British food heritage

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Martin_B
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Martin_B » Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:37 am

JQH wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:38 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:15 pm

I suspect there's a social element to the role of food at play here too. For some British people, the social element of eating plays a smaller part than it does in some other cultures. I know in my family, meal times were not for conversation and socialising as much as getting it down you.
Sounds like my family.
My mum's family were a bit like that; my dad's family treated meal times as a family gathering and his mum loved cooking and providing for all (eg, dad's and his sibling's friends had open invitations). So not all British people are like that, although we're not sure if dad's mum didn't have some non-British ancestry (most likely Jewish - I've inherited her nose).
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Re: British food heritage

Post by FlammableFlower » Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:57 am

In both sides of my family and with MrsFF's parents unless circumstances prevented, mealtimes were everyone sit together and chat. We've carried that on.

(Although there was a phase in my teens when a small TV appeared in my parents' kitchen-diner and they got into watching Neighbours which was on at teatime. I couldn't stand it, so took myself off into the front room and watch Barry Norman on Film9(2-4) - so now have recollections about films I've never actually watched)

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Re: British food heritage

Post by bagpuss » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:03 am

Mealtimes were always a time for gathering and talking in our family too. And food was always very important on my dad's side of the family, although it seemed less so on my mum's side.

Dad's side were country poor, grew their own veg and fruit, ate the rabbits they kept for food, preserved everything that didn't get eaten fresh, cooked simple but excellent food. Mum's side I can't judge in quite the same way as her mother died before I was born and her father died when I was 2, but the fact that mum had to learn to cook when she went away to college (and has never been a great cook or much interested in food) suggests to me that food wasn't a big deal in their home.

Growing your own fruit and veg is definitely a good way of being more involved in the food that you end up eating, and appreciating it more, and also a good way in, I think, to learning more about our food heritage. Seeds of heritage varieties are not much more difficult to source than any old regular seeds and the ones that are unusual colours (not necessarily heritage varieties but many are) are absolutely brilliant for getting kids excited about food. Who doesn't enjoy picking purple beans? Although it is sad watching the colour slowly leach away as they turn to green when they cook :(

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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:57 pm

bagpuss wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:03 am
Mealtimes were always a time for gathering and talking in our family too. And food was always very important on my dad's side of the family, although it seemed less so on my mum's side.

Dad's side were country poor, grew their own veg and fruit, ate the rabbits they kept for food, preserved everything that didn't get eaten fresh, cooked simple but excellent food. Mum's side I can't judge in quite the same way as her mother died before I was born and her father died when I was 2, but the fact that mum had to learn to cook when she went away to college (and has never been a great cook or much interested in food) suggests to me that food wasn't a big deal in their home.

Growing your own fruit and veg is definitely a good way of being more involved in the food that you end up eating, and appreciating it more, and also a good way in, I think, to learning more about our food heritage. Seeds of heritage varieties are not much more difficult to source than any old regular seeds and the ones that are unusual colours (not necessarily heritage varieties but many are) are absolutely brilliant for getting kids excited about food. Who doesn't enjoy picking purple beans? Although it is sad watching the colour slowly leach away as they turn to green when they cook :(
My childhood memories of cooking fruit and veg my dad grew was mostly having to top and tail gooseberries and blackcurrants, peel endless potatoes in cold water and slice up runner beans. All the boring stuff my mum could palm off on me while my brother wasn't expected to help. And wooden spoons were more a weapon of punishment than a cooking implement. So yes, my attitudes may well be jaundiced.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by Grumble » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:03 pm

My fingers would turn black when opening broad beans.
You’ve got no chutzpah, your organisational skills are lacklustre and your timekeeping is abysmal.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by bagpuss » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:09 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:57 pm
bagpuss wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:03 am
Mealtimes were always a time for gathering and talking in our family too. And food was always very important on my dad's side of the family, although it seemed less so on my mum's side.

Dad's side were country poor, grew their own veg and fruit, ate the rabbits they kept for food, preserved everything that didn't get eaten fresh, cooked simple but excellent food. Mum's side I can't judge in quite the same way as her mother died before I was born and her father died when I was 2, but the fact that mum had to learn to cook when she went away to college (and has never been a great cook or much interested in food) suggests to me that food wasn't a big deal in their home.

Growing your own fruit and veg is definitely a good way of being more involved in the food that you end up eating, and appreciating it more, and also a good way in, I think, to learning more about our food heritage. Seeds of heritage varieties are not much more difficult to source than any old regular seeds and the ones that are unusual colours (not necessarily heritage varieties but many are) are absolutely brilliant for getting kids excited about food. Who doesn't enjoy picking purple beans? Although it is sad watching the colour slowly leach away as they turn to green when they cook :(
My childhood memories of cooking fruit and veg my dad grew was mostly having to top and tail gooseberries and blackcurrants, peel endless potatoes in cold water and slice up runner beans. All the boring stuff my mum could palm off on me while my brother wasn't expected to help. And wooden spoons were more a weapon of punishment than a cooking implement. So yes, my attitudes may well be jaundiced.
I can see that wouldn't necessarily endear you to home-grown produce. In our house it tended to be me & my brother who did the picking while mum and/or dad did any peeling and chopping. Podding peas or beans or topping and tailing gooseberries was usually a sociable activity with bowls and old newspaper spread on the dining table and everyone did the work while chatting away or listening to the radio. Doing it alone, as I get to do now when I've managed to visit my mum in gooseberry season, is definitely less enjoyable, although podcasts do help. The bagkitten loves helping with peas but I rarely bother growing them as the yield isn't worth the effort in the small space they get, and she hates gooseberries so doesn't see why she should help with those. :lol:
Grumble wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:03 pm
My fingers would turn black when opening broad beans.
Broad beans are the only home-growable* veg that I would never consider growing - they're pretty much the only veg that I don't like, nor does the bagkitten, and Mr Bagpuss can take or leave them. *I don't like avocados either but I don't count them as home-growable in the UK.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:15 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:03 pm
My fingers would turn black when opening broad beans.
If you rub the fur inside the pod on a wart and bury it in the ground, the wart will fall off. Allegedly.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by lpm » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:36 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:57 pm
My childhood memories of cooking fruit and veg my dad grew was mostly having to top and tail gooseberries and blackcurrants, peel endless potatoes in cold water and slice up runner beans. All the boring stuff my mum could palm off on me while my brother wasn't expected to help. And wooden spoons were more a weapon of punishment than a cooking implement. So yes, my attitudes may well be jaundiced.
Yes. This. There's no acknowledgement that millions don't have the same privileged relationship with food that others here have. A lot of this "heritage" comes with unrecognised extra costs. It's a bit infuriating that someone called you a git for calling out food snobbery, denied its food snobbery, and then there's endless more posts of food snobbery.

People have to be upfront about the extra costs involved for their preferred bacon, home/market-garden vegetables and non-industrialised foods. Anyone ignoring those costs is simply cheating. It just becomes pointless fantasy football where you pick the best players without considering the money part of the game. There should be a rule that everyone posting about a nice heritage food must also state the costs involved.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Lydia Gwilt » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:39 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:03 pm
My fingers would turn black when opening broad beans.
Basil does the same, so if you're making pesto, your fingernails look like hell for a week unless you scrunch them into vaseline or similar first.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by tom p » Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:42 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:36 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:57 pm
My childhood memories of cooking fruit and veg my dad grew was mostly having to top and tail gooseberries and blackcurrants, peel endless potatoes in cold water and slice up runner beans. All the boring stuff my mum could palm off on me while my brother wasn't expected to help. And wooden spoons were more a weapon of punishment than a cooking implement. So yes, my attitudes may well be jaundiced.
Yes. This. There's no acknowledgement that millions don't have the same privileged relationship with food that others here have. A lot of this "heritage" comes with unrecognised extra costs. It's a bit infuriating that someone called you a git for calling out food snobbery, denied its food snobbery, and then there's endless more posts of food snobbery.

People have to be upfront about the extra costs involved for their preferred bacon, home/market-garden vegetables and non-industrialised foods. Anyone ignoring those costs is simply cheating. It just becomes pointless fantasy football where you pick the best players without considering the money part of the game. There should be a rule that everyone posting about a nice heritage food must also state the costs involved.
There's almost no cash cost to growing your own veg, as long as you're even slightly organised, and, as tessa has demonstrated, there is not even an extra time cost to prepping your own home-grown veg, as long as you have kids (although I don't understand why her cruel parents made her peel the potatoes in cold water. Rinse 'em in cold water, sure (if you didn't remember to soak 'em first) & then peel them in the air like a normal person)
And if you don't have kids, then you have time anyway.
The cost of food in a French supermarket is basically the same as in an English supermarket, but, because of pressure from artisanal bakers & butchers etc, the quality of breads & meats & other fresh things is noticeably better than that on offer in the UK.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:53 pm

tom p wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:42 pm
lpm wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:36 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:57 pm
My childhood memories of cooking fruit and veg my dad grew was mostly having to top and tail gooseberries and blackcurrants, peel endless potatoes in cold water and slice up runner beans. All the boring stuff my mum could palm off on me while my brother wasn't expected to help. And wooden spoons were more a weapon of punishment than a cooking implement. So yes, my attitudes may well be jaundiced.
Yes. This. There's no acknowledgement that millions don't have the same privileged relationship with food that others here have. A lot of this "heritage" comes with unrecognised extra costs. It's a bit infuriating that someone called you a git for calling out food snobbery, denied its food snobbery, and then there's endless more posts of food snobbery.

People have to be upfront about the extra costs involved for their preferred bacon, home/market-garden vegetables and non-industrialised foods. Anyone ignoring those costs is simply cheating. It just becomes pointless fantasy football where you pick the best players without considering the money part of the game. There should be a rule that everyone posting about a nice heritage food must also state the costs involved.
There's almost no cash cost to growing your own veg, as long as you're even slightly organised, and, as tessa has demonstrated, there is not even an extra time cost to prepping your own home-grown veg, as long as you have kids (although I don't understand why her cruel parents made her peel the potatoes in cold water. Rinse 'em in cold water, sure (if you didn't remember to soak 'em first) & then peel them in the air like a normal person)
And if you don't have kids, then you have time anyway.
The cost of food in a French supermarket is basically the same as in an English supermarket, but, because of pressure from artisanal bakers & butchers etc, the quality of breads & meats & other fresh things is noticeably better than that on offer in the UK.
It would be interesting to look at what percentage of income is spent on food in different countries - something I'd do if I had time.

ETA Oh look, someone's done it for some countries but not many European ones.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/12/ ... s-on-food/

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Re: British food heritage

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:05 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:36 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:57 pm
My childhood memories of cooking fruit and veg my dad grew was mostly having to top and tail gooseberries and blackcurrants, peel endless potatoes in cold water and slice up runner beans. All the boring stuff my mum could palm off on me while my brother wasn't expected to help. And wooden spoons were more a weapon of punishment than a cooking implement. So yes, my attitudes may well be jaundiced.
Yes. This. There's no acknowledgement that millions don't have the same privileged relationship with food that others here have. A lot of this "heritage" comes with unrecognised extra costs. It's a bit infuriating that someone called you a git for calling out food snobbery, denied its food snobbery, and then there's endless more posts of food snobbery.

People have to be upfront about the extra costs involved for their preferred bacon, home/market-garden vegetables and non-industrialised foods. Anyone ignoring those costs is simply cheating. It just becomes pointless fantasy football where you pick the best players without considering the money part of the game. There should be a rule that everyone posting about a nice heritage food must also state the costs involved.
Ok. So where I live, I can get supermarket veg in the supermarket, or locally-grown heritagey stuff (plus things imported, mostly from Spain) in the town market.

The price is about the same. Stuff from the supermarket seems to go off quicker, so I throw a bit more of it away. Cheese is much cheaper at the market - I'm not sure of the economics. The meat is more expensive, apparently. Cheaper box wine. I think my council tax supports the market to some extent.

The issue is convenience. I have to go to the supermarket anyway, whereas I'm not normally in town in the morning when the market's open, so it'd be an extra trip. I'm not enormously busy, but I am lazy and disorganised, so I don't go to the market for nicer stuff as often as I could. If I was time-stressed I'd never make it.

When I was a student I used to get a weekly veg box of local heritagey veg, I think it was £3.50 a week and I could pick it up on campus, so it was cheap and convenient.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by lpm » Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:34 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:05 pm
If I was time-stressed I'd never make it.
How many un-time-stressed families are there in the UK?

Four, that's how many. One in London, two in Scotland and one in north Wales.

Portugal might be different. Could have as many as six or seven.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by TAFKAsoveda » Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:50 pm

Lydia Gwilt wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 8:53 am
Yes, it tastes really, really extra dead. It was on canapes at a very high-powered conference where I was someone's guest, so I had to keep smiling not to let them down. Luckily there were potted plants...
Image

“Politics is like andouillettes, it must smell a bit of sh.t but not too much”

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Re: British food heritage

Post by Sciolus » Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:15 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:53 pm
It would be interesting to look at what percentage of income is spent on food in different countries - something I'd do if I had time.

ETA Oh look, someone's done it for some countries but not many European ones.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/12/ ... s-on-food/
I can think of lots of reasons why the percentage spent on food would vary around the world. But it turns out that the number one reason for spending less than 10% of income on food is speaking English.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:27 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:05 pm
lpm wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:36 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:57 pm
My childhood memories of cooking fruit and veg my dad grew was mostly having to top and tail gooseberries and blackcurrants, peel endless potatoes in cold water and slice up runner beans. All the boring stuff my mum could palm off on me while my brother wasn't expected to help. And wooden spoons were more a weapon of punishment than a cooking implement. So yes, my attitudes may well be jaundiced.
Yes. This. There's no acknowledgement that millions don't have the same privileged relationship with food that others here have. A lot of this "heritage" comes with unrecognised extra costs. It's a bit infuriating that someone called you a git for calling out food snobbery, denied its food snobbery, and then there's endless more posts of food snobbery.

People have to be upfront about the extra costs involved for their preferred bacon, home/market-garden vegetables and non-industrialised foods. Anyone ignoring those costs is simply cheating. It just becomes pointless fantasy football where you pick the best players without considering the money part of the game. There should be a rule that everyone posting about a nice heritage food must also state the costs involved.
Ok. So where I live, I can get supermarket veg in the supermarket, or locally-grown heritagey stuff (plus things imported, mostly from Spain) in the town market.

The price is about the same. Stuff from the supermarket seems to go off quicker, so I throw a bit more of it away. Cheese is much cheaper at the market - I'm not sure of the economics. The meat is more expensive, apparently. Cheaper box wine. I think my council tax supports the market to some extent.

The issue is convenience. I have to go to the supermarket anyway, whereas I'm not normally in town in the morning when the market's open, so it'd be an extra trip. I'm not enormously busy, but I am lazy and disorganised, so I don't go to the market for nicer stuff as often as I could. If I was time-stressed I'd never make it.

When I was a student I used to get a weekly veg box of local heritagey veg, I think it was £3.50 a week and I could pick it up on campus, so it was cheap and convenient.
There's no locally grown stuff in London and farmers' markets are expensive because they cater to middle class people in middle class areas. The only cheap place to buy fruit and veg anywhere near me is Ridley Road market, which is a train ride away. The quality is about the same as the supermarket but stuff is cheaper because it has to be eaten more quickly before it goes off. The £ a scoop at the end of the day is great if you have a family that would get through the big scoops quickly. There used to be a fruit and veg market in Camden that that went years ago when Sainsbury's opened - but again, it wasn't local produce. There are a couple of organic shops but they are really expensive.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by jimbob » Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:29 pm

tom p wrote:
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."
Testify. It's one of the first foods to have defeated me
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: British food heritage

Post by jimbob » Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:37 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:59 am
tom p wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:32 am
Lydia Gwilt wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 8:53 am
Yes, it tastes really, really extra dead. It was on canapes at a very high-powered conference where I was someone's guest, so I had to keep smiling not to let them down. Luckily there were potted plants...
Not just dead, but like how fresh cow sh.t smells. It's the worstest thing ever
Have you ever smelt a big silage heap close up on a hot day?
Dad worked for MAFF. Some of his work involved collecting silage samples. Which he then transported in his car (a turd-brown* Renault 12). Which was often parked in the sun.

Driving long journeys in it, with a brother who was prone to carsickness was not entirely enjoyable.



*He says it was a good colour, because when it got spattered with crap on farms, it didn't show up too much.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: British food heritage

Post by shpalman » Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:47 pm

jimbob wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:29 pm
tom p wrote:
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."
Testify. It's one of the first foods to have defeated me
I ate it at the ESRF* canteen once. Lots of mustard was required though.


* - ESRF-ILL joint site EPN Campus
molto tricky

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Re: British food heritage

Post by dr_S » Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:14 pm

*raises hand* another person here who made the mistake to eat andouillettes. The taste wasn't too bad, consistency a bit weird, bit the big problem was the smell. I think I finished them only because I was really hungry.

Point of order, not all Nordics eat putrified shark, only Icelandic persons. Here in Sweden we* enjoy rotten herring instead.

*Or some people do, at least.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by bolo » Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:08 pm

+1 for andouillette, or rather, +1 against andouillette. I was able to swallow my first bite, just, out of politeness. After that, no hell no.

I had unwisely expected it to be similar to cajun andouille.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by jimbob » Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:05 pm

I have created a poll
jimbob wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:04 pm
From this thread: and prompted by bolo, I decided on a poll - as for once the traditional option is valid.
bolo wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:08 pm
+1 for andouillette, or rather, +1 against andouillette. I was able to swallow my first bite, just, out of politeness. After that, no hell no.

I had unwisely expected it to be similar to cajun andouille.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: British food heritage

Post by nezumi » Sat Apr 24, 2021 4:39 pm

Clearly anyone in London needs to move North. We don't have "farmers markets" that I know of because we have actual markets and, since my town is a rather odd mix of rural and urban, there are farmers shops on main roads. We are also incredibly lucky to have a large population of Indian and Pakistani immigrants so we have proper Indian food markets where you can buy 8 different varieties of chilli, okra, and about a hundred veggies I have never even tried yet*. It's also very, very cheap. You can get 3 massive bunches of coriander for a pound.

* The very best one might have actually gone under during the pandemic. It had *everything* for food you could possibly imagine, and hardly an ounce of wheat in the whole place. It was incredible and I truly regret that we couldn't shop there during the pandemic because it is a huge loss for the area.
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Re: British food heritage

Post by Tessa K » Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:34 pm

nezumi wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 4:39 pm
Clearly anyone in London needs to move North. We don't have "farmers markets" that I know of because we have actual markets and, since my town is a rather odd mix of rural and urban, there are farmers shops on main roads. We are also incredibly lucky to have a large population of Indian and Pakistani immigrants so we have proper Indian food markets where you can buy 8 different varieties of chilli, okra, and about a hundred veggies I have never even tried yet*. It's also very, very cheap. You can get 3 massive bunches of coriander for a pound.

* The very best one might have actually gone under during the pandemic. It had *everything* for food you could possibly imagine, and hardly an ounce of wheat in the whole place. It was incredible and I truly regret that we couldn't shop there during the pandemic because it is a huge loss for the area.
Some parts of London that have high immigrant populations do have fresh food stalls. Ridley Road Market that I mentioned earlier caters to various immigrant groups and has a lot of fresh produce as well as an under the arches type shop where you can buy Indian flatbreads still warm from the oven. Not locally grown stuff though.

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Re: British food heritage

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:50 am

jimbob wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:05 pm
I have created a poll
jimbob wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:04 pm
From this thread: and prompted by bolo, I decided on a poll - as for once the traditional option is valid.
bolo wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:08 pm
+1 for andouillette, or rather, +1 against andouillette. I was able to swallow my first bite, just, out of politeness. After that, no hell no.

I had unwisely expected it to be similar to cajun andouille.
I've moved all subsequent discussion of andouillette to the dedicated thread, as it's not really an example of British food heritage ;)
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