Crimes against food


I am quite often inspired to have a foodie rant. So here goes my first proper ‘harrumph’ on the blog.

The cake above is Exhibit A – a selection of slices of banana and chocolate cake purchased from Del Aziz in Bermondsey Square, London. Nothing wrong with the cakes as such, but the lady who cut the slices in front of me first of all cut a 1cm slice from the cake which she put to one side before cutting a bigger wedge to sell to me. “What do you do with the small bit?” I asked. “Oh, we throw it away,” she replied nonchalantly. Whaaaat? That means that at least a whole quarter of each cake they make goes directly in the bin – a nonsensical waste of perfectly edible food. They must be insane. What is meant to be a gesture of largesse totally fails to impress. How can you throw cakes away when there are people going hungry? Time will tell whether their profits go into the bin as well…

And Exhibit B? Behold the sorry sandwich below:

This vile example of a tuna mayonnaise ‘baguette’ was purchased a few days ago from ‘Bake & Bite’ situated in the car park of the Portsmouth Isle of Wight ferry dock. Ok, I should have known that I wasn’t exactly in the right place for a gourmet snack, but this sandwich was what I felt would be the ‘safest’ option from a very unappetising array of leaden, greasy snacks on display at the counter. However, as soon as I bit into it, it was like receiving a wet sludgy slap to the face. The bread was so damp it felt as though it had been dunked into a bucket of water. The salad inside was limp and forlorn; the tuna had been whipped into a greyish gloop with acidic mayonnaise (no doubt piped out of an industrial vat somewhere). The whole thing was totally disgusting and – as much as I HATE wasting food – I had to lob it into the bin. Why is it so impossible to get a simple nutritious snack outside of big towns and cities in the UK? Apparently in countries like Italy you can eat wonderful homecooked food at motorway service station cafes for next to tuppence. In France I’ve had many a delicious meal in supermarket cafes. It’s not that difficult to make tasty, simple food. But we’ve clearly got a long way to go in this country if even the simplest of sandwiches proves too challenging. Bah!

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7 comments

  1. Foodies need to vent occasionally 😉 Enjoyed your blog post.

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  2. Did she explain why they throw the first slice away? Is it because they keep their cakes too long and the open edge has gone a bit dry / stale? If so they need to improve storage and bake according to their sales volumes.If not, well, I can't think of any other reason for such wastage!!!

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  3. hi!! just found your blog on UKFBA, lovely!! Becca 🙂

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  4. The cake thing makes no sense, what a complete waste of food. shocking.

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  5. Hi AnneA wonderful rant. It is theraputic to 'harrumph' at least once a day in my experience. After all the incongruity of these kind of actions is in some small way justified by us if we dont make some gesture of protest.I have myself come to terms with the 25% cake wastage by imagining that it may be due to a protection racket run by small children who demand a cut of each slice sold – with the threat of a cake boycott by all pre-teens in the area, what respectable cake shop owner would not claim that the cake is simply 'thrown away' whilst actually offering it up as 'insurance' to the daily visit from a cake eating Hannah Montana fan on a pink scooter – as you can see the actual reality of cake wastage is too much for me to bear.Your issue with 'crap snack food' – excuse me if I have paraphrased there – is I fear a lot worse than you report, and is due mostly to our (collective) laziness. Portsmouth's, (described as a 'large city' by many people – admittedly mostly by those that live there) lack of decent 'food on the go' is symptomatic of this countries complete acceptance of the trash that is served up to us – they sell it, because we (sic) buy it! Encourage all the people you know to make a packed lunch next time they travel. Eat your gourmet lunch in plain sight of any motorway service station, layby eaterie or so called 'snack shop' and wave it in their face – I'm sure that enough of this behaviour will soon send the message loud and clear. These 'food outlets' exist only because we buy their soggy sandwiches and baguettesApologies – I too appear to have had my theraputic rantKeep up the good work

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  6. Hi Kavey – I was so shocked I didn't ask her why she threw the cake away, I just walked away in stunned silence! I think that you are right: they store the cakes on plates that are rather exposed and prone to going stale. A nice glass dome cover would sort that out nicely…hi Becca – thanks for the nice words!Hello Luigi: yes, totally shocking ain't it. In this day and age!!!Hello James – I think there are doubtless teams of rogue urchins terrorising London eateries, you have hit the nail on the head! (Am now imagining 'Wire'-style scenario where scary kids with hollow eyes claim sponge cake for protection…hah) And yes, I will endeavour to wave some kind of home-prepared gourmet snack aloft in the face of crap snack adversity at every possible opportunity…

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  7. Oh – Jim, have just realised it's you! Hello! :o)

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