Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maybe It's Because I'm A Lankaner

That I can get plateloads of pleasure from both Sri Lankan and British cuisine. I must confess to considerable pride in the title of this post actually. It just came to me and I think it's got that rather poetic ring to it, like receiving a phone call from William Wordsworth, William Shatner, Theena or one of those other bards.

I like food and I'm quite the food whore. The only things I shy away from are snails and anything else I don't like. All else is fair game to me. Except fish of course, but that's understandable. My favourite food, without a doubt, would definitely be rice and curry. I'm not sure what exact dishes but a generic description of "rice and curry" should cover it.

On the other side of the world I also love lots of British food. To some the term "British food" is an oxymoron. To me it's a wonderful world of cuisine, some I like and some I'm not so enthusiastic about.

English breakfast, fish and chips, shepherd's pie, roast beef with Yorkshire pud, pie and mash, bubble and squeak, they're all delicious and just the thought of them makes my mouth water.

But you know the one meal that I don't think I could live without?

Sausages, mash and baked beans.

Actually, in all honesty I could live without the mash and beans but not the sausages. Whenever I'm away from England for too long it's sausages that I start to miss. Good proper English sausages, none of your European "Frankfurter" types stuffed full of meat and with that texture that makes them all bouncy and bendy. No I mean proper English ones made with pork and pepper, bread and bollocks and eyes and things.

I avoid Sri Lankan sausages like I avoid salad. I know the reasons for their popularity in Sri Lanka but frankly, if God had meant us to eat chicken sausages then he wouldn't have given us KFC or chicken curry, would he now?

The Great British sausage has got a skin and should be cooked so that the skin gets crispy. It shouldn't be pierced before cooking, too many amateurs make that mistake and end up with some sort of health sausage with no juices. In my worldwide investigations I've found that most countries have a sausage or two of their own. The Spanish have got their chorizos, the Italians have their salamis and the Germans have their wursts. They're all quite nice but they're not the same as the good old English banger.

The meal of sausages, mash and beans is one of contrasting textures and warming taste sensations. The meatiness of the sausage finds its perfect partner in mashed potato, not just any mashed potato either. It has to be smooth and creamy with lots of butter and each bit of sausage must be coated with mash as it's raised to the mouth.

I can't claim to be a baked bean snob, I don't reckon I could taste the difference between Heinz beans and other inferior ones if I was blindfolded, though, were I blindfolded, I could think of many far more exciting things to do than eat baked beans. Of course I only buy Heinz baked beans though, which probably makes me some sort of hypocrite, or a has bean.

The beans provide a third texture to the already interesting mix. We have the crumbliness of the sausage meat, the smoothness of the mash and then the sauciness, slight firmness and interesting shape of the baked beans. Different folks add different sauces to the mix. As a tribute to my heritage and background I usually go for chilli sauce but, even in the house of RD, there may be found a plate of sausages, beans and mash with nothing more spicy than a dollop of tomato ketchup or brown sauce on the side.

Each mouthful is a little symphony, all the elements blend and make for a gastronomic synergy that is simply delicious.

Next time I'll tell you about the joys of a great Cornish pasty. Mmmmmm....


Sachintha said...

Aaaaargh, I feel like having the breakfast though it's 1.30pm... :D

Jery said...

What exactly IS a food whore?

Selling yourself for food? Selling food for money?

"Expose! Your friendly neighborhood baker, or food whore?"

ViceUnVersa said...

Roast beef sandwiches, especially the salt pepper beef at Selfridges food hall?
I don't eat beef but used to. So every-time I pass by I just salivate and gaze in sadness.

Oh wait,

And good morning!

That's all.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Good morning to you too DD, have a good school run.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Jerry - I think I would define a food whore as someone who likes food just for the taste of it, not always for nutrition alone. Sometimes I do go out at night dressed as a banana and charging for sexual services too.

PseudoRandom said...

Oh I know what you mean about bangers and mash. So yummy! I switch between Cumberland and Lincolnshire quite regularly though - can't choose my favourite!

And you know I would've expected English mustard to be on your list of accompaniments, after your mustard post! It does give a nice kick.

Savi said...

haha speaking of british food, I was randomly one of those late evening channel four programs and they talking about chicken tikka masala as typical british food.. :)

A Virile Nagalingam said...

I had an interesting not-quite-authentic take on a French 'peasant' dish (15 euros a plate..cassoulet!):2 pig sausages (somewhat textured but more english than anything), pig stomach, 4 peeled potahtos and a mess of cheese, white people seasoning and some token mushrooms.