Cooking With Attitude: Out west and down under

The Nosh Brothers; madsods@aol.com
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Last week Mick Nosh was in Canberra, the Australian capital, while Nick Nosh went

to Wales. The culinary contrast could not have been more marked

Both the Aussies and the Welsh receive five TV channels and all the newspapers and consumer magazines you could wave a whisk at. So both nations are exposed to the current obsession with food and drink journalism.

But are the Welsh paying attention, Nick asks? The answer has to be a resounding "no".

The timeclock of food ticks but the hands do not go round. In a lot of places Nick stumbled across, they were still serving chicken in a basket with chips - a dull dish at the best of times - but, even worse when the chicken is bone dry. Possibly the only dry thing left in Wales after the recent weather, mind you. It would have been more fun to have soup in a basket.

Mick was luckier in Canberra. To be fair, Canberrans, despite hard times, are still fairly well-heeled and eat out regularly as a matter of course. Yet, with the exception of prestigious places like the revolving restaurant at the Telstra Tower, set 130 metres above the top of Black Mountain, good restaurants are often hidden in suburban shopping centres, sometimes on the first floor or in the basement. So, for the casual visitor there is no easily identifiable "downtown" dedicated to Noshing. It is a puzzle which Mick, having the advantage of local knowledge, was spared.

Is it possible that the Welsh hide similar treasures known only to the local "cognoshcenti"? If you can enlighten us, let us know. Given the historic antipathy between the Welsh and the Brits, which they share with their would-be republican Australian counterparts and the poms, it is a possibility. Yet we find it hard to believe that our Celtic neighbours have a secret cuisine worthy of critical inspection and would be sufficiently crafty to hide it from Nick Nosh's scrutiny.

We realise that news travels slowly in the valleys. But it is time for the Welsh to wake up.

`Winter Nosh', The Nosh Brothers new television series, will be transmitted on Carlton Food Network from 8 January

The book of the series is available from all good bookshops

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