Potato abuse is as much of a green issue as the carbon footprint

Potato abuse is as much of a green issue as the carbon footprint
(Photo: Griffin24)

You’ve got your foodies, you’ve got your chefs and then the category of bloody good cooks. But somewhere in there are the foodsters, people who simply like food and prefer to eat it without deep fried grapes, sun dried pansies or a jus.

Nothing sorts out your food preferences like a road trip. Suddenly you are removed from your local, your pantry, your fridge and your own tin opener. You have to eat what is served and that can vary as much as Meghan Markle’s tall stories.

For instance, the foodster will tend to regard an avocado as a salad item, or perhaps something to spread on toast. He or she will not expect it to pitch up at breakfast or be lodged inside a steak with a piece of feta and a sprig of parsley. For heaven’s sake, a good piece of steak can stand alone, there is no need to stuff it or God forbid, as I encountered along the road, butterfly a fillet.

There are clear rules, according to foodster culture, about what you eat when.

Sweet soup is not an option at dinner time any more than chocolate belongs with eggs in the morning. Bacon is cross-cultural, you can eat it with anything. That is a fact. Even the bizarre Banting craze acknowledged that if you had no idea what to do with a vegetable, cook it with bacon.

The most prevalent abuse of a vegetable is that of the potato. Manipulate the potato at your peril, it is the start of a moral decline let alone a crime against foodstuffs. In its pristine state, be it mashed, baked or deep fried, the potato is soul food. There is no need to invent dressings for it, or twist it into bizarre shapes.

And let me be clear, the foodster does not recognise the potato wedge as a chip. Nor does he or she acknowledge those factory cut and frozen skinny articles as chips. Up and down the country if you pop into a fast food establishment, the kind that used to be the magnet, indeed the catnip of foodsters, today you will find the frozen, packaged skinny little tortured spud served as a chip.

I don’t doubt they are labour and cost saving but they are tasteless and ghastly. A sign of the times. What is so difficult about peeling a potato, hand cutting it into decent sizes and tossing it in the fryer?

Which leads me to breakfast. What happened to the chickens? Why are they suddenly producing eggs that look as if a budgie squeezed them out? If I stop at the roadside, I expect a country breakfast. That is bacon, two eggs, two slices of toast, a pork sausage and perhaps a side of mushrooms or baked beans. Possible variations include fried tomato, chips or perhaps a beef patty. This is at the very least.

What happened to the eggs? (Photo: gojak)

Foodsters are noticing that this has shrunk to one slice of toast, if you are lucky TWO tiny eggs the size of a soup spoon and a single slice of bacon cut in half to suggest there are two. And then as if you had not noticed the paucity of this offering, there is a piece of foliage draped across the top of it in an attempt to suggest it is all on trend. Woke. Green.

Do not attempt to con the foodsters. We know what we like. We are usually over 50 and have had a lifetime of being sold the latest fad. Shrinking our food is not going to cut it. The foodster does not eat like a bird, we have hearty appetites and cannot be fooled by the placement of a green herb or leaf into believing we are riding the crest of the culinary wave.

Moving on to even more chilling moments encountered when travelling, I give you two words: degustation menu.

To the foodster this means that a) the chef is experimenting and b) it will cost a bomb. It also has an element of cost saving because even somebody with an appetite like mine will not be able to get to the end of it.

What feels like scores of tiny dishes come past you, each paired with a wine which you knock back like water in self defence. The Foodie loves this and manages it all with aplomb while I find myself off my face, begging to be released from the table and unable to find my way back to my hotel room to loosen my corset, or the modern equivalent thereof.

The worst is if you find yourself at the hotel swimming pool surrounded by the inevitable railings, unable to make your way out. Do you in desperation jump into the water and sink slowly to the bottom or flatten out on a chair to be found by the hotel staff with the umbrellas the next morning?

This is of course while travelling in your own country. The foodster has endless difficulties abroad. I have been served herring for breakfast and once even horse meat. Generally speaking the foodster does not eat domestic animals or offal. And in domestic animals I include bunnies and anything hand reared from birth, be it a sheep or a pig. Chickens somehow make themselves the exception although I would have trouble eating anything I had known by name..

As I said, the foodster culture has rules. A cow is a beast to be eaten, a kudu is not. We do not ask to be understood, only to be acknowledged. 

Hands off our steaks, our eggs and our chips. And for goodness sake don’t put seafood on a pizza.

And speaking of seafood, that is a category on its own. Whole fish, eyes and all, served on a plate, things with the shells still on, claws, that silvery grey skin in the batter. I could go on….

Tuna in a tin, now that’s the stuff! Foodsters unite in defence of your culture. DM/TGIFood


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Margaret Jensen says:

    Hilarious!!! Footsters unite!!!
    Refreshing to not feel uneducated about food, thank you.

  • Antony Davis says:

    “I would have trouble eating anything I had known by name..” – as a friend once said to me if anyone asks why you’re a vegetarian, tell ’em you don’t like eating anything with a face

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