Irish curry sauce is a distinctly different beast that bears no resemblance to any legitimate curry from any culture associated with it. And it’s much more viscous than even its British counterpart, and we have no idea where it came from. In part, because Irish food traditions have been oral by nature since the 90% Catholic majority weren’t really allowed to be educated for centuries. Sorry to always bring it back to colonialism, but food culture will always come back to colonialism.
Curry Chips, or chips drowned in curry sauce, has been a mainstay of every Irish local town chip shop for nearly 40 years now. According to Waterford Whispers, “Curry chips were first introduced to Ireland by Saint Patrick on the Hill of Tara in 435AD, but later banned by the British in 1641, starting an 11-year war. The ban on curry would not be lifted until 300 years later by sitting Taoiseach, Eamon De Valera.”
Which seems as likely as the official story that this dish was invented “In the 1960’s when a Mr. Knight, Mr. Wood and Mr. Stern set up a little business in Orchard Street, Salford making pie fillings for local bakers. One seemingly innovative baker asked for a curry sauce filling, saying he was going to make chicken curry pies. The Staff at Dinaclass made up a trial 100 kilos of the stuff, but the baker walked away saying he had decided not to go ahead. Left with this 100kg, several local chippies were approached and told they could have it ‘at cost’. Two shops took the product and very quickly asked for more despite the fact that the price had to increase to cover production costs”.
And so, the curry chip spread across the Western World. But they would take credit for anything, as evidenced by their recent attempt to steal Barry Keoghan. So I dunno if you can really believe this. My personal opinion is that it was invented by some kid working in Supermac’s for the summer. But I haven’t a lick of evidence to substantiate that claim other than Supermac’s have always been innovators, and they led the charge of topped chips around Ireland.
In all likelihood, the curry chip was invented by someone who was a child of two cultures fugging around and finding out. Either way, whoever it was is at the right hand of the father now because they are the saviour of the Irish people. They’re right up there with Saint Patrick, in my opinion.
So, in their honour, here’s the definitive list of the 5 Indisputably Best Curry Chips in Dublin, tested, tasted, and approved by our intrepid crew at Char.