The great fish and chip debate: Gravy, yes or no?

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It's the staple food of those who promenade, and we 'up-north' feel we have the God-given right to dictate just how fish and chips be served.

Regional variations are enough to give the hungriest Lancastrian a stomach ache, from barms, baps and teacakes, to scraps and deep-fried Mars bars.

The humble plate of cod and chips would never be right without a shake of salt and a good dousing of vinegar, but a habit has emerged that has even divided our own chippy connoisseurs.

A recent tweet by Prestonian Richard Frediani has caused a storm on social media - all because it featured a picture of a tray of fish and chips... WITH GRAVY.

You'd be forgiven assuming Richard might know his stuff, as his family run the esteemed Umbertos chip shop in Preston, but it seems his tweet has literally poured salt and vinegar, and even possibly gravy into the north/south wounds.

The backlash was swift.

Fish, chips and... GRAVY??

Fish, chips and... GRAVY??

Margaret Emsley said "Gravy is for Yorkshire puddings - never for fish and chips. #yuk" and Henry Tribe agreed: "Gravy should never go anywhere near fish or chips. The end"

Martin Geissler got technical and wasn't the only one worried about sogginess: "Gravy (or curry) with chips but fish must be kept secure. Absolutely crucial to isolate the fish. Vital."

Ian Hunter was speaking with his mouth full when he said "Being Scottish I prefer salt and sauce, but having lived in Manchester 25 years I’ve been converted to gravy." and the PNE Police twitter account had to wade in to keep the peace by hosting an online poll.

As we go to press, salt and vinegar are leading with 47%, while gravy trails at 29% with curry sauce hot on its heels at 24%.

Meanwhile, Richard Frediani is keeping a close eye on proceedings, saying "Salt & vinegar in the lead but gravy catching up. @PNEPolice in charge ensuring no ‘fishy’ business"

So, we might not have a conclusive answer to the day's most pressing question, but we know where we're going for tea.

It's just what we put on it...