Birds Eye Fish Fingers, produced by the quick freezing process developed by the eponymous Clarence Birdseye, were introduced in 1956 and touted as an ideal way to encourage Australian children to eat more fish. Evidently it worked. According to the manufacturer, the number of Birds Eye Fish Fingers now sold in Australia each year would cover an area twice the size of Tasmania. As if that statistic isn’t mind-boggling enough, they also claim that laid end to end, these fish fingers would be twice the length of the Great Wall of China.
Clarence Birdseye was an engineer who became interested in frozen foods while working in Labrador. He found that food frozen quickly at extremely low temperatures maintained its texture and went on to develop “flash freezing” technology. His products first went on sale in the USA in 1930 and included meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. For a history of frozen food in the USA from Clarence Birdseye to today, see The Strange History of Frozen Food.