CLIPSTONE STREET

‘How’s the cod?’ I asked my daughter. ‘It … it…. it’s like a great big, warm hug,’ said Lois. It’s not every day you hear that about a plate of food, particularly about a plate of cod lightly thatched with something called hazelnut miso (salty miso, crunchy nut) with cabbage, a charred leek the size […]

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MASTICATION RAG

Some time ago I read  a book called ‘Gul’  by Mary Roach, the author of ‘Bonk’, ‘Stiff’ and ‘Six Feet Over’. It was a jolly journalistic canter through what happens in our brains, mouths, nasal passages and gut when we eat, and is packed with delicious titbits of information. I was particularly taken with the […]

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BURGERATION

If a person can understand the joy of a McDonalds burger, he or she will come closer to understanding the mysteries of the universe. That’s my theory, and on that basis I treat myself to one each year. Is there another food that is, at once, so remarkable, so extraordinary, so paradoxical? Here is a […]

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LE MANOIR AUX QUAT’ SAISONS

Christ, what a miserable day, damp, dank, grey, chill. Then, lights gleaming through the murk, there is the Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saison, warm, welcoming, smooth and civilised, a refuge from gloom and despondency. ‘Let me take the keys to your car, sir/‘ ‘Take a seat, sir. You’re the first to arrive. Can I get […]

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EAT, MEMORY

My grandmother lived in a small cottage next door to the house in which I grew up. When I was about four or five I used to visit her, there was always something to eat,  ginger biscuits or a piece of cake. But it isn’t these dainties that I remember best, but the mug of […]

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WHY I LOVE FOOD

When the Vietnamese and the Americans were negotiating the end of the Vietnam War in Paris in 1972 and 1973, their French hosts insisted that the talks continue over lunch and dinner. Initially, the Americans resisted the idea, but the French insisted, and  reluctantly the Americans accepted the proposal. However, after the final peace accord […]

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A SONG TO THE WARM SOUTH

Christmas is coming, and the days are dark and dank. What everyone needs is ‘a beaker full of the warm South’ to brighten their lives. I cannot promise ‘the true, the blushful Hippocrene with beaded bubbles winking at the brim, and purple stainéd mouth’, but I can promise the faithful record of the six months […]

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