Worcester sauce

Phew. Worcestershire sauce is fine. Luckily, it seems to have escaped the whole furore about the Sudan 1 dye, which for those of you who don't know, is a red dye most commonly used in shoe and floor polish. Somehow, it's ended up in a batch of chilli powder, which was used by a company called Premier Foods to make a batch of Worcester sauce. That sauce was, in turn, used in all sorts of ready meals and convenience foods, for all the major supermarkets and manufacturers. It's carcinogenic in rats, so as a precaution thousands of products are being recalled and removed from the shelves. If ever there was a story to encourage people to make their own food from their own raw ingredients, that's the one.

As you may imagine, it's all over the newspapers, in various forms. The Guardian has an interesting article on how so many ready meals have been affected, because different supermarket brands all come from the same supplier. The Daily Mail points out that it's spread to school meals, and the Times that it's spread to some NHS wards. It all just goes to show how little cooking takes place anywhere these days - it's all reheated gloop which has been mass-processed in factories. And they wonder why, with people full of E-numbers, sugars, salts, additives and shoe polish dyes that the health of the population is going downhill.

Rant over. Back to my cheese on toast with Worcestershire sauce...


Chips chips chips chips

If you fancy a few chips, get yourselves down to Plymouth, where a mad fish fryer, inspired by Ellen MacArthur, is going to attempt to make the world's biggest bag of chips. But if it's going to take 12 hours to cook them all, doesn't that mean that the first ones will be pretty soggy by that point? And there's nothing worse than greasy stone cold chips, that's for sure. Not even tomato ketchup will cover that one up.


Long time no see

Well, you know how it is. One thing leads to another, and then you realise that you haven't updated the blog for a couple of weeks at least. It's been nice to have a break actually from the tyranny of thinking up food-related things. Not that I don't like posting. It's just that some days come easier than others.

Speaking of things that you haven't seen for a long time, I discovered one of the massive Channel 4 billboard posters for Green Wing on a streetcorner in Newcastle (for those of you who are interested, on the corner of the Haymarket and Leazes Arcade). I thought all those had vanished long ago. I keep meaning to go and take a photo and post it, but by the time I get round to doing so, it'll have disappeared, knowing my luck.

Anyway, here's today's food-related news:

  • A cheese firm in Yorkshire wants to keep making feta. The EU seems to think it should relocate to Greece. I suspect the weather's rather better there than it is in Thirsk.

I was also going to direct you to the rather wonderful website of California Tomatoes, but they seem to be in the middle of a redesign. Shame. It's not often you get to see an entire site just devoted to one vegetable.


Doesn't time fly...

February. How the hell did it get to be February without me noticing? Next thing you know people will be telling me it's May and time to take off your vest. Or that Halloween is just round the corner or something. But yes, where is the year going to? Either the New Year hangover has lasted a very long time, or I've been missing something.

I suppose the good thing about February (apart from the mad delusional day that is Valentine's day) is that it'll be pancake day soon. Yay. Time to get out the Jif lemon and brown sugar, and get flipping. Although my pancakes will never be as good as the crepes we had in Paris one February, spread with chocolate sauce (ok, Nutella) and munched as we walked down the Champs Elysees. It's a bit hard to recreate that in Newcastle...