I don't know if you're
the right person to whom to send a comment about the site. But hey,
you're the chief honcho, so I think the buck stops in your in-tray.
And I wish to administer a stern rebuke to Dean Lenane for his article
on English food.
I am a resident of
that benighted kingdom. Certainly, I know the perils of a bad pub lunch.
But Mr Lenane is guilty of the most heinous crimes of caricature and
ignorance. Obviously if you eat in the Happy Eater you will have a bad
time - it's a motorway service station chain based on some crazily corrupted
template of an American highway truck stop. Obviously, if you decide
to have lunch in 'The Botulism Arms', in which you can enjoy a sawdust-strewn
ambience and be entertained by the tooth-rattling antics of Derbyshire's
premier dog-throttler, you will not savour haute cuisine. And obviously,
if you go to the other extreme and visit some absurdly over-priced nest
of primping snob-nosed peacocks in a London hotel, you will be treated
like a serf.
If, however, you don't
follow the obvious tourist routes and go to one of the burgeoning number
of very good mid-range restaurants, 'gastropubs' and food markets, you
will find the best meat, fish and vegetables, fresh from the field,
often organic and of the choicest quality. To complain that kidneys,
livers etc. are inedible is pure ignorance. Has Mr Lenane ever been
delighted by pan-fired calves' liver and the melting of the flesh at
the touch of the knife? Has he ever thrilled to the salty perfection
of a bone marrow salad? If not, he has no business commenting on food.
And these, by the way, are not bizarre dishes unknown to the rest of
the world; they are all good, traditional European flavours. And if
he's eating unhung pheasant, he is a milk-livered panty-waisted lily-flower.
It goes to suggest that it is Mr Lenane's tastes, rather than England's,
that are backwards and underdeveloped.
And finally: beer.
English ales are supposed to be warm. The warmth releases the flavour
of the hops and barley, giving a rich, full palate of flavours ranging
from the heaviness of stout to the bitterness of IPA to the smoothness
of a mild. That is, English ale tastes of something, rather than resembling
the homogenised bear's piss that Americans bottle and sell as chilled
I hope you have time
to read this rant, even if you then utterly forget about it in the next
millisecond. It is cold and lonely over in England, and it would be
nice to feel that I have touched another life, if only for the beat
of a fly's wing.
Yours sincerely, and
I love your site and would submit something except I think it wouldn't
be suitable (too oblique, too quiet), but I'll keep reading anyway,