Meat and fish pastes are still around. They exist in a weird little timewarp of forgotten but much-loved Victorian prepared foods along with corned beef, custard powder and tinned meat pies. We should be thinking fondly of them, potted ox-cheek, brown shrimp, rabbit and haddock pepper the menus of every Mod Brit restaurant in the country - achingly fashionable statements of thrift and authenticity. We should even doff our hats at the cooking method. Pastes are actually cooked inside those little pop-top jars - the same way as the foie gras or rillettes we disloyally rush to buy on trips to French supermarkets. Should you doubt me, read Sue Shepard's masterful work on the subject; 'Pickled, Potted and Canned' which isn't subtitled 'How meat paste created the British Empire' but should have been.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
At the Guardian, Tim Hayward on the perils of nostalgia for childhood foods: