Author Topic: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be  (Read 5212 times)

citoyen

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Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2018, 11:10:59 am »
Last time I had a Findus Crispy Pancake was as a student in the early 90s, when a bunch of us thought it would be great larks to rediscover our childhood dinnertime favourites. They proved to be disappointingly insubstantial.

I've often thought about trying to make them myself. The bit that concerns me is how you seal the pancake so it doesn't leak. The only recipe I've found online merely says 'press the edges together' but that sounds unsatisfactory to me. (ETA: found another recipe that says to brush the edges with egg to make them stick together.)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2018, 11:27:02 am »
Didn't some celebrity chef do some kind of pimped-up crispy pancake? I don't watch proper telly, so I might have dreamed it. I never actually remember my dreams, but odds-on they feature crispy pancakes. I kind of hope they don't feature Captain Birdseye. Freud would have less of a field day and more of a sabbatical.

Insubstantiality was a theme of childhood foods. My mother wouldn't understand that two crispy pancakes wasn't enough (nor for that matter was four fish fingers). What with those the bisto and potato pie, for god's sake there's probably more mince in a Gregg's pasty. Of course, we made people small back then through starvation so we could send them the pit. One of the most fabulous things about being a grown-up was buying my own full-sized Fray Bentos pie in a tin and eating it all myself.

Like so many aspects of being an adult, it turned out not to taste very nice. Ah, the difference betweens dreams and reality.
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citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2018, 11:40:35 am »
Didn't some celebrity chef do some kind of pimped-up crispy pancake?

In googling for recipes, I discovered two celebrity chef versions - Hugh FW and Phil Vickery. I dare say there are others.

Quote
One of the most fabulous things about being a grown-up was buying my own full-sized Fray Bentos pie in a tin and eating it all myself.

Like so many aspects of being an adult, it turned out not to taste very nice. Ah, the difference betweens dreams and reality.

Same here - I was fascinated by Fray Bentos pies when I was a kid (a pie in a tin? how cool is that?) but never had one until I was an adult and bought one for myself. Tbh, I was expecting it to be much worse than it was.

Fish fingers are still a staple of my diet. In a sandwich, ideally. At least four. With lots of ketchup. Has to be proper kids' fish fingers, none of your stupid modern grown-up artisanal nonsense.

Last night for dinner, we had ham, egg and chips. It was ace.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
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Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2018, 12:43:18 pm »
We used to eat Fray Bentos pies a lot. But, and this is an awful tale of childhood deprivation so reach from your tiny violins now (my memoirs are headed direct to the WH Smith misery porn shelf), we shared a pie between the four of us (which meant my dad got half, we got the rest, fortunately my mother never really ate food, she mostly survives on tea and cigarettes). That wasn't nearly enough pie. Anyway, I used to love the crispy top that you could pull off to expose the soggy, yet strangely tasty and contrasting, hammock of pastry underneath. My adult pie experience (oh, if I had a porn-theme park†, and trust me, I'm planning it) was just a bit disappointing and it turned out that I really didn't want an entire pie and that damp undercarriage of pastry was just that. Part of the nostalgia was that very whiff of portion deprivation. I expected a lot more from an entire pie. I think that's something every adult has to face. The disappointment of pies*.

Corned beef. I don't actually know what it is, but that was amazing. I mean, you needed a key and opening ceremony to get at it. You'd shake the can until it popped out, entire and solid, with a hefty, meaty counter-rattling thunk onto the plate. In another tale of adult culinary debauchment I tried to eat an whole one too (on bread, I'm not a bloody libertine). There is, it seems, a threshold for corned beef.

In my next episode, meat paste.

*apart from the people of Wigan, of course. But then if you're from Wigan, your threshold is a lot lower.

†Throblands? DildoWorld?
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Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2018, 01:55:21 pm »
Corned beef is the work of Stan.  Truly hateful stuff.  Reminds me of prep school dinners.  :hand:

One of my colleagues (a guy in his early 30s, no less), has it in the sandwiches that we get daily from the sarnie shop (a perk of working for a profligate generous employer).

Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2018, 02:00:52 pm »
Corned beef is smashing. Makes great sarnies with salad cream.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2018, 02:12:22 pm »
Corned beef is smashing. Makes great sarnies with salad cream.

This is the most correct thing said on the internet today. Possibly ever.

Anyway, meat paste. My gran used to bring it hope in a pot from the butchers. It was lovely. I think they just blitzed all the bits of a cow they couldn't sell into a suitable mush. You could get it from Princes or curiously stuttery M-m-mmmatterson's but it wasn't the same as the butcher version as that included real cow parts. The pot of beef dripping on the other hand, barf-a-rama.

A curious fact, no one in Britain ever put veg on a sandwich until 1983.

Nowadays it's all fancy artisanal patés and terrines that send people scurrying for their sourdough.
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Mr Larrington

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Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2018, 02:15:49 pm »
The Crispy Pancakes of my youth were molished by Findus.  They probably contained minced horse.  Hear that?  That's the sound of me not caring.

Corned beef is teh aces, especially in a hash.  Nom.  Tinned ham, however, is the Jbex of Stan, coated with horrible gloop.  No, no, a thousand times no!  But you've never lived until you've eaten the sausage, tinned, HM Armed Forces for the feeding of.  Half a dozen or so in a can, the rest of which being filled with Lard, to stop the sausages from rattling and giving away your position to the Enemy.  They made horriblemarket own-brand bargain basement bangers seem like artisanal organic hand-crafted poncery in sausage form :sick:
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citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2018, 02:33:58 pm »
Corned beef is great. Especially in fritter form - another childhood favourite I've not had for years.

Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2018, 02:34:21 pm »
I've just trawled this website, not so much in the interests of nostalgia, but more because I'm sure they used to do small jars of something identified only as 'Sandwich spread'.
Nothing more specific than that.
Genius. The contents of that could change from week to week, depending entirely on whatever was left over in the purée factory.
No contravention of description of goods ever took place.
I don't think I ever ate any.
Anyone else remember it?
It may've been from someone other than Princes.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2018, 02:44:51 pm »
I've just trawled this website, not so much in the interests of nostalgia, but more because I'm sure they used to do small jars of something identified only as 'Sandwich spread'.
...
It may've been from someone other than Princes.

Sandwich spread was made by Heinz. And was totally awesome. Despite looking and smelling like vomit. It's a lot like Russian salad but made with salad cream rather than mayonnaise.

Other favourite sandwich fillings of my youth:
Shippams crab paste
Primula cheese and ham spread (often squirted straight from the tube into the mouth, bypassing the bread altogether)

Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2018, 02:49:06 pm »
Boggle!
:jurek:
Heinz sandwich spread is still a thing.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2018, 02:52:17 pm »
 :thumbsup:

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
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Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2018, 02:53:21 pm »
The best thing about meat paste was that it was just 'meat.' Like those slightly dodgy curry house blackholes that suck in drunks with the promise of 'meat vindaloo.' No further definition was given. Pretty much anything with a spine qualified but slap it on white bread slathered with half a pound of butter and it was the unctuous ambrosia of my childhood.

Reminds me, it's on p137 of my memoirs, but the day I discovered that tongue really was tongue. That was disturbing.
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citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2018, 03:10:09 pm »
Like those slightly dodgy curry house blackholes that suck in drunks with the promise of 'meat vindaloo.'

'Meat' on an Indian menu usually means lamb (or goat). It's not obfuscation or deliberate vagueness about what you're eating, more a cultural thing, since they don't eat much beef or pork in most parts of India. And chicken isn't regarded as meat.

Vindaloo, however, has its origins in Goa where they do eat pork, and indeed is most authentically made with pork.

spesh

  • Indictments we bring to Trump and his kin...
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2018, 03:48:06 pm »
Like those slightly dodgy curry house blackholes that suck in drunks with the promise of 'meat vindaloo.'

'Meat' on an Indian menu usually means lamb (or goat). It's not obfuscation or deliberate vagueness about what you're eating, more a cultural thing, since they don't eat much beef or pork in most parts of India. And chicken isn't regarded as meat.

Vindaloo, however, has its origins in Goa where they do eat pork, and indeed is most authentically made with pork.

Strictly speaking, the original version of the dish comes from Portugal. Colonists introduced a dish called vinha d'alhos (pork marinated in wine vinegar and garlic (alho) to Goa in 1496. The locals found it a bit bland, so they upped the garlic quotient and added spices, especially chilli.

The current form of vindaloo comes courtesy of the Punjabi restaurateurs in the early evolution of the British curry house, who looked to southern India for naming the hotter dishes that punters were demanding. They settled on "vindaloo" as being the intermediate-strength curry between Madras and Phall (neither of which exist in India). Of course, pork and and wine were right out on religious grounds, and potatoes were put in because of a mistranslation, aloo being "potato" in many Indian languages.
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Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #41 on: January 05, 2018, 03:56:00 pm »
'Sandwich spread' in Oz was a kind of mystery meat pink paste. I loved it as a kid. Preferably with cucumber. I was a weird kid; did I mention I also liked raw potato?
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citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #42 on: January 05, 2018, 04:57:10 pm »
Strictly speaking...

Well, yes, it's a general truism that dishes on the average British curry house menu bear very little resemblance to authentic Indian cookery. And as for Vesta curry...

In our house, curry was a Saturday dinner tradition - my dad would spend all afternoon in the kitchen knocking up some fantastic dishes from Madhur Jaffrey's recipes. Again, very anglicised versions of Indian dishes but fantastic none the less.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
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Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #43 on: January 05, 2018, 05:12:50 pm »
Like those slightly dodgy curry house blackholes that suck in drunks with the promise of 'meat vindaloo.'

'Meat' on an Indian menu usually means lamb (or goat). It's not obfuscation or deliberate vagueness about what you're eating, more a cultural thing, since they don't eat much beef or pork in most parts of India. And chicken isn't regarded as meat.

Vindaloo, however, has its origins in Goa where they do eat pork, and indeed is most authentically made with pork.

Indeed though I suspect in the case of some of the curry houses I've ventured into, the 'chef' might simply have been unsure once he'd verified that he had all his fingers still attached.
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fboab

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Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2018, 05:25:28 pm »
Primula cheese and ham spread (often squirted straight from the tube into the mouth, bypassing the bread altogether)

Keto-snack of choice

 :-[
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spesh

  • Indictments we bring to Trump and his kin...
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2018, 05:38:55 pm »
Strictly speaking...

Well, yes, it's a general truism that dishes on the average British curry house menu bear very little resemblance to authentic Indian cookery. And as for Vesta curry...

In our house, curry was a Saturday dinner tradition - my dad would spend all afternoon in the kitchen knocking up some fantastic dishes from Madhur Jaffrey's recipes. Again, very anglicised versions of Indian dishes but fantastic none the less.

As ani fule kno, the only Vesta meal worth cooking was the Chow Mein with the crispy noodles.  :demon:
This is not The Greatest Sig Line in the World, no.
This is just a tribute.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2018, 06:13:40 pm »
Primula cheese and ham spread (often squirted straight from the tube into the mouth, bypassing the bread altogether)

Keto-snack of choice

 :-[

It's the only way humans have discovered to eat celery*. You simply fill its entire concave length with the maximum amount of Primula cheese and ham spread.

*I actually am the person who likes celery†, cheesed or not

†overshare no.2 this week
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nicknack

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Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2018, 07:26:32 pm »
Have we had brawn yet? My mum used to make it. Take one pig's head, etc.
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Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2018, 07:55:51 pm »
From the 1953 edition of the Farmers' Weekly cookbook.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: At least British food isn't as rubbish as it used to be
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2018, 08:12:13 pm »
My first ever website was the 'Animal Head Cookbook.' True fact. Probably early nineties. Well, why restrict myself to writing online erotica, I'm a veritable polymath. My google-fu isn't good enough to find if it's been archived (hosted by demon, mid-nineties). Which is a shame, because I think I had l33t HTML skills. There's nothing you can't do with frames and blink tags. That's how I first raised Finestre, the Demon of Such Things. I think we've all had one of those nocturnal accidents on the internet.

Anyway, it was based a cookbook I found which was full of recipes like the one above. I always wanted to boil a pig's head for an entire day but never found the opportunity. Head cheese, brawn, and a frankly astounding and terrifying anglicised version of mannish water. I confess I never tried any of the recipes. Mind you, I never tried much of the erotica either. Anatomically unfeasible said she.
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