This week I've been eating... Cornish fish stew
I measure out my life in dinners. Doubly so when on holiday; as lunch reaches the table, I'm planning dinner. My reward for such mad obsession is memories. The cold of the sea, the pains of travelling I soon forget – leaving only the food as a glistening, (preferably) well-basted memory.
Here is one from a recent trip to Cornwall. In the dining room of The Old Coastguard in Mousehole at 6.30pm, the light still overhead, the Atlantic at the bottom of the garden roaring and the smell of fish stew drifting up from the table.
The dish, with its mound of luxuriant aioli, owed a lot to bouillabaisse, though its accent was unabashedly Cornish. How could it be anything but when the gurnard, pollock and mussels were so recently inhabitants of the Cornish sea? The sauce had the energy of a stallion, rippling with the flavour of long-roasted shellfish. That's is my holiday, miniaturised and on a plate. oldcoastguardhotel.co.uk
"Take me home," whispers the packaging on the new Peanut Hottie drink, presumably in a misplaced attempt to make a powdered peanut butter drink sound sexy. In fact, it just makes it look rather stupid. But then it is quite a daft drink. This illegitimate child of hot chocolate and peanut butter falls between two stools. For the first millisecond of gulping it, you could have easily convinced me it was hot chocolate, but then a metallic tang of faux peanut butter comes along and the dream, such as it was, falls apart. £2, sainsburys.co.uk
Butchers Keevil and Keevil have been slicing and dicing for 150 years. But until recently you had to visit Smithfield market to get your hands on its products. Now you can order one of its meat boxes online, to be delivered to your door wherever you are in mainland Britain. The couriered boxes contain two sirloins; two duck breasts; four chops; two lamb chops; minced beef; two venison steaks; four chicken supremes; and enough sausages to feed a small army. The provenance – farm and breed – is printed on each of the packets so you know from where your dinner came from. £56, butchersboxes.co.uk
Quite often I wish that new pop-ups would just pop off. Not this one, though: I'm excited about Camberwell Love. Clever James Cochran, sous-chef of the Michelin-starred Harwood Arms in Fulham, is taking over the kitchens at the Steam Passage Tavern in Angel on 1 and 2 October. Tickets cost £45 for eight courses and a cocktail on arrival. Will Cochran shape up to be the Next Big Thing? Enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do foods have genders? Is ham more boyish than, say, egg? If you were dressing a baguette, would it be in blue? McCoy's crisps now bear the legend "Man Crisps", presumably because their hideous creations are too much for dainty ladies. All I can say is: lucky ladies. mccoys.co.uk