The best foods in the world (pt II)
Whatever the flavour, one packet isn’t quite enough and two leaves you feeling the wrong side of nauseous. But oh, the glory of a deep-fried-dried-foodstuff, that can be reconstituted in under 3 mins with its little sachet of MSG enriched bath salts. My favourite brand was Doll, but you can’t seem to find them now…
The white ones out of Swizzels Matlow Fizzers/Love Hearts
I have no idea what the flavour is, but I would happily eat these little discs of fizzy joy forever. I would really love to build a house out of them, how cool would that be?
Pre-packaged prawn mayonnaise sandwiches
There is a certain sound that is unmistakeable, that of the film being peeled off a pre packaged sandwich, and with that sound comes lunch for millions. There is something classic about the prawn mayonnaise sandwich, unfettered by the overly fussy chutneys, salad or deep fried bacon which can so easily turn lunch into a rabid disappointment.
The UK’s most popular fruit has reached that heady pinnacle for a reason: Never out of season, has it’s own carry case and it involves no mess. None of those reasons resonate with me though, write on one with a biro and you’ll see why they’re on my list.
For 3 months a year English strawberries are a heady balance of sweetness and acidity, the finest, most exquisite little packets of juice on this earth. I might touch a Spanish or American strawberry if I lived in America or Spain, but I don’t, so I won’t.
With its many elements, it’s really hard to have a bad roast dinner, sure parts of it can be below par, but as a whole, the hard work is worth it. The last bastion of family dining, I’ve had too many happy times over a Sunday lunch to count.
Prawn cocktail crisps
The very height of sophistication when they were introduced in 1981, their lurid pink packaging transcending gender alignment and flavour you could actually see. The perfect foil for numerous sandwich fillings as long as you’re not too fussed about the blatant MSG
Before there were Fruit Shoots, Innocent smoothies or Um Bongo there was orange squash, just plain, simple orange squash. You still had a choice though, you could have it weak or strong!
Swiss roll and vanilla ice cream
The trouble with arctic roll is that it’s an outstanding concept executed badly, which is why I choose to make my own. Raspberry jam swiss roll and Walls Blue Riband ice cream, with a ratio of 1:3.
Strangely this is a dish, that despite it’s name, according to wikipedia cannot be found in Singapore. It is however found in nearly every Chinese takeaway in the western world!
I couldn’t put curry on this list because as a food it’s too varied, from Korma to Phal – way too much variation. To exclude all Indian food would be terribly remiss, so on the list goes Keema Nan, a flat bread stuffed with spiced minced lamb cooked on the inside of a tandoor.
For the uninitiated, this fast food marvel, originating from Philadelphia, is finely chopped steak, seasoned and served in a hoagie (long roll) with the addition of cheese. It’s so much more than it sounds, more an experience (having the juices dribble down your chin, for a start) than a fuel.
Weighing in at 830 Calories and costing just shy of $5, this is the poster boy for burgers. It’s not stupidly big like a triple Whopper or showy like a Big Mac (c’mon do you really need the extra bit of bun?).
I love nachos, but only done my way, I don’t care for guacamole and I’m not a huge fan of sour cream. I like nacho chips, salsa and chilli con carne all topped with cheese and plenty of jalapenos. I make no apologies.
Minced lamb topped with mashed potato, baked until a toasty brown crust forms, this, along with its fish counterpart, is comfort food at its best. I prefer it the next day, when it slices instead of oozes.
See Shepherd’s pie. I favour a smoked haddock, salmon and prawn mix, but that’s just me.
Whilst there’s always a time and place for the overly sweet, gelatinous cubed ectoplasm of the pre packed individual variety, it’s not on this list. That honour goes to the homemade version, with a light dusting of caster sugar crowning the glory of pure Bramley apples. Good hot, even better sliceabley cold.
Sweet & Sour pork
You’d be hard pushed to find anything that occurs naturally that comes even close to that vibrant fluorescent hue of sweet & sour sauce from a Chinese takeaway. Enveloping all before it, this tsunami of umami can make a huge variety of vegetables, meats and crustations all taste exactly the same.Genius.
Grown in the foothills of the Himalayans with a delicate flavour all of it’s own, it’s a cut above long grain and a world away from the rubbery Uncle Ben’s.
Char Sui dumplings
I love Yum Cha (or Dim Sum as it’s also known) and go out of my way to try and find restaurant gems wherever I am, filling my table with piles of dumplings. The granddaddy of the steaming basket is the Char Sui dumpling, small clouds of dough erupting with BBQ pork.