmans hospitality.