Walk into any chipper in Dublin and ask for ‘a one and one’ and everyone knows what you mean: fish and chips. If that sounds, er, fishy, here’s something else: next Wednesday the one and one will be half-price. The Irish Traditional Italian Chippers Association (ITICA) will celebrate National Fish and Chips Day, the annual event that marks the many years that the traditional fish and chip shop has been an institution in Ireland. ITICA members will offer their customers half-price fish and chips. We look forward to ITICA National Fish & Chips Day every year,” says Peter Borza of ITICA. “It is a hectic but fun-filled day that gives us the opportunity to celebrate 128 years of the ‘one and one’ and most importantly to thank our local communities for their ongoing support.”
The one and one owes its name to Giuseppe and Palma Cervi, Italian immigrants who sold fish and chips out of cart in Dublin in the 1880s. Palma would ask passersby ‘Uno di questo, uno di quello?’( ‘one of this and one of the other?’), and a well-known Irish phrase was born. The traditional Italian chipper is a feature of every neighborhood and town, and usually comes complete with photos of the Pope and the Italian soccer team. What’s more, almost every Italian chipper family in the country is descended from a tiny part of one province, Frosinone. It goes without saying, of course, that chips in Ireland are thick and fat and greasy, we’ll be having none of your scrawny French fries, thank you. If you’re looking for me next Wednesday, I’ll be honoring National Fish and Chips Day at Blackrock’s Central Cafe, where I spent many a fish-filled childhood afternoon.