Author Topic: food lore  (Read 3507 times)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
food lore
« on: January 16, 2019, 09:59:41 am »
As Jaded mentioned Vesta curries, I feel a topic is needed to discuss the awesome foods of our childhood and wallow in nostalgia like a rasher of bacon in a gallon of HP.

Vesta was the first exotic food I ever ate. I just learned it was invented in 1961. Anyway 'ate' was a lie, because my mum made me throw it in the bin because it smelled funny.
!nataS pihsroW

Jaded

  • The Codfather
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Re: food lore
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 10:09:21 am »
Vesta curries.

Boiling water turned a pile of vermiculite insulation and some dried string into an irresistible culinary delight.

Marvellous!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: food lore
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 10:11:57 am »
Can you still buy them? They were like a proto-pot noodle. If I recall, there was a Vesta Chow Mein too. Hmm, the smell of exotic textured soya protein.

I'll also raise Bean Feast, my first foray into vegetarianism was literally propelled by these.
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Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: food lore
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 10:17:32 am »
Angel Delight.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Torslanda

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Re: food lore
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 10:20:13 am »
Last seen (and purchased) in Tesco. Beef curry, chow mein and paella. There used to be a chicken curry but that's disappeared.

In the late 60s/early 70s Batchelor's sold a 'casserole' too. Beef or chicken, reconstituted with water and heated in a pan. I remember these as delicious - certainly tastier than school dinners - but that was probably all the salt/sugar/MSG. There were dumplings.

Homourable mention for their packet soups. Minestrone was so exotic...
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: food lore
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 10:22:20 am »
Creamola Foam

You could eat it out of the tin for added fun and a coloured tongue.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: food lore
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 10:36:59 am »
Angel Delight.

Only butterscotch though.

I once spent an entire summer digging through several hundred tonnes of industrial-grade Angel Delight. Fact.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: food lore
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 10:40:16 am »
Tinned Heinz Salad. My parents refused all other salads( as they grew up in on farms in China/HK where everything was fertilised with nightsoil [human poo, wee and ash], all veg had be thoroughly washed and cooked).  Coming to this country they were disgusted by the prospect of raw salad leaves, but they discovered Heinz salad, which met their approval. So growing up we'd occasionally open a tin of salad to go with our rice. I miss it immensely.

Re: food lore
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2019, 10:49:44 am »
Can you still get those "steak" pies in a tin?  I am not sure that it was actually steak, or even beef but as a poor student they tasted pretty good.  Were they made by Fray Bentos?

Re: food lore
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2019, 10:51:33 am »
I still would love to remember what it was I used to eat in my school days oop north. It was sold as dessert thingy, but what did they know? You took a pint of milk and tipped in this can of chemicals and mummified fruit like peaches, within minutes it had turned into something like fruit and custard.

Mr Larrington

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Re: food lore
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2019, 10:54:13 am »
Can you still get those "steak" pies in a tin?  I am not sure that it was actually steak, or even beef but as a poor student they tasted pretty good.  Were they made by Fray Bentos?

Fray Bentos tinned pies, you'll be pleased to know, are not yet extinct.  They are now owned by quasi-posh SOUP merchants Baxters.
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ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: food lore
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2019, 10:57:01 am »
Can you still get those "steak" pies in a tin?  I am not sure that it was actually steak, or even beef but as a poor student they tasted pretty good.  Were they made by Fray Bentos?

Yes, I think they are still available, utterly awesome. We used to get large steak and kidney ones. The disappointment was that my dad took three quarters and my sister and I got the final quarter (my mother never really eats). One of the first things I did as an official grown-up was to eat an entire plate-sized Fray Bentos pie.
!nataS pihsroW

Torslanda

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Re: food lore
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2019, 11:20:16 am »
Still do. Probably explains my resemblance to a Zeppelin when I'm on the motorbike...
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: food lore
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2019, 11:26:57 am »
Angel Delight.

Only butterscotch though.

I once spent an entire summer digging through several hundred tonnes of industrial-grade Angel Delight. Fact.
Chocolate was okay but butterscotch was the best. Still is. Fact.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: food lore
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2019, 11:34:57 am »
Those tins of Heinz Salad where also a thing in the East Midlands too. We had an instinctual mistrust of vegetables that weren't tinned or required several days of soaking. I remember the occasional tomato. I presumed it had got lost.

Just to prove the entire 70s and 80s weren't entirely prepackaged or dehydrated (mmm, space food), we did have tinned salmon on very special occasions, mixed with butter. Only very special occasions though because it was by far the most expensive thing in the cupboard.

Salmon sandwiches was definitely one of my favourite foods. The other meal, and the first I learned to cook, was fish fingers, instant mash, frozen peas and packet parsley sauce. I used to come home from school and make this for myself and my sister, back in the days when it was fine to leave your kids to fend for themselves in front of a hot cooker.
!nataS pihsroW

Basil

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Re: food lore
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2019, 11:43:08 am »
As Jaded mentioned Vesta curries, I feel a topic is needed to discuss the awesome foods of our childhood and wallow in nostalgia like a rasher of bacon in a gallon of HP.

Vesta was the first exotic food I ever ate. I just learned it was invented in 1961. Anyway 'ate' was a lie, because my mum made me throw it in the bin because it smelled funny.

This is an exercise I have been indulging in recently.   Warning: The results, like that of searching out 'fantastic ' music of your youth, are generally disappointing at best.
I discovered Fray Bentos steak pie inna tin was still available recently.  I mean, how fantastic were they?
Yuck. Disgusting soggy bottom pastry.
This week I was remembering how my mum used to produce Shipham's fish paste on toast.  Searching Tescos revealed that although there didn't appear to be anything actually called 'Fish paste', Shipham's Salmon Paste was still a thing. I even bought some supermarket sliced white bread in order to experience the full joy. 
Bugger  :sick:

Oh well. On to the next thing.
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Re: food lore
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2019, 11:49:04 am »
Oooh! Good to know that Fray Bentos pies are still around.  The problem is that if I suggest to Her Indoors that she gets one I'm liable to be punched, although I must admit that I am fed a much better and tastier diet than tinned pies now.  Still, it would be good to see if they still taste the same.

Wowbagger

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Re: food lore
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2019, 11:54:51 am »
When Jan and I were first married, we quite often shared a Fray Bentos pie. We had a diminutive kitchen in our flat so proper cooking was a major challenge. We would pressure cook a few veg, bake a pie in its tin, and eat it on the balcony overlooking the Thames estuary. That was the summer of '76. We could probably have not bothered to cook it but just leave it in the sun for a few minutes.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: food lore
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2019, 11:56:11 am »
Mmm, fish paste. Also meat paste. My gran used to get the latter from the butcher in a big pot. I never thought to question what the meat in question was and I suspect the answer would have had to await the invention of modern DNA fingerprinting techniques. I had the same problem with tongue which my child-mind never quite realised was literally just that until I saw an actual ox tongue lolling on a tray in the butcher's window one day.

For the proper preparation of Fray Bentos pies, if you didn't like the soggy bottom (I confess, the soggy hinterland between the filling and the crispy top was a place my taste buds romped), part way through you lever off the pastry top and cook it to one side.

Most hated meal of my childhood: liver. Utterly disgusted, cooked to death, and full of elastic bands that would whip the eyes from the unsuspecting. Every mouthful took about ten minutes to chew and even the dog wouldn't touch it (and he would eat his own poo).
!nataS pihsroW

Re: food lore
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2019, 12:13:39 pm »
Oooh.. Fray Bentos pies. A big treat for my dog when I was a teenager was to cook and eat a Fray Bentos pie.
the dog got the pie tin at the end - I left him pleny of scrapings of course.
Yeah, I do know there was a sharp edge but he never seemed to notice!

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: food lore
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2019, 12:21:29 pm »
I'm pretty sure my first pay packet from the Co-op was spent on a Fray Bentos pie just for me (they did a smaller size, but that would basically be tinned disappointment).

As my wife is out-of-town, who knows would culinary nostalgia this weekend will bring... some men would take this opportunity to have sex with the au pair, on the other hand, I take the opportunity to snarf down meat pies while watching Canadian women eat Scampi Fries.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: food lore
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2019, 12:25:57 pm »
I'm old enough to remember the days of Resale Price Maintenance, a period when people shopped at the nearest outlet. One feature was the glass-topped biscuit display tin. The biscuits were sold in paper bags, one of many factors that kept obesity at bay. There's a biscuit-tin archive at the Museum of Reading.
http://www.huntleyandpalmers.org.uk/ixbin/hixclient.exe?a=query&p=huntley&f=generic_objectrecord.htm&_IXFIRST_=1&_IXMAXHITS_=1&%3dcms_con_core_identifier=rm-rm-1998_1_89~1_580-i-00-000.tif&t=rm-rm-tins_content1&s=NEgqBZGxkr6


ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: food lore
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2019, 12:41:58 pm »
On Saturdays, because a rampaging hoard free-range kids fueled entirely by sugar is great if they're elsewhere, my mother and her sisters used to buy us (my mother had twelve siblings, so there were a lot of us cousins) huge bags of broken biscuits – and I mean huge – from the market. We'd basically then spend the afternoon running around like the Mongol hoards on an unsupervised team-building day. When Attila is away, the boys will play. Our mothers, of course, made sure they were holed up elsewhere.
!nataS pihsroW

Torslanda

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Re: food lore
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2019, 02:55:10 pm »
Possibly controversial but when I discovered the little independent kebab shops in Rochdale as a yoof, each one would make its own kebab meat and it would roast on a vertical spit for days. Burnt crunchy bits!

One came to know the different outputs and connoisseurs would compare the offerings from Milkstone Rd, Whitworth Rd and Halifax Rd. Textures, spices and cooking times. Nowadays they all buy from suppliers like DonerKing in Leeds and have a stash in the deep freeze, each one an amorphous lump of rendered, textured 'meat'. None of them have the meat in front of the flame for long enough to get the outside coloured and the sugars caramelised, when your kebab appears it has great swathes of grey stuff. They don't cut it correctly either, using a rotary slicer instead of a real carving knife.

Kebabs used to be exciting - and not in a 'food roulette' kind of way . . .

VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: food lore
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2019, 03:09:50 pm »
On the subject of kebabs but not food of childhood, there is a kebab van that parks up in central Bristol every evening, rejoices in the name of the Jason Donervan.

An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)