Quite so, quite so

Rarely did these tactics work, so when a new “authentic” curry house arrived, it dominated the family WhatsApp. I collected the next order and joked with the owner about the cursed vindaloo. “But vindaloo is authentic,” he said, adding that I probably wouldn’t know anyone who cooked vindaloo because it’s from Goa. As Goa was colonised by the Portuguese, there aren’t many Goans in Britain. “In the UK, it’s usually Bangladeshi chefs cooking it, adding their flair. But vindaloo in Goa is technically a spin-off of a Portuguese dish anyway.”

Not so much of a dish particularly, but of an ingredient. Vin d’alho. Wine and garlic sauce/paste/condiment thingie. It is used to create a dish, a pork stew type of thing. The leap to vindaloo being to add the chili peppers (or more perhaps) and to substitute vinegar for the wine.

The Vin d’alho being on every supermarket shelf here, the pork stew thing being Northern and the vindaloo surprisingly difficult to find. Despite what Indian restaurants there are here generally being run by Goans, not the Bangladeshis and Gujeratis more common in the UK.


The new food brand coming soon to a chiller cabinet near you.

Each and every portion guaranteed to be larger, fatter, saltier, tastier than Public Health England allows.

The tagline for the new business adventure being planned by this blog.

These people are insane

The number of calories found in pizzas, chips, crisps and other unhealthy foods beloved by Britons must be cut dramatically to help the fight against obesity, the government has declared.

Cafes, fast food takeaways and restaurants have been told to reduce the calorific content of the goods they sell by 20% by 2024, given their key role in fuelling the obesity epidemic.

Public Health England has unveiled a series of targets for calorie reduction that it expects both supermarkets and out of home food outlets to deliver within four years. It is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to persuade the food industry to reformulate its products by including less fat, salt and sugar to help people live more healthily.

Just jaw gapingly mad.

And I thought we’d just fired them all?

I see what you’re doing Farmer Reebanks

James Reebanks. Famed author. Farmer of sheep on the tree denuded hillsides of the Lake District. Environmentalist:

Livestock, if well managed, repair soil, trample or eat crop residues and waste, provide fertiliser and control weeds. It means our uplands becoming patchworks of native habitats – meadows and pastures, woodland and bogs – and our lowlands working as rotational mosaics of fields.

Funny that, isn’t it? How his environmental prescription involves farming sheep on the tree denuded hillsides of the Lake District.

Presumably they should wash it in chlorine

Unclean greens: how America’s E coli outbreaks in salads are linked to cows
Infections linked to leafy greens have hospitalised 200 Americans since 2018. The finger of blame now points to cattle

That’s what we Europeans do.

BTW, if you can’t use cow crap on crops then organic farming has some problems…..


Winston Churchill blamed the Bengal famine of 1943, that he helped to cause through the mass export of India’s rice, on the Indians “breeding like rabbits”.

I’ve heard many explanations of the Bengal famine but the export of rice? That’s a new one.
Sure, there was export of rice from “India” but not in the sort of quantity that would make a difference. And “India” is a big place…..

Isn’t this disgusting cultural appropriation?

Adjonyoh agrees: “The secret is in how much love and attention you give the sauce.” That’s what flavours the dish, after all. She blends tomatoes, onion, scotch bonnet, tomato puree, dried chilli and salt, and makes a spice mix of ground ginger and coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked crayfish powder, smoked prawn powder, dawadawa (fermented locust bean), nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, salt and, sometimes, brown sugar.

It’s a long list, yes, but, as Adjonyoh explains, “in Ghana, jollof is more aromatic”. Add a tablespoon of the spice mix to caramelised onions, along with chilli powder, madras hot curry powder, fresh ginger and garlic, then the tomatoes and good chicken stock, and cook until it “doesn’t taste of tomato any more, but just the spices”.

Chili being from the Americas, Madras has an obvious source, tomatoes are from the Americas again, chicken from SE Asia.

Cultural appropriation. But apparently it’s a bad thing……

This could be difficult

The regional director for Agriculture and Fisheries in the Algarve, Pedro Monteiro, also told Lusa that “the reality of the pandemic helped” the Algarve’s citrus industry, but more so the big producers, because the small ones “sell essentially to the Horeca channel [acronym for hospitality, restaurants and cafes] and in street markets”, which “were closed” during the pandemic, creating “difficulties” in selling their produce.
In order to avoid more severe problems in the future, the authorities encourage “the emergence of new outlets” and “called for proximity consumption, short chains and direct contact between producers and consumers”, but this solution “does not solve all the problems”, he considered.

Indeed this doesn’t solve all the problems as proximity consumption, short chains and direct contact means exactly that Horeca channel, doesn’t it?

BTW, anyone coming to Portugal this summer keep an eye open in the supermarkets for Algarve OJ. Compal, one of the brands, certainly does it. I’m told that the oranges here are the old Moorish ones, rather than more modern cultivars. The juice is certainly nice and sharp.

Vegetarianism drives you nuts

Vegetarians are more likely to be depressed than meat eaters, a new study has suggested.

OK, fair enough, the contemplation of a life without bacon would indeed depress.

The study itself tries to defend against this idea:

Those with mental health conditions may adopt a plant-based diet due to the perception that it is healthier

That is, the defence against the idea that veggie-dom makes you nuts is that those going nuts embrace veggie-dom.

Sure, causality matters but it’s still, whichever way, a useful social marker for the rest of us, isn’t it?


The post-meat age will be a healthier one. Between farming, ranching and feed crops, the livestock industry gobbles up 40% of the world’s habitable surface.

Pretty much all land is “habitable” – even parts of Wales.

They mean something like 40% of all arable, or all farmable, summat like that. Which is a very different thing indeed.

Fair enough really

“I always defend British food and I think it’s not as well known as it should be,” he told the Guardian.

“You’ve got wonderful things, such as pies – chicken and leek pie, for instance, is a marvellous thing – which are lovely because they’re sort of ancient foods; a bit like Henry VIII’s tupperware. And besides, a pie is always something special. Then you have the roasts. You just can’t argue with roast beef.”

But, as with his heretical stance on Marmite, there are some things he fears he will never get his head or mouth around.

“To be honest, I don’t think anyone from the continent ever gets used to rhubarb,” he admits.

Just a little note

The growing popularity of guinea pig meat in high-end restaurants in Peru is helping to create an environmentally friendly industry led by women.

Top chefs in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia have brought traditional cuy meat back on to the national menu with roasted, curried and even sweetened versions.

Squeamishness about eating cuy chactado, a traditional deep-fried dish, is changing – as much among foreign visitors as sectors of Peruvian society where the aesthetics of eating a rodent were previously regarded as problematic.

Well, not so aesthetically problematic.

Just off Cuzco’s main square (location from memory) is a convent, in which is a painting of the Last Supper. Jebus and the lads all enjoying their cuy.

Quite possibly so, yes

Got to make the stuff taste of something, no?

Four out of five “healthy sounding” plant-based meals served by major UK restaurant chains would attract a red traffic light label for their high levels of salt, according to research that claims many dishes are hidden under a “vegan health halo”.

Action on Salt found that three out of five plant-based restaurant meals surveyed contained 3g or more of salt, half of an adult’s maximum daily recommended intake. Nineteen meals contained 6g or more.

The survey, believed to be the largest of its kind in the burgeoning vegan sector, analysed 290 curries, pizzas and other dishes offered at 45 restaurant, takeaway, fast food and coffee chains in the UK.

Animal fats rather do that, impart some flavour. In their absence something else is added.


Such a surprise

Like 130,000 or so other Britons this year, Brian Buller, 37, has gone vegan this January. His motivation to sign up for the so-called Veganuary was the supposed health benefit of a meat and dairy-free lifestyle. However, more striking that any pounds being shed on the scales has been the pounds being taken from his wallet.

“My usual bi-weekly food shop would’ve cost me around £45,” Mr Buller a student at the University of Manchester, said. “My latest shop was just over £64 and didn’t include that much fresh produce, either.”

You might even think that animal products were a cheap source of protein and fats.

A very clever piece of reasoning


Umm… Nowadays cornflakes *shouldn’t* react to magnets, “fortified” or not.
Anything sufficient to react to a magnet would (should) not pass the detection gates they use in production to prevent stuff like that getting out of the factory.
Something about (micro)swarf + intestines = Bad PR..

One of the multitudinous things I did not know

From Hallowed Be in the comments:

admittedly not equally interesting but because of the iron fortification they add to cereals you can float a cornflake on bowl of water and twirl it around with a magnet.

Anyone want to try testing this? My lack of cornflakes in the house makes it difficult.