Sometimes a food wave can sneak up on you like a gentle north coast Cornish rip tide, pulling you under despite the warning signs. And here it is, the newest oldest food fad set to hit the palates of the nation: historic retro. Think retro, then go back a few centuries so that your culinary direction is set by the stars of the 17th, 18th, even as far back as the 14th century. continue reading
This little bunny hops and jumps and stumbles on the latest food trends.
I’d rather wait for Clint Eastwood to ride into the distance after nailing a few bad cowboys than for all the dust to settle this week from the ‘foodstorm’ fallouts. At least you know where you are: dead or alive. As it stands, this little bunny has no idea what to eat right now (well actually, that is a lie, dandelions are out and they are tenderest at this time of year) but back to the media: do you a) eat red meat and risk bowel cancer? b) stop buying local because it’s apparently all a con? c) mourn the passing of the faggot because the word has another meaning d) don’t buy organic because it’s not necessarily better for you but organic milk is? e) start drinking ‘gourmet’ tea because the coffee revolution is over? f) buy a Cornish pasty with a top crimp even if it’s illegal? I could go on, but this crazy hopping and jumping all over the place is not getting any of us anywhere. I want to buy and eat food which is good for me and good for the producer. Simple? You’d have thought so.
I’m with Rose Prince on this: it is all an attempt to avoid the bigger food issues – environmental, waste, and supply. The more we are embroiled in the detail, the smaller the bigger picture becomes. Conspiracy theories aside, my own reaction has been to immerse myself in the ‘real’ issues of food. After seeing Tristram Stuart, author of Waste, speak down at The Poly in Falmouth, I have bought the book, am thinking about the T-shirt and dabbling in the idea of freeganism. His is an intelligent, moral standpoint on the absurd waste of food that we are all implicated in somehow, be it directly or indirectly. I am the world’s best at recycling bones, cold meat, limp veg and sad fruit and gain huge satisfaction from doing so. But I don’t think it’s enough anymore. We need to change not only our eating habits but the habits of those supplying us.
Offal Isn’t Awful is one of the chapters in the book. Having partaken in my own personal offal quest around Sicily a few moons ago, from lungs in a bun to intestines twiddled round a spring onion, a lot of other countries eat meat more intelligently than we do, showing more respect to the animal as a consequence. I am about to begin a Cornish offal quest that kicks off with pig’s brawn. It’s down to my local butcher’s to order up that all important pig’s head. Squeamish and a meat-eater? P-lease, join the veggies and murder some carrots. This column is for real meat eaters who care, watch this space for how to prepare and eat brawn and by doing so you will be side-stepping the superfice of food fads and entering into the arena of intelligent eating.
Saffronbunny ‘uncrimps’ the EC PGI for the Cornish pasty
To blog about food, from Cornwall, and ignore the great pasty debate would be like trying to tell Hamlet to hurry up or convince Heathcliff that Cathy’s dead: it just ‘ain’t gonna happen. We all know the protagonists: potato, onion, turnip and beef, chunks or mince, gathered together in a D-shaped pastry case with a crimp on the side (sounds like a prop out of a Berlusconi saga) and Made In Cornwall. The fairytale, high-velouting jus of Michelin-starred establishments it is not, but the effect of bringing the Cornish pasty home will indeed have ‘Cinderella’ implications for Cornwall: protecting jobs and income. continue reading
… and speculates on the new foodie trends for 2011.
2010 was cupcakes, all sugar and no substance (a marketing dream) and the year in which a swede was not a swede but a turnip when in a Cornish pasty and all across the country (yet to reach Cornwall) secret supper clubs were springing up in people’s homes. So what delectable trends will be amusing our bouches in 2011?
Apparently Homer’s favourite snack will go posh, yes gourmet doughnuts will replace vacuous cupcakes, veg growing will be a vertical affair in the cities, cherry juice is the new pomegranate and foraging is now a double Michelin starred activity, thanks to best restaurant 2010, Noma.
I’m also pinning my pinny to the resurrection of the medlar and the quince, fabulous forgotten fruits. Top foodie moments for me in 2010? Discovering Hope’s divine hip ruining pecan and cinnamon buns down on The Lizard (www.hopesbread.co.uk), Nigel Slater hiding in his garden eating homemade jelly on the telly and Cornish Blue getting big cheese at the World Cheese Awards.
What can we expect not to change in 2011? Expect the consumer conscience-wringing of what to buy and where to source it to continue (cue: four celebrity chefs in a sardine tin), supermarket food labeling to remain an esoteric art and for the Cornish food revolution to continue. So get out there and find tonight’s dinner in the hedge while eating a doughnut without licking your lips and you’ll be bang on trend for 2011.