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Ever wonder where our 'one and one' came from?

AN Italian emigrant started the fish and chips tradition in Dublin 128 years ago.

Back in the 1880s, Giuseppe Cervi arrived in Cobh, or Queenstown as it was known then, after disembarking by mistake on the final stop of an America-bound ship.

When he first arrived in Dublin, Giuseppi worked as a labourer, hoping to earn enough money to buy a coal-fired cooker and handcart so he could sell roasted chestnuts.

Legend has it that he mistakenly roasted a potato one day and realised that the Irish had a taste for a good spud.

He soon opened Ireland's first fish and chip shop on Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street) beside Trinity College.

He ran the chipper with his wife, Palma, whose lack of English gave Dubliners a phrase that is still used today.

When customers went to pay, she would point to the register and ask, "Uno de questo, uno de quello?" or "One of these, one of those?"

 

Spread

Walk into any Italian chipper a century later and ask for a "one and one" and you'll be served fresh cod and chips.

By 1909, there were 20 chippers in Dublin, serving a population of just 290,000.

This had grown to about 50 in Ireland going into the 1930s.

But it was in the 1950s, when 6,000 Italians settled in Ireland, that the chipper started its nationwide spread.

hnews@herald.ie


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