A PENRITH fish and chip shop has sparked a nationwide debate after it was given a rave review by a well-known food critic.

BBC1 Masterchef food critic Grace Dent, who grew up in Carlisle, wrote about the Angel Lane Chippie in her weekly Guardian restaurant review.

She described the shop, which has won 30 national awards over the past 10 years, as "a shining example of British brilliance".

Grace opened her column by saying British food was often described as "rubbish" and saying people were concerned that following Brexit all we would be left with is fish and chips.

She then shared her joyous memories of trips to chip shops for that battered treat - and wrote fondly about her most recent visit to Angel Lane Chippie.

Following Grace's column, a reader commented: “The batter is there to protect the fish during frying, you peel it off, throw it away, then eat the fish!

"If you bake a fish (or indeed a vegetable) in a salt crust, do you eat that too?”

This comment sparked differing views from all round the world.

National Federation of Fish Friers president Andrew Crook put the record straight.

“Modern batters are delicious and crisp with a great crunch when you eat them with lovely white steamed fish inside," he said.

"It’s the combination of the taste of the batter and fish bursting through that makes the dish so special.

"Batter came from a practice of baking fish in a salty dough to steam the fish inside historically, but by the time fish and paired with chips in 1860 it had become an edible batter."

Angel Lane Chippie owners David and Daniel Harding said: “For someone like Grace Dent to take time and review our fish and chip shop is amazing.

"What has happened since has been crazy. We have received media enquires from all across the world, including Australia.

"We believe top shops now use premium ingredients to make a delicious, light, crisp and golden batter that is not only edible but delicious. We personally eat the batter and find it very tasty."

The chippie will be running free tastings of sample of the original style fish and chips compared to the modern day product tomorrow.