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Author: Vince Poynter Version m5.184 29 Aug 18
First published: Version m5.044 22 Dec 2017
Earliest articles: Dated from Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
A Terry's Chocolate Orange. The extremely rare brown version
For years my favourite colour was brown. Even now I cannot decide on a suitable replacement.
Red seems so obvious and more interesting colours like burnt orange are too obscure and would mean I would spend all my time explaining why I chose that hue.
But brown is considered so bland. It is the colour of the country when all the lovely greenery gets trampled and the washed out colour that multiple shades of plasticine turn to when mixed.
Mind you, real fresh conkers are the most beautiful tone...of brown. And brown is the colour of chocolate, one of the best discoveries man ever made.
Chocolate is traditionally brown presumably due to the natural colouration of its main constituent, the cocoa bean. But most other foodstuffs can be coloured so why not chocolate?
And I know by now you are probably screaming at the screen that white chocolate is as common as the Milky Bar Kid in a top ten list of cheesy, spectacled children in TV adverts. But one alternative, sickly option is hardly a rainbow of choice.
Why can't we buy red, blue or even purple chocolate?
Why isn't a Terrys Chocolate Orange orange?
Kids would go crazy for the new hues, tempting them back into a snack that has been increasingly sidelined due to the modern obsession with skinny [I think chubby oiks are like that due to lack of exercise more than bad diet].
So Cadburys, Nestle, Terrys et al get your cochineal out and colour that choc.
Incidentally, I'll know when my idea has fully matured. Not when I can get strawberry chocolate in red but when I can specify my own shade.
And at that point I'll choose fresh conker. A gorgeous mix of browns.
Author: Vince Poynter Version m5.127 5 Jun 2018
First Published: Version 2.03 in Apr 2006
The photograph shows a Terry's Chocolate Orange and was taken by the author and added to the website on 11 Jun 2018
At first all the cucumber aficionados reading this will be salivating at the thought that there is to be a Cucumber campaign. No doubt the thought of selfless promotion of their favourite green cylindrical vegetable will drive them wild with excitement. But this campaign is to reduce their use. I hate the things and I am fed up with them turning up uninvited in my sandwich rolls.
For the last few years we have been constantly droned on at to eat more healthily and my relatively recent contribution is to engage full on with the salad world. Well, when I say full on I don’t mean the whole banana. I don’t relish radishes, crave cress or press for peppers but I have taught myself the art of enjoying a little bit of lettuce, providing it’s not masquerading as that rocket/garden weed nonsense. And I have always liked tomato and egg so with a bit of proper food [i.e. meat] I can handle a salad sandwich from time to time.
The trouble is the purveyors of such delicatessen insist on chucking as much ingredients into their wares as possible and this usually includes an obligatory slice of Cucumis Sativus. No doubt using two thin slices of this cheap creeping vine pod appeals to their sense of value but for me it’s strong flavour just stains the rest of the sandwich and puts me off purchase. And don’t go telling me that they hardly taste of anything as they are 90% water because if that is the case don’t bother adding them in the first place.
My main issue is that nobody really likes these things. My misses claims to like cucumber but not once have I seen her purchase one for snack consumption. Despite the easy natural packaging no one eats a cucumber in the street, such as happens with apples and bananas for instance.
You may think why pick on the cucumber? After all in a similar way the tomato is not universally appreciated yet this is added to salad rolls for presumably the same reason and people don’t eat them in the street. The answer is in the design of the tomato. It may have the same convenient outer packaging as a cucumber but it packs a surprise squish inside rendering it impossible to eat anywhere except leaning over a sink. So totally unsuitable for street snacking. And to reinforce the positives of a tomato it adds a new and exciting colour to a salad sandwich. Cucumber’s just ape the green of the lettuce that’s already there. Plus I like tomatoes.
So lets ditch the cucumber. The most pointless addition to a sandwich ever.
Apart from sweetcorn of course. That nasty little cancer gets everywhere. Try buying a salad or pasta snack in your local supermarket and there it is. Little yellow bits of stinking pus-pebbles ruining every dish and impossible to remove without tweezers and a sieve. Tastes even stronger and twice as sickly than crappy cucumber. And for some reason always added to otherwise delicious tuna offerings. What is this stupid fish/corn-cob relationship based on? As far as I know nothing in the natural world that David Attenborough has ever enlightened us about despite an almost obsessive annual BBC series on the subject. I adore tuna. Tuna is good for me. Sweetcorn makes me puke. Why stop at Tunacorn? Why not just go the whole hog and pointlessly insist on adding dandelion leaves to every smoked salmon slice?
Or better still why not make things simpler? Sandwiches, rolls, baps, tacos, submarines and pittas should only contain one ingredient. An obvious main ingredient, such as the meat, or for those vaginatarians say an egg. Then also on display at the same point should be the personal add ons, such as lettuce, tomato and [if you really insist] cucumber, sweetcorn and dandelion. The user could add these extras at will and build a sarnie to their precise taste and health requirements.
Yes, I am aware that the Subway sandwich chain already take this approach but why not our local supermarket, corner shop or garage forecourt?
Lettuce start the Cucumber Campaign today.
Author: Vince Poynter Version m5.184 29 Aug 18
First Published: Blog within Version 3.0 on 6 Feb 2011
Food For Thought
Yummy, yummy, yummy. This is going to [temporarily] fill my tummy
I purchased a Pot Noodle from Tesco today.
This is not a regular thing now but I used to have one or two when they were first introduced.
This quite unremarkable fact would have gone unreported, even in my detailed blog, other than the fact behind me in the queue was a chef. I knew this fact from his dirty, white, wrap-around top and silly check trousers.
He saw my Pot Noodle and I could see his mind visibly sighing.
He was buying a pile of fresh ingredients and I'm sure was about to produce a masterclass in scrumptious eating.
My sad fast food option was clearly letting the side down.
However, I did think that if this chef was clever enough to have thought up the concept of my humble snack he wouldn't be in Tesco now looking down his nose.
It tasted delicious.
Author: Vince Poynter Version m5.107 26 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 21 Sep 2005
The photograph shows the author tucking into a Pot Noodle and was taken around 1985. It was added to the website in Version m5.107 26 Apr 2018
Had a late lunch with the wife's family to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday.
We made our now seemingly monotonously regular trip to The Otter at Otterborne.
Personally I always see a typically dingily lit Public House with grimy floor and facilities and a smattering of unwelcoming angry looking bar locals. However, the in-laws only see the back restaurant and seem to like the food.
Here the Otter does well and surprisingly serves a quite exotic menu.
Often I'll order the Ostrich Steak but like so many other things today this was off the menu.
The waitress offered kangaroo, which I jumped at.
Author: Vince Poynter Version m5.162 30 Jul 2018
Written as an entry in MyDiary 18 Jan 2010
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010
A Refreshment Revolution
One lump or two? I said, one lump or two!? Oh, never mind, it's turned out nice again
Admittedly, the way I take it - black, weak and with one sugar is a little unconventional. If it is an inviting, red, watery, sweet liquid where you can clearly see the base of the cup I'm a happy bunny. The taste is so subtle, not disrupted by the artificial thickness of bovine mammoidal fluid.
I learnt to appreciate the subtleness of tea as a drink after a Japanese restaurant supplied me with green tea. An oriental fusion of hot water with bits of their garden chucked in it. Strange to the eye but welcome in the mouth. The Japenese have been drinking it like this for hundreds of years before they told me. How inconsiderate is that?
This ancient heritage can be easily traced because in essence tea has hardly changed since the first chinaman boiled a pan of water in autumn. That is why the British love it. We are superb at tradition. So much so the developments in tea distribution have been few and far between.
For a start there was the tea bag. A major revolution. And then. Well almost nothing.
Except tea bags of various shapes offering dubious claims to increase efficiency. I don't even want my flavour to flood out. I take it red ferchrissakes.
So when I came upon this idea I thought I could claim a landmark. A revolution in tea making. A quantum step no less.
Will they name it after me?
Like all good ideas it is simple and comes from need.
Recently, I tried to make a cup of tea but there was no sugar. Someone had used the last of it and all that remained were a few grains amongst the coffee granules.
Little interim note, if you have coffee with sugar - put the sugar in first so the spoon doesn't contaminate the sugar. That coffee granule really spoils my weak tea. And I'm tea total, I never drink coffee.
Anyway, back to the case in point. I wanted a cup of tea and there was no sugar. I looked at the teabag. If only the sugar was already in it I thought.
One of those little lightbulb thingies illuminated over my head and there it was.
Tea bags, containing tea and sugar.
A marketing edge.
I even have the logo. "Sweet tea's the one for me".
Do you have the ability to turn this into a consumer product with me? Tea bag and sugar producers click away.
Author: Vince Poynter Version m5.039 15 Dec 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The links were added in Version m5.039 15 Dec 2017, along with the image which depicts the author serving afternoon tea to some pensioners whlst some co-workers look on
Links to 'Tea' poem added in version m5.040 17 Dec 2017
A nonsense written in 1992
When I get up in the morning,
I really can't stop yawning,
Until I've had my first of the day.
And before I sleep at night,
I insist on my right.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
I usually have it at ten.
Two hours later, one again.
That usually keeps me going until three,
When I need one more,
Or maybe two or three or four.
What would I do without my cups of tea?
Well, what did you think I was on about?
In a pub I'll not touch beer,
Or sip a sherry on the pier.
I wouldn't touch a spirit with a pole.
Coffee makes me sick,
And Horlicks gets on my wick.
So you could say that I am tea total.
And when I get old and die,
And meet my maker in the sky.
I'll say to him ... or her, "Just before we settle down.".
Can I have a cup of char?
'Cause I haven't come this far,
To a place where no tea's served in the town.
The morale of this tale,
A tale you all know well,
Is that, if you ever meet me in the square?
Offer white, with just one knob ... of sugar,
Or else you'll have a job,
Persuading me to join you for a chat. So there!
Author: Vince Poynter Version m5.040 17 Dec 2017
Written and performed in 1992
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts the author holding a tea cup whilst squatting by a row of new, white Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars, taken in Jul 2013. It was added, along with the tags, in Version m5.040 17 Dec 2017