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January 30, 2012
The Dirty Duck, Pen and Parchment and the Garrick in Stratford.
They're the winners.
Old English Inns, which owns them, has scooped up the most prestigious prize that a Nation could bestow.
Certainly to a pub.
The 2011 National Award for its fish and chips.
Is there anything on earth that goes together that well?
Certainly the UK, which consumes over 50,000 tons a year, would agree.
So where did this quintessentially English dish come from?
It’s a bit murky.
The French invented chips separately and in 1839 Charles Dickens referred to a fried fish warehouse in “Oliver Twist.”
But it all began, according to a 2003 Observer article, with a Jewish immigrant in 1860 from Eastern Europe called Joseph Malin who opened the first business in London’s East End selling fried fish and fried potatoes.
It must have some basis in fact since The National Federation of Fish Friers presented a commemorative plaque in 1968 recognizing Malin's founding role in the “chippie business.”
A business that has now expanded to approximately 9,000 fried fish takeout shops in the UK.
So how do you like yours?
Simple water and flour batter and malt vinegar as they do in the UK or beer or milk battered in America with tartar sauce?
Do chip in.