A Hawke's Bay takeaway manager says there just might be method to an outrageous online comment that suggested we've all been eating fish and chips wrong.

"You. Eat. The. Batter?" a man asked, following a Guardian columnist's review of a fish and chips shop in the UK, an observation that has since gone viral around the world.

"The batter is there to protect the fish during frying, you peel it off, throw it away, then eat the fish!" he demanded.

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His post was shared by the journalist, Grace Dent, whose reviews appear weekly in The Guardian.

"This week's Guardian restaurant column is about a northern chip shop. This comment has kept me awake. I. I just. What," she wrote, alongside a screenshot of the man's questionable theory.

Since sharing it with her Twitter followers on Saturday, it has been liked over 25,000 times.

According to Takitimu Seafoods Hastings manager Ivan Matich, the commenter makes a valid point, but batter could add to the eating experience.

"The batter helps keep the fish moist and makes it taste better, but the fact that people eat the fish out of the batter and leave the rest I have never heard before," he said.

"For me when the batter is done just right and is nice and crispy that just makes it even better."

Matich said that they also do crumbed and grilled fish but that it tends to dry the fish out more, and says that instead of cooking the fish in batter doing it in tinfoil leaves a nice moist fish with the same result.

Director of Mission Nutrition Claire Turnbull said removing the batter from the fish certainly made it a healthier option, but wasn't sure that anyone would actually do it.


"On the odd occasion when I have had fish and chips myself, I just eat the crisper batter on the top and then enjoy the fish leaving the batter at the bottom as there's often too much of it."

She says that cooking the fish at home does make it the better and healthier option.

"If you want healthier fish and chips quickly at home, oven baked crumbed fish and oven chips (ideally the ones without added salt) along with some peas or carrots is a good choice that takes next to no time."