Pumpkin Publog

May 04

Alton Brown

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Alton Brownspeaks a lot of sense, Vic and I watched quite a lot of his show while in the States and are now petitioning UK Food for them to be shown here , so good ar ethey, anyway, here’s a sample:

“If I?ve said it once I?ve said it 97 times: there are no bad foods, just bad food habits. If I?m fat (and I?m not saying that I am) it?s not Ronald McDonald?s fault, or ConAgra?s fault or Ben & Jerry?s fault, or my mom?s fault or anyone?s fault but my own. I don?t support lawsuits against fast food any more than I support lawsuits against cigarette companies. Anyone who doesn?t know cigarettes are bad for you is an idiot. Anyone who doesn?t know that eating too much fast food will make you fat?ditto. In fact I think I may organize a class action lawsuit against people who stage lawsuits against corporations who they think should take responsibility for them. Criminy! Most corporations can barely take responsibility for themselves much less others.

If I?m fat it?s because I?ve shoved to many calories down my pie hole. I don?t need to chat with Oprah about it and I sure don?t need to consult that loathsome profiteer ?Dr? Phil. I just need to stop eating so much and exercise more. ”

wise words indeed

Too Tough To Cook

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Too Tough To Cook

Post-Punk: an examination of the underground culinary movement

How to make Gutter Punk

International Pizza Punk Day!

May 04

whose Spanish cuisine rules London?

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whose Spanish cuisine rules London?

Last year Vicky and I visited Moro, often touted as being one of the best restaurants in London for Iberian cuisine and had a fantastic meal with terrible service (see the archives for a report – around August last year) Anyway, last night we were lucky enough to visit a new contender – Fino. Fino is situated just off London’s restaurant strip mall that is Charlotte street, an unassuming entrance leads you underground into a very very pleasant space. A small cocktail bar off to the right, and more steps down to the dining room, tables are nicely spaced (although we reckoned that only one table would give you a really good amount of privacy. Anyway, the food, at Moro we ate traditionally – starter, main, dessert. At Fino we decided to go with the gourmet tapas selection – plenty of small dishes coming as they are ready. In order they were…..

Pamb Tomaquet (not sure of all their spellings to be honest)
Lovely sourdough bread, rubbed with garlic and then a tomato is squashed on – a hearty way to start a meal (and a good work-out for the teeth too)

Selection of Carcuterie
Great chorizo, some salami style sausage and some slices of meltingly good Jamon

Pimientos de Padron
Small peppers (they offer a lottery style thrill in that one in ten are supposed to be firey hot – the rest sweet and mild)chargrilled into softness with plenty of flaky salt sprinkled on – good stuff

These were simply split in half and grilled – very sweet and succulent with a lightly smoky flavour

Served in a light broth that was enriched with small pieces of ham and onion/garlic – these were sweet and tasty, really really fresh

Crispfried squid
Simple squid rings (and tentacles) in a light batter – all the better for extra salt and a good squeeze of lemon

This we thought was it, and felt slight;y gipped as we were still hungry, but our plates were cleared and so we thought about pudding, but all of a sudden the stars of the meal appeared:

Chorizo with tomato
An unlikely star but wow, it wasn’t because it was the best chorizo I’ve tasted (which it was – sweet and spicy withought getting too sickly as these things can)it was the tomatoes – one bite and I was transferred to my old next door neighbours greenhouse which was full of tomato plants – they were soft, juicy and so flavourful – a real woonder. These and the chorizo combined to make one of the tastiest things I’ve eaten all year.

Veal loin (well we think it was veal – very lightly flavoured and the only thing else it could have been is pork – but it was pink in the middle…)
A lovely bit of meat – slightly pink in the middle and with a crust that had plenty of pimenton in it – thus it was sweet, smoky and intensley savoutry all at the same time.

We had just enough room left for dessert now, and were glad we did – some fresh fried doughnuts with vanilla ice-cream were a gron up kids treat, while the santiago tart, laden with almonds and dried fruit was like having Christmas in the summertime. Capped off with a ridiculously strong Poire William and a great armagnac we left full and satisfied.

The bill wasn’t cheap (bulked out by a very good white Rioja) at over a ton, but the question to be asked is “would I go again?”

I’d go there every day for weeks if I could.

May 04

Ever since I’ve been on this diet people are saying I’m obsessed with food. I’m not, but any time I switch on to the local radio station they’re playing a song that reminds me how hungry I am.

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Ever since I’ve been on this diet people are saying I’m obsessed with food. I’m not, but any time I switch on to the local radio station they’re playing a song that reminds me how hungry I am.

May 04

Corporate duty took me to Opium

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Corporate duty took me to Opium on Dean Street last night. A bar-cum-‘club space’ it was visually opulent but thematically hi-tack, a mishmash of orientalist cliches. Here was some Indian beer; there was some (frankly glitch-prone) ‘world fusion’ music; everywhere there were arabesque drapes; the rather good food was roughly Thai – and look! a belly dancer! Two!

The question of belly dancing in bars is not one I thought I’d have to deal with on the Publog. Basically I’m against it – it looked skilful but was a bit of a conversation killer, and at one point a gyrating odalisque positioned herself right between me and my drink. But belly dancers who used their sinuous skills to collect empties – now there would be a thing!

May 04

Info hound Nick Dastoor

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Info hound Nick Dastoor has stumbled across this helpful anthropological study into British pub ettiquette by the Social Issues Research Centre. And you know what. It is pretty good. It sticks by its own maxim to not take things too seriously, and seems to have a healthy disrespect for pubgoers (and probably CAMRA members). The section on pub types is fair, with an admirable setion on estate pubs. It may paint pubs as being far friendlier than they really are, but if a foreigner were to follow the guidance within they would probably feel a lot more at home in the pub.

Of course it has already inspired much debate on ILX, (including debate on whether it has been publogged before), and there are simplifications as well as a few clangers – especially the opposite sex chapter. But then this is not a guide to what we do, it is like all good anthropolgy an attempt to explain the rules to someone to whom this is a mystery from a culturally superior standpoint. It does need a chapter on pub toilets though to be comprehensive.

May 04


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This, even by the standards of bizarre pub quiz questions, is a little bit on the random front. The feeling of achievement when the result was finally discerned was tangible.

Q: Two prime numbers under 100 when one is divided into the other give a result of 0.566265. What are the two numbers?

(I tried to draw a graph to start off but the beer stained question sheet did not help.)

The Russian army has rescued 10 tons of beer trapped under Siberian ice!!

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The Russian army has rescued 10 tons of beer trapped under Siberian ice!! “The lorry carrying the beer sank when trying to cross the frozen Irtysh River, and a rescue team of six divers, 10 workers and a modified T-72 tank have managed to save the load, but not the truck. The driver managed to jump to safety before the lorry sank.”

Go Team Russia!

May 04

new products corner (not nicked from the Grocer honest)

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new products corner (not nicked from the Grocer honest)

new ice creams for the summer – Yorkie and Toffee crisp from Nestle (that’s pronounced Nessels)

new walkers flavours (limited edition)
greek kebab
Tomato and Basil
feta cheese

An Austrian company is making a chocolate orange liquer

Bottles of Dasani = available for 99p on e-bay, but T-shirts are 45 quid!

May 04


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