Saturday, 7 June 2003

Foods to relish and regret

Why has it taken a (smallish) handful of decades to understand my stomach's true happiness? I'm not talking guilt here - the chocolate cake that tastes amazing but has equivalent energy for a full day's intake, if delicious in every way and has you curled up with a contented smirk is fine by me and my insides. But what about those instantly lipsmackingly gratifying things that mean regret in two hours time or are still lingeringly present the next morning in the form of lethargy, less than happy breath and the sense that today, you will be leading not with your head but with your stomach? Consciously knowing that your stomach is there (no matter how sizeable it may be) is a bit like sensing your feet all day - you only do that when they hurt. So what is in my relish column and what should be relegated to the regret side of the balance sheet?

Relish - lovely stuff

  • raspberries, lychees, mangos, bananas, lemons, limes, pears...... apple crumble, fruit tarts. Plus dollops of extra thick cream
  • fine plain chocolate
  • home-baked bread, croissants, real bagels
  • unsalted butter
  • lobster, langoustine, scallops, mega prawns, salmon (smoked, raw, grilled), tuna, squid, octopus, haddock (why is it so difficult to get this stuff where I live?)
  • Free range poultry
  • lettuces: butterhead, lambs tongue, salad bowl, romaine, webbs chinese leaves, iceberg
  • brussels sprouts - I can't be alone in this! Cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus,french beans, peas, mange touts, swiss chard, red cabbage. And roasted: parsnips, red peppers, beetroot, carrots
  • baked beans
  • duck eggs
  • lamb, pork, beef, - home reared or know the owner!
  • anything you could proudly call cheese from the cow, goat, ewe or buffalo
  • pasta - fresh, dried or spaghetti hoops
  • apricot jam
  • cashews, almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, pistachios
Regret (some I hate, some I just regret)
  • grapefruit, oranges, sharon fruit. Eccles cakes, mince pies and garibaldi biscuits. Single cream - what's the point?
  • Cadbury's Bourneville
  • do you remember Dinkum white sliced? Was it just a childhood nightmare? Was it really called Dinkum? And where have all the great bagels gone?
  • that Anchor stuff
  • fish and chips - in fact, most (all?) takeaways, kippers, herrings, roll mops
  • the other stuff (battery hens....)
  • spinach, curly kale, winter greens, green peppers, excess onions (wonderful french onion soup is now in the regret list), garlic
  • bakewell tart
  • goose eggs
  • too much lamb, pork or beef, whatever the source
  • fruit sauce topped cheese-cake
  • Heinz macaroni cheese
  • marmalade, mincemeat
  • dry roasted anything

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