Err, no, Jay, just no

As a restaurant critic, my body is not entirely my own; I sacrifice it weekly in the service of your reading pleasure. And then, through either self-denial or ugly straining in the gym, I declare war on the calories I have just eaten in the restaurants I have just visited so you wouldn’t have to. But what can I do? I am cursed with the sluggish metabolism of a Mitteleuropean peasant designed, by natural selection, to get through a harsh winter on the Russian steppe. It just happens that this peasant has been misplaced to metropolitan London where the only hunger gap I will ever encounter is the one between breakfast and lunch. Such is my privileged life.

Mitteleuropean does not mean the steppe. Before, about and around, the 1880s, the steppe meant nomad still. The Mitteleurope, as the name suggests, means the next bit over, the middle. Which is where the agricultural peasants were.

16 comments on “Err, no, Jay, just no

  1. Without a full bio and family tree it’s hard to tell, but his profile photo more closely resembles Mongol hordes than Czech farmers.

  2. Hmm, yes, the pendant could swing both ways on this. He could be (descended from) a Steppe nomad who settled in middle Europe. As the sun is shining, at last, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

  3. “Perhaps I was finishing off season two of Game of Thrones.”

    – this must be there for seo purposes only.

  4. “Mitteleurope” – the clue is in the name for those with an education level superior to the Guardian.

  5. “He could be (descended from) a Steppe nomad who settled in middle Europe.” Ancient DNA suggests that all we Europeans are descended in large part from steppe nomads, more so in the north than the south. They may have been the slaughterous charmers who brought the Indo-European tongues to Yurp. Nature red in tooth and claw.

  6. I went to a wedding in Zagreb. Asked a chap what were the lights on the hill far away.
    “Ah, here we are in Mitteleuropa. Over there is the Balkans.”

  7. Are the photos the portion sizes? How would you get to be a fat f***er on that?
    120 quid for two?
    Thank heavens London’s only a distant & painful memory.

  8. I alwys thought of Mitteleuropa as being a slice roughly from the longitudes of Prague to Belgrade. The sort of area where The Prisoner of Zenda would take place.

  9. He’s talking “I’m a victim” bollocks.

    My parents owned a hotel with À la carte menu only restaurant.

    We all had access to unlimited delicious food. None of us were fat. Chefs & other staff weren’t fat either – except one female who was fat, not obese.

  10. Pcar.
    “He’s talking “I’m a victim” bollocks.” No don’t think so, didn’t read like that to me. More of a tongue in cheek i suffer for my art kind of piece. Jay’s just sprinkled a little personal pepper on to a familiar rationale behind growing waistlines.
    Jay talked some high grade bollocks about food security on his blog but to be fair this is more of his bread and butter and it’s ok.

  11. “Because they brought the horse & outcompeted those without them?” Could be. If you graze your horses and cattle on the cultivator’s crops you leave him facing starvation.

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