“Can we have fish and chips? The ones they have in London are horrible.”

My youngest daughter made the request on a recent visit home from university.

She believes that those in the capital are inferior to our version of what many claim is the greatest British invention.

My eldest daughter, who also lives in the south of England, has also commented on the North’s superior fish and chips.

And I must admit, when I lived south of Watford that’s how I felt too.

Maybe it’s true: a Yorkshire chip shop has scooped the prize as the best fish and chip shop in the country. The shop, near York won the top prize today at the 30th National Fish & Chip Awards - regarded as the 'Oscars' of the industry.

If there is one meal on which we British are connoisseurs it’s fish and chips. They must be the most commented-upon meal in England, with every serving generating a barrage of praise, criticism or both.

“They’re too greasy,” “Lovely crispy batter,” “The fish is dry,” “The cod is a good size,” “There aren’t enough chips…”

We give a running commentary of the meal as we eat it and our impressions dictate whether we will return to the same place.

In my experience, few fish and chip shops are consistent. You can go one week and enjoy beautifully-cooked food and the next time you visit you will find yourself eating a pile of greasy stodge that lies heavy on the stomach.

My husband and I eat fish and chips once every two to three months, bought from a variety of chip shops. It’s always a treat.

My children also see fish and chips as a treat, but when I was young we ate them every week. In the late seventies, when I learned to drive, I loved to go to the neighbouring village to buy them. I took the same amount of money every week, £1.75, for five of us.

There were two local chippies, but we only went to one, the furthest distance from our home. My parents insisted the other was terrible, although I had never known them go there. I once went with my friends and expected the food to be inedible. I was surprised to find it really quite nice and told my parents, but they still remained loyal to the other.

I don’t know how many families nowadays have a ‘fish and chip night’. Our ‘night’ was Saturday lunchtime. My mum would butter half a loaf of bread and lay the table while either me or my dad went to get the portions. For most other families I knew, it was Friday night.

We British keep a mental log of good fish and chips. For us, some of the nicest, in recent years, were eaten in the car outside a chip shop in Penrith, we enjoyed some delicious fish and chips in Berwick-upon Tweed, and we associate a trip to Cromer in Norfolk with a mammoth serving of fish and chips.

In common with many people, we have never been disappointed in Whitby. As a child, I would eagerly eat fish and chips from their newspaper wrapping, in our family car, which my dad always parked beside the band stand on the harbourside - it was always the only vehicle there.

Newspaper wrapping is no more, having given way to cardboard or polystyrene trays. The phrase: “Don’t worry, it will be chip paper tomorrow,” uttered to those whose bad news is splashed across the newspapers, no longer applies, even less so, with the advent of the internet.

The smell of fish and chips is still one of the most mouth-watering of all, drawing us in from hundreds of yards away. Years ago, my husband and I rented a flat virtually above a chip shop and it took enormous will power to not go every night.

So why are northern fish and chips so much better? Maybe they aren’t. Maybe we northerners are just hugely prejudiced in their favour.