British food heritage

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Tessa K
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British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:05 am

Discussion split from The end of cows thread
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:28 am
Grumble wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:55 am
Single origin, named farm, named breed of lamb chops could definitely be a thing. I mean it pretty much exists already, butchers here advertise Welsh salt marsh lamb sometimes.
I think the UK could do very well out of this kind of farming. There are so many niche breeds of cattle, sheep and pig that we've bred here which, since the dominance of supermarkets, have been absolutely obliterated. British food is, historically, about really good quality ingredients cooked simply. Unfortunately, supermarkets destroyed the first bit and people forgot their heritage (see, for instance, the bacon thread).

But a world in which real meat is an occasional treat, a high quality prize to be looked forward to, could be very good. If it means the survival and raised interest in British White or Gloucester cattle, for instance, then fantastic.
I thought British food historically was about cooking vegetables to a pulp and frying meat in lard. Just where I grew up, then.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Martin_B » Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:54 am

Tessa K wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:05 am
I thought British food historically was about cooking vegetables to a pulp and frying meat in lard. Just where I grew up, then.
My parents grew up in post WW2 Britain and their experience of British food wasn't far off. My mum's mum boiled everything until any enjoyment was removed from the food (and possibly most nutrients) and my mum ended up hating cooking (although she can bake very well).

My dad's mum was an adventurous cook and passed on a love of cooking to my dad, but even so he tends to over-cook most food; there are many foods I thought I didn't like until I learned how to cook for myself. I never thought I liked fish until I came to Australia and learned what fresh fish cooked properly is supposed to taste like.

I'd have no problem with lab-grown meat, but wonder what would lab-grown fish be like? Would this be easier to replicate (fish flesh tends to be more homogenous) or more difficult (trying to replicate the flakiness of fish flesh)?
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:16 pm

nezumi wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:09 pm
I love eating vegetarian, but you would have to pry cheese and yoghurt, eggs etc out of my cold dead hands. I'm not mad about meat, I only enjoy chicken and steak really - I just put up with the rest and frankly the smell of bacon turns my stomach. I only eat meat on account of my husband who was a vegetarian for 20 years and is now a meat addict. I think we could easily cut down the amount we eat but it would be difficult to replace the protein. We both like quorn, but impossible burgers are vile and tofu is nearly impossible to cook right.

I think that, as vegetarian options grow in variety and increase in ease of use, a lot of people will naturally look at these cheaper options, particularly if we as a nation start to really care about meat production standards. There has been such a lot of progress in these areas in the last 20 years that I think it's a trend that will continue. I want meat prices to rise so that the animals are better looked after so I can always be confident I'm buying good food. I am happy to pay more for meat, but I will, by necessity have to reduce the amount I eat. I'll probably moan, like everybody else, but also start looking for ways to not have to buy and eat meat.

The real dream is that, all that land not needed for meat production can be used for vegetables. Different ones, not just the obvious stuff, I want heritage foods back. I want different varieties of caulis and carrots and so on. To me food production is another facet of bringing biodiversity back to Britain. I have no knowledge of the industry or the conservation movement so I don't know how much this would affect the food supply.
More variety would definitely be better but 'heritage' varieties aren't always as good as we might expect, nor are they as old. I've had 'heritage' carrots and they were pretty bland.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... ays-better
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Re: British food heritage

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:28 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:05 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:28 am
Grumble wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:55 am
Single origin, named farm, named breed of lamb chops could definitely be a thing. I mean it pretty much exists already, butchers here advertise Welsh salt marsh lamb sometimes.
I think the UK could do very well out of this kind of farming. There are so many niche breeds of cattle, sheep and pig that we've bred here which, since the dominance of supermarkets, have been absolutely obliterated. British food is, historically, about really good quality ingredients cooked simply. Unfortunately, supermarkets destroyed the first bit and people forgot their heritage (see, for instance, the bacon thread).

But a world in which real meat is an occasional treat, a high quality prize to be looked forward to, could be very good. If it means the survival and raised interest in British White or Gloucester cattle, for instance, then fantastic.
I thought British food historically was about cooking vegetables to a pulp and frying meat in lard. Just where I grew up, then.
More historical than that. Think pre world war. WW2 was hugely damaging for British food.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:07 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:16 pm
nezumi wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:09 pm
I love eating vegetarian, but you would have to pry cheese and yoghurt, eggs etc out of my cold dead hands. I'm not mad about meat, I only enjoy chicken and steak really - I just put up with the rest and frankly the smell of bacon turns my stomach. I only eat meat on account of my husband who was a vegetarian for 20 years and is now a meat addict. I think we could easily cut down the amount we eat but it would be difficult to replace the protein. We both like quorn, but impossible burgers are vile and tofu is nearly impossible to cook right.

I think that, as vegetarian options grow in variety and increase in ease of use, a lot of people will naturally look at these cheaper options, particularly if we as a nation start to really care about meat production standards. There has been such a lot of progress in these areas in the last 20 years that I think it's a trend that will continue. I want meat prices to rise so that the animals are better looked after so I can always be confident I'm buying good food. I am happy to pay more for meat, but I will, by necessity have to reduce the amount I eat. I'll probably moan, like everybody else, but also start looking for ways to not have to buy and eat meat.

The real dream is that, all that land not needed for meat production can be used for vegetables. Different ones, not just the obvious stuff, I want heritage foods back. I want different varieties of caulis and carrots and so on. To me food production is another facet of bringing biodiversity back to Britain. I have no knowledge of the industry or the conservation movement so I don't know how much this would affect the food supply.
More variety would definitely be better but 'heritage' varieties aren't always as good as we might expect, nor are they as old. I've had 'heritage' carrots and they were pretty bland.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... ays-better
Dunno the provenance of the heritage carrots you ate but any from supermarkets labelled as heritage aren't that, they're just not orange. Most I've found to buy are as you say, but heritage carrot varieties I've grown myself are wonderfully flavoured, so much more than any others I've had. The same is true of most fruit & veg I've been successful in growing, such as cucumbers, squashes, strawberries (elsanta is a crime against humanity), beetroot, radishes, and so on. I haven't been that successful with a lot of veg though! But a lot of supermarket veg is bland, despite what James Wong says. Flavour is just a secondary concern.

I agree with nezumi. Proper good heritage varieties, that are worth bringing back, would be great to see. It'd be amazing for people to realise what veg can taste like when it's good.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:46 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:28 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:05 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:28 am


I think the UK could do very well out of this kind of farming. There are so many niche breeds of cattle, sheep and pig that we've bred here which, since the dominance of supermarkets, have been absolutely obliterated. British food is, historically, about really good quality ingredients cooked simply. Unfortunately, supermarkets destroyed the first bit and people forgot their heritage (see, for instance, the bacon thread).

But a world in which real meat is an occasional treat, a high quality prize to be looked forward to, could be very good. If it means the survival and raised interest in British White or Gloucester cattle, for instance, then fantastic.
I thought British food historically was about cooking vegetables to a pulp and frying meat in lard. Just where I grew up, then.
More historical than that. Think pre world war. WW2 was hugely damaging for British food.
Pre WW2 there was a lot of food poverty so people didn't have much choice in what they ate unless they lived in rural areas and were able to grow their own veg. No one 'forgot' their heritage during WW2 as attempts to come up with recipes that replicated pre-war food show. Many people ate better during the war as rationing at least meant there was access to some foods they couldn't afford or get before and they were forced to eat more veg with less meat and dairy available. Of course people cooked 'simply', they didn't have the kitchens to do anything else.

The bacon thread isn't a sign we've forgotten our heritage.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:00 am

Tessa K wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:46 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:28 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:05 am


I thought British food historically was about cooking vegetables to a pulp and frying meat in lard. Just where I grew up, then.
More historical than that. Think pre world war. WW2 was hugely damaging for British food.
Pre WW2 there was a lot of food poverty so people didn't have much choice in what they ate unless they lived in rural areas and were able to grow their own veg. No one 'forgot' their heritage during WW2 as attempts to come up with recipes that replicated pre-war food show. Many people ate better during the war as rationing at least meant there was access to some foods they couldn't afford or get before and they were forced to eat more veg with less meat and dairy available. Of course people cooked 'simply', they didn't have the kitchens to do anything else.

The bacon thread isn't a sign we've forgotten our heritage.
(by 'didn't have the kitchens' I mean no fridges or hot running water and only a basic stove/range. Like my grandmother)
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:34 am

Tessa K wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:46 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:28 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:05 am


I thought British food historically was about cooking vegetables to a pulp and frying meat in lard. Just where I grew up, then.
More historical than that. Think pre world war. WW2 was hugely damaging for British food.
Pre WW2 there was a lot of food poverty so people didn't have much choice in what they ate unless they lived in rural areas and were able to grow their own veg. No one 'forgot' their heritage during WW2 as attempts to come up with recipes that replicated pre-war food show. Many people ate better during the war as rationing at least meant there was access to some foods they couldn't afford or get before and they were forced to eat more veg with less meat and dairy available. Of course people cooked 'simply', they didn't have the kitchens to do anything else.

The bacon thread isn't a sign we've forgotten our heritage.
As far as I know poor British cooking (eg veg boiled to a mush) was a consequence of the industrial revolution. People moved form the country where they ate fresh veg, meat and fish (when in season) and into cities where they had a very poor diet and wanted to get calories as cheaply as possible. Early mass produced food and fast food (eg fish and chips) didn't help. Also involved were fad cook books and diets published in the 19th Century which encouraged people to boil ingredients until all texture and taste were gone.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by dyqik » Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:38 am

Remembering, of course, that most of those people that moved into cities didn't have any kind of cooking facilities, except maybe a small heating stove or fireplace.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:20 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:34 am
Tessa K wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:46 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:28 pm

More historical than that. Think pre world war. WW2 was hugely damaging for British food.
Pre WW2 there was a lot of food poverty so people didn't have much choice in what they ate unless they lived in rural areas and were able to grow their own veg. No one 'forgot' their heritage during WW2 as attempts to come up with recipes that replicated pre-war food show. Many people ate better during the war as rationing at least meant there was access to some foods they couldn't afford or get before and they were forced to eat more veg with less meat and dairy available. Of course people cooked 'simply', they didn't have the kitchens to do anything else.

The bacon thread isn't a sign we've forgotten our heritage.
As far as I know poor British cooking (eg veg boiled to a mush) was a consequence of the industrial revolution. People moved form the country where they ate fresh veg, meat and fish (when in season) and into cities where they had a very poor diet and wanted to get calories as cheaply as possible. Early mass produced food and fast food (eg fish and chips) didn't help. Also involved were fad cook books and diets published in the 19th Century which encouraged people to boil ingredients until all texture and taste were gone.
Also, people often had bad teeth so softer food ie veg boiled to mush was easier to eat. That and the lack of refrigeration so cooking things to buggery was the only way to kill off any lurking germs or parasites.

My ancestors are mostly West Country yokels but even they cooked to a pulp and handed down that style to my grandparents and parents.

There was no ideal period in history for 'good' diet and cooking. People ate whatever they could get until comparatively recently and often went hungry, especially at certain times of year when stores were running low and produce was still growing. The elite didn't have particularly healthy diets either as eating large quantities of meat was a status symbol and they saw vegetables or grains as poor people's food. For the mass of the population for most of history, meat was rarely eaten as it was too costly. When it was eaten, it was often preserved - smoked or salted.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:47 am

Tessa K wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:46 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:28 pm
More historical than that. Think pre world war. WW2 was hugely damaging for British food.
Pre WW2 there was a lot of food poverty so people didn't have much choice in what they ate unless they lived in rural areas and were able to grow their own veg. No one 'forgot' their heritage during WW2 as attempts to come up with recipes that replicated pre-war food show. Many people ate better during the war as rationing at least meant there was access to some foods they couldn't afford or get before and they were forced to eat more veg with less meat and dairy available. Of course people cooked 'simply', they didn't have the kitchens to do anything else.

The bacon thread isn't a sign we've forgotten our heritage.
The bacon thread is a very strong sign that we've forgotten our heritage. Good, dry-cured, actually-smoked bacon, whether streaky or back, is a lovely thing. But the vast majority of people (not just a bunch of middle class people on a small forum) don't eat that, they eat watery supermarket sh.t. With bread, the Chorleywood process for many killed off access to decent bread for decades. The cheese industry was almost destroyed by WW2, and we've only seen the re-emergence of cheeses such as proper red Leicester cheese in the last couple of decades. British butter and cream are shadows of their former selves, mainly as they're produced by (generally) Friesian cows when Guernsey or similar cattle produce a much better product with a higher cream level. I doubt any of us has ever tried a proper Cumberland sausage, because the last Cumberland pig died in 1960, after centuries of the breed being produced. Proper Lancashire hotpot is hard to make as well, because getting old of mutton scrag is f.cking difficult, and it's not the same with lamb. Pannage pork is a thing of wonder but hardly anyone has heard of it and hardly anyone can get hold of it, because many of the people who have the rights to produce it don't do so. For decades most of the chickens that we've consumed have been horrifically treated battery chickens, and again, moving back to slow-bred, good quality and ethically produced chicken has only been a concern in recent times.

Compared to the French or Italians, for example, who were no less poor, no more able to access cooking facilities, no less damaged by WW2, and yet have retained a very strong food culture rooted in their past, British people have allowed many of the excellent food produce we've developed over the years to wane or disappear completely, whereas in France or Italy there's been a high demand for good quality which hasn't been replicated over here (they have their problems, of course, like everywhere). There's been some recovery in recent years but still lots more to do.

Of course, the survival or former existence of foods such as Aylesbury duck (one producer left in the whole country), all the different pig, sheep and cattle breeds that the UK has produced (and occasionally exported to other countries where they are better received than they are in the UK), the hotpots and puddings and cured meats and breads and cakes and cheeses and so on gives the lie to the idea that everything everyone here ate was just boiled mush. It's just complete bollocks.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by bjn » Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:01 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:47 am
Compared to the French or Italians, for example, who were no less poor, no more able to access cooking facilities, no less damaged by WW2, and yet have retained a very strong food culture rooted in their past, British people have allowed many of the excellent food produce we've developed over the years to wane or disappear completely, whereas in France or Italy there's been a high demand for good quality which hasn't been replicated over here (they have their problems, of course, like everywhere). There's been some recovery in recent years but still lots more to do.
Damn straight. My mother's family was reduced to eating cats by the end of WWII (f.ck you Mussolini) yet they have very strong ideas about what food should be.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:06 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:47 am
Tessa K wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:46 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:28 pm
More historical than that. Think pre world war. WW2 was hugely damaging for British food.
Pre WW2 there was a lot of food poverty so people didn't have much choice in what they ate unless they lived in rural areas and were able to grow their own veg. No one 'forgot' their heritage during WW2 as attempts to come up with recipes that replicated pre-war food show. Many people ate better during the war as rationing at least meant there was access to some foods they couldn't afford or get before and they were forced to eat more veg with less meat and dairy available. Of course people cooked 'simply', they didn't have the kitchens to do anything else.

The bacon thread isn't a sign we've forgotten our heritage.
The bacon thread is a very strong sign that we've forgotten our heritage. Good, dry-cured, actually-smoked bacon, whether streaky or back, is a lovely thing. But the vast majority of people (not just a bunch of middle class people on a small forum) don't eat that, they eat watery supermarket sh.t. With bread, the Chorleywood process for many killed off access to decent bread for decades. The cheese industry was almost destroyed by WW2, and we've only seen the re-emergence of cheeses such as proper red Leicester cheese in the last couple of decades. British butter and cream are shadows of their former selves, mainly as they're produced by (generally) Friesian cows when Guernsey or similar cattle produce a much better product with a higher cream level. I doubt any of us has ever tried a proper Cumberland sausage, because the last Cumberland pig died in 1960, after centuries of the breed being produced. Proper Lancashire hotpot is hard to make as well, because getting old of mutton scrag is f.cking difficult, and it's not the same with lamb. Pannage pork is a thing of wonder but hardly anyone has heard of it and hardly anyone can get hold of it, because many of the people who have the rights to produce it don't do so. For decades most of the chickens that we've consumed have been horrifically treated battery chickens, and again, moving back to slow-bred, good quality and ethically produced chicken has only been a concern in recent times.

Compared to the French or Italians, for example, who were no less poor, no more able to access cooking facilities, no less damaged by WW2, and yet have retained a very strong food culture rooted in their past, British people have allowed many of the excellent food produce we've developed over the years to wane or disappear completely, whereas in France or Italy there's been a high demand for good quality which hasn't been replicated over here (they have their problems, of course, like everywhere). There's been some recovery in recent years but still lots more to do.

Of course, the survival or former existence of foods such as Aylesbury duck (one producer left in the whole country), all the different pig, sheep and cattle breeds that the UK has produced (and occasionally exported to other countries where they are better received than they are in the UK), the hotpots and puddings and cured meats and breads and cakes and cheeses and so on gives the lie to the idea that everything everyone here ate was just boiled mush. It's just complete bollocks.
Most people eat cheap supermarket 'sh.t' because it's all they can afford. Judging them is just food snobbery.

It's not everything that was boiled to mush, obviously, Vegetables were the main casualty for reasons I stated above. And if you'd ever eaten my mother's hotpot, puddings, cakes, stews etc you'd know that variety is not the same as quality. She even managed to make horrible mashed potato. Yes, n= 1 but she was far from unusual. Comparing Italy doesn't work because the climate and growing seasons are different.

I'm not arguing that more choice and variety would be a bad thing, just that nostalgia for a time that never existed except in a small number of households and food snobbery don't help.

You also need to remember that in the so-called golden age of British food, a lot of women didn't have time to cook fantastic food because they were working, shopping more often for food because of the lack of refrigeration (which takes time), looking after kids, doing all the housework, including laundry with no washing machine. Also, food took up a much larger percentage of household income in the past than it does now. Apart from the fridge/washing machine, life hasn't changed much for many women on low incomes.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by tom p » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:16 pm

Don't be a git, Tessa. EPD is clearly not being a snob. Anyone with even half a functioning brain can tell that he's cross at supermarkets and industrialisation of food (e.g. references to the chorleywood process & killing off access to decent bread for most people).
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:31 pm

tom p wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:16 pm
Don't be a git, Tessa. EPD is clearly not being a snob. Anyone with even half a functioning brain can tell that he's cross at supermarkets and industrialisation of food (e.g. references to the chorleywood process & killing off access to decent bread for most people).
Industrialisation of food has kept a lot of people alive who would otherwise have suffered malnutrition and related health conditions. Yes, it's not ideal that we have limited affordable choices in supermarkets but saying we have forgotten our heritage is nonsense. What you call decent bread goes stale in a day, for example. Who has the time to buy bread every day and get through a whole loaf? It's more complex than EPD is making out. And not everyone likes 'traditional' British food.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by tom p » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:36 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:31 pm
tom p wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:16 pm
Don't be a git, Tessa. EPD is clearly not being a snob. Anyone with even half a functioning brain can tell that he's cross at supermarkets and industrialisation of food (e.g. references to the chorleywood process & killing off access to decent bread for most people).
Industrialisation of food has kept a lot of people alive who would otherwise have suffered malnutrition and related health conditions. Yes, it's not ideal that we have limited affordable choices in supermarkets but saying we have forgotten our heritage is nonsense. What you call decent bread goes stale in a day, for example. Who has the time to buy bread every day and get through a whole loaf? It's more complex than EPD is making out. And not everyone likes 'traditional' British food.
That's not even close to true (except for baguettes).
Let me introduce you to the concept bread bins.

tht said, I should have been clearer, it looks to me like he's pissed off with the industrialisation of food, to the exclusion of all else, which is what supermarkets have wrought.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:41 pm

tom p wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:36 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:31 pm
tom p wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:16 pm
Don't be a git, Tessa. EPD is clearly not being a snob. Anyone with even half a functioning brain can tell that he's cross at supermarkets and industrialisation of food (e.g. references to the chorleywood process & killing off access to decent bread for most people).
Industrialisation of food has kept a lot of people alive who would otherwise have suffered malnutrition and related health conditions. Yes, it's not ideal that we have limited affordable choices in supermarkets but saying we have forgotten our heritage is nonsense. What you call decent bread goes stale in a day, for example. Who has the time to buy bread every day and get through a whole loaf? It's more complex than EPD is making out. And not everyone likes 'traditional' British food.
That's not even close to true (except for baguettes).
Let me introduce you to the concept bread bins.

tht said, I should have been clearer, it looks to me like he's pissed off with the industrialisation of food, to the exclusion of all else, which is what supermarkets have wrought.
He is partly pissed off at that, yes, but why would that make us forget our heritage when cheap food should just mean cheap versions of traditional food like the hotpot and cake he mentioned? Baking is making a comeback but a lot of people want to cook recipes from a much wider variety of cultures. That's a conscious choice not to make 'heritage' foods.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Boustrophedon » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:47 pm

There is a difference between cuisine and cheap food. Lancashire Hotpot is pretty horrible even when made with old mutton, it was never intended to be anything but a half way acceptable way of using up cheap meat not much good for ought else. See also tripe, faggots, haggis and a lot else. I can't help it if some people actually like it and choose it over better stuff, doesn't mean it was ever anything more than cheap sh.t. Cheap sh.t that takes an age to prepare. That it has become the more expensive option doesn't make it any better.

Unless you are old and retired like me, then you simply don't have the time to deal with tough old cuts of meat, or for that matter shopping around a number of different shops for specialist cuts and breeds or meat and thence down the "farmers" market for carrots with dirt on. No it's what they have at the supermarket that's quick to get and quick to prepare.

Now whether being time poor has driven the rise of supermarket food, blunt carrots, and Chorleywood bread, or the supermarkets that have driven away the expectation of slow food, I don't know. Probably a bit of both.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Boustrophedon » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:51 pm

I am not picking on Lancashire hotpot particularly, there are for instance some pretty 'orrible French sausages like andouillette that no sane person would eat, but when needs must and protein is scarce, it's what you do to make use of every last piece of the beast.
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Remember it's only a coup if it's from the coup d'état region of France, otherwise it just sparkling white terrorism.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by tom p » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:58 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:51 pm
I am not picking on Lancashire hotpot particularly, there are for instance some pretty 'orrible French sausages like andouillette that no sane person would eat, but when needs must and protein is scarce, it's what you do to make use of every last piece of the beast.
*gags*
Andouillette is a crime against humanity. It is the perfect example of Pratchett's theorem that "Any seasoned traveller soon learns to avoid anything wished on them as a‘regional speciality’, because all the term means is that dish is so unpleasant the people living everywhere else will bite off their own legs rather than eat it."
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:04 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:51 pm
I am not picking on Lancashire hotpot particularly, there are for instance some pretty 'orrible French sausages like andouillette that no sane person would eat, but when needs must and protein is scarce, it's what you do to make use of every last piece of the beast.
You're right, though. A lot of our 'traditional' foods that weren't haute cuisine were about ways of disguising and making edible cheap and low quality cuts of meat. Also, things like Yorkshire pudding, bread and butter pudding and jam roly poly were about filling people up with stodge cheaply. Bread in the past was adulterated to make production cheaper. And there was boracic acid in milk. And all sorts of nasty things in cheese.
Bread was adulterated with plaster of Paris, bean flour, chalk or alum. ... Not only did such adulteration lead to problems of malnutrition, but alum produced bowel problems and constipation or chronic diarrhoea, which was often fatal for children
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25259505# ... 0children.

Not just in the Victorian/Edwardian era, but earlier too.
Gloucester cheese was contaminated with red lead buried in annotto, a carotenoid-based yellow to orange food coloring. This adulteration to Gloucester cheese began as early as the sixteenth century because supposedly the more orange the hue, the better the quality of the cheese
https://www.geriwalton.com/food-and-dri ... -1700-and/

One regional speciality I would recommend is Easter biscuits.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Fishnut » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:19 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:04 pm
One regional speciality I would recommend is Easter biscuits.
Vociferously seconded!
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Re: British food heritage

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:16 pm

Most people eat cheap supermarket 'sh.t' because it's all they can afford. Judging them is just food snobbery
Really? Most people? You'll have to back that one up. Lots of people in this country that is certainly true of, but "most" people? And to suggest so is, once again, utter bollocks. Most people eat it because they have no idea that anything else exists or why they should eat it. Even people with money will tend to buy the cheapest product.
You also need to remember that in the so-called golden age of British food
So called by whom? Not by me.
What you call decent bread goes stale in a day, for example.
Course it f.cking doesn't, I'm eating a decent loaf of sourdough bread at the moment and it's about six days old and still fresh.
It's more complex than EPD is making out. And not everyone likes 'traditional' British food.
It's a damn sight more complex than you're making out, where "cooking vegetables to a pulp and frying meat in lard" is somehow a summary of everything the UK has ever produced. The fact that I suggested that there is (in my view) a cultural issue in the UK and you responded with "yeah but my nan couldn't cook" is quite the impressive diversion.
a lot of people want to cook recipes from a much wider variety of cultures.
Yes, this is true. A lot of people do. Again, I didnt say at any point that people cooking those other foods was a bad thing. It's not so much a conscious choice to never make any heritage foods, though, is it? Particularly if people have no idea what those heritage foods are. It is very impressive how much is being read into my posts, which is in no way connected to what I actually wrote.

The point is not that there was some golden age where all food was amazing, and no one ever ate anything bad, and I never suggested anything like that. The point is both, as tom p understood, that the industrialisation of food has resulted in pretty terrible food quality across the board in the UK, but also that there isn't the same pride in, nor the same demand for good quality food, for protection of our best foods, in the UK as there is in countries like France and Italy. Those countries have a widespread high appreciation for good food and they're protective of their best recipes, which is why things like this exist. Not everyone there will get to eat good quality food all or even most of the time, but I bet a significantly higher proportion at least know what it is, what it looks like. Oh, the "climate and growing seasons are different", are they? Right, that explains everything :roll:

Our international reputation as being a place with a terrible food culture is largely deserved, because most people don't even know what "good British food" means or looks like. It isn't a large part of our culture, and we haven't tried to make it so. This is in spite of the fact that there's a lot for the UK to be proud of. We have a lot of fantastic produce, a lot of brilliant heritage here, and that space improves every year. That's in spite of people like Don being so outstandingly and impressively wrong about stuff like Lancashire hotpot. Yes, it was a poor person's meal. That's the point. That's why it's good. It wrung out a huge amount of flavour from a cheap cut of meat, and was all the better for it. There are plenty of similar examples from all over the world of food produced in poverty and yet which tastes fantastic. Why do you think hot countries tend to eat heavily spiced food, for example?

Anyway, maybe "forgot our heritage" was too strong. "Don't give a sh.t about our food heritage" is more accurate, and that's a real shame to me, because there's a lot to give a sh.t about.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:27 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:16 pm
Why do you think hot countries tend to eat heavily spiced food, for example?
Because spices kill off some of the unpleasant things that lurk in food that has not been refrigerated.
More than 4,570 recipes from 93 cookbooks representing traditional, meat-based cuisines of 36 countries; the temperature and precipitation levels of each country; the horticultural ranges of 43 spice plants; and the antibacterial properties of each spice.

Garlic, onion, allspice and oregano, for example, were found to be the best all-around bacteria killers (they kill everything), followed by thyme, cinnamon, tarragon and cumin (any of which kill up to 80 percent of bacteria). Capsicums, including chilies and other hot peppers, are in the middle of the antimicrobial pack (killing or inhibiting up to 75 percent of bacteria), while pepper of the white or black variety inhibits 25 percent of bacteria, as do ginger, anise seed, celery seed and the juices of lemons and limes..
https://news.cornell.edu/stories/1998/0 ... bacteria).
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Re: British food heritage

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:32 pm

Yes, exactly. Plus it masks the taste of meat heading towards rancid. Still tastes great in the modern world though.

The point being, just because food was produced out of necessity doesn't make it rubbish, which is what Don asserted.
Last edited by Stephanie on Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changing title
Mike Patton wrote:"You overdo it sometimes. There I am, peeing on Axl Rose’s teleprompter." He looks rueful: "I didn’t really have to do that."

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