Food …

I did not want to start another thread, but with the arrival of autumn, a trip the farmers’ market, and an article in the Guardian, I could not resist a general thread on food: love it, hate it, or avoid it, what do you think?

At the moment for me it’s cheese; I prefer to support local cheeses, which means cheese made in Gloucestershire. However, I find I can’t resist a good Stilton; although now there is a delicious soft goats milk cheese made in a neighbouring village that is really tasty.

On the subject of milk, I’m also rather partial to ice cream and gelato; and yes there is farm down by the Severn that makes superb gelato, and it happens to be in the next village to where I prefer to buy my milk and kefir.


Food - love it or hate it? Does anyone hate it? If so, unless some medical problem causing all food to taste foul or be painful to eat, they’re clearly eating the wrong food!

I’ve no idea what the Guardian says, but I think all countries should strive their damndest to be self sufficient for staples - and if Britain isn’t then there is something seriously wrong with agriculture policy and/or commercial influence. We can’t discuss as that would become political.

Luxuries are another matter. Is cheese a luxury? To me, no and yes: I couldn’t countenance life without cheese, and the local vintage mature cheddar is great for all sorts of dishes/snacks. Other cheeses are luxuries - and some British cheeses are great in various ways (though Stilton only in white variety - I can’t stand blue cheeses). But I haven’t found a British cheese to rival Comté, Gruyére or Old Amsterdam mature Gouda, my go-to cheeseboard cheeses, nor Gran Pedano. That’s where easy international trade cones into its own.

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I thought the same when I went vegan 18 years ago. Cheese and bacon. How would I live without them?

It was difficult for a couple of months, but just the smell of dairy, meat and fish began to nauseate me. Strange but true.

And no, I’m not saying this as any sort of call for people to go vegan. That’s up to you.

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I’m Pro meat and do wonder what veganism is all about. No, I will not be experimenting! I’m an omnivore.


People with Anorexia perhaps? A mate of a mate’s daughter has been poorly for a long time and is currently in hospital. She’s been told not to walk as it will use up energy that her body needs to continue to function.

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Old age has certainly taken away most of my appetite.
In the morning I like the thought of dinner but by five o’clock in the evening enthusiasm has evaporated.
Lidl is the nearest we have to a delicatessen and not sufficient cash in the local economy to support one restaurant.
So tonight smoked salmon pan bagnat.Quick,easy and no standing up and stirring.

I love cheese, soft hard and in between. We have good cheese from different regions as well as a vast selection of imported. We’re heading into warmer months that means lots of cheese (and fruit) platters with a chilled white or a cold beer on summer evenings.

Best cheese I’ve had was (yes I know) French.


I believe that there is a Cornish dairy producing Gouda that is well thought of, but I’ve not heard of, or tasted, anything to compare with mountain cheeses such as Beaufort and Comte, let alone a Parmesan.

As for cheese being a luxury item; I tend to agree that some are priced outside what I would consider a staple. However, I note that I had to pay £22/kg for both the Stilton and Cheddar at the weekend. It wasn’t the best Stilton either, but the cheddar was Montgomery which does command a higher price than mousetrap.

Eating disorders. These are hard to understand until you know someone affected, or meet someone who specialises in their treatment. I find the balance (or is imbalance) between mental and physical causes fascinating.


So glad this topic has been brought up.
In as such - it’s not food until what is done with the raw ingredients.
Buy a kilo of raw broccoli. Then compare the cost difference per kilo to roasted broccoli in a garlic chilli marinade at the deli counter. Probably a 500% mark up.
Similarly a 16oz ribeye beef steak costing £12 from a good local butcher - then costing some £60+ flame grilled to perfection at a nice restaurant with a proper glass of red wine.
Context is everything.
Not sure I would be willing as Gordon “bloody” Ramsay tasting tribal India red ant and egg chutney.


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A friend brought me a few quince; I’ve augmented them with apples from my garden with a touch of ginger and chilli to make a jelly. The ingredients were juiced in a pressure cooker yesterday and made into jelly this morning.


Cheese, chutneys, pickles and coffees……What more does one need :grinning:


Fact or myth?
Boiling vegetables; I read somewhere (Elizabeth David or Jane Grigson?) that root vegetables should be cooked in cold water that should then be brought to the boil, whereas, podded or above ground vegetables should be cooked in boiling water.
Is there any benefit to this guidance?

Talking to a good friend who have worked in michelin resturants for many, many years and he call this not important. What is important is that all the bites are the same size.

Keep it simple.

I see this in recipies as well. For instance beuf de bourgignon. You will fint a lot of recipies on this, but I like his recipie best. It is meat, beef stock, wine and onions. Mushrooms, small onions, carrots, bacon are cooked seperately.

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It’s what we tend to do. With spuds and carrots it saves a bit of gas. With greens, which are cooked for a short time, it’s much better to put them in boiling water. But some recipes need a different approach. There is one I do where the spuds need to be cut into 1cm slices and then put in boiling water for 7 minutes, before being roasted. If brought to the boil from cold, it would be harder to get the parboil right.

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Root vegetables could benefit being brought to boil from cold to eliminate bacteria.
The soils used could contain many bacteria from rich manures.
Best carrots taste sweet because of all the pig sh!t churned into the soil.


Good carrots taste sweet because they are, even in soil that has never seen pig or other manure! What I find interesting taste-wise is the difference between the core and the cortex (xylem and phloem).

Also interesting is the difference in taste between different varieties of beetroot, notably golden vs the more common maroon.

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For some reason young people just aren’t interested in eating spam.

I’ve mounted an eat spam campaign in work, trying to educate the younger members of the team. Bought them tins of spam and spam cook books. Just not interested.


I wasn’t keen on it when I was a kid… And that was before the Monty Python sketch! Spam, spam, spam, spam…

Nowadays it seems popular fodder for random & marketing emailers!

Do yourself a favour, get hold of this cookbook. You won’t regret it.