One hundred and fifty years after the fact, good old American ingenuity has finally solved the problem of soggy fish 'n' chips.
From the Guardian:
The vexed question of how and when to put salt and vinegar on fish and chips has troubled enthusiasts from the prime minister down. John Major decreed while he was in No 10 that the best way is to put the salt on last so the vinegar does not wash it away.
But a new concoction of salt and vinegar that comes in a powder could take the agony out of the decision — and also stop the age-old problem of soggy fish and chips.
Malt Salt has been invented by an American company, J&D's, but maybe coming to a chip shop near you soon. Costing about £2.80 for a union flag decorated pot, it is made by blending sea salt and malt vinegar and, the blurb claims, stops your fish and chips getting as "cold and soggy as a Seattle winter".
I wonder if vinegar salt will make it onto this handy timeline of British cuisine: "5th Century—we can thank the Romans for introducing cabbages, peas, cherries and oyster farming into Britain."
And in 2010, you can thank the Americans for introducing VINEGAR SALT! You're welcome, old Albion. Very welcome.