Food & Drink: Gastropod

FANS of Radio Four's Food Programme, which goes out on Friday lunchtimes and is repeated on Monday evenings, will by now be familiar with Henrietta Green's contribution, in which she roams the countryside seeking specialist food producers and asking them all sorts of pertinent questions. We have already been introduced to Michael Brown, who smokes freshwater eels over beechwood wearing a gas mask, and been into the fields with Michael Gibson, a transplanted Sassenach who farms and butchers extensively reared Angus beef in Forres, Grampian. We have met Richard Snowden, the eccentric market gardener from Yorkshire, and Wendy Brandon, the ex-schoolmistress who now makes chutneys, preserves and peculiar fruit mustards in the Welsh valleys.

Ms Green's gastronomic equivalent of Down Your Weirdo Way reaches the end of its run next Friday with a visit to Peter Redstone's Rocombe dairy in Devon, where the expatriate American flower child makes double rich and infinitely moreish ice-cream. In fact, Mr Redstone is making a special batch of cobnut-flavoured ice-cream for the launch party of Henrietta Green's Food Lover's Guide to Britain (published by BBC Books, pounds 9.99), a useful guidebook that includes 600 of the finest food producers and best shops in the country.

ONE WOULD think that cuisine would not be a high priority aboard a racing yacht, so the Gastropod is heartened to hear that the participants in this year's Whitbread Round The World Race will be kept in contact with the chef of the Cafe Royal, Herbert Berger, via BT's satellite paging service, VoiceCom. The idea is that Herbert, who saw the boats off from Southampton and cooked the last breakfast of real bacon and eggs that the contestants will see until they reach Uruguay, can supply recipes and culinary tips. The skipper of the British yacht Dolphin and Youth, Matthew Humphries, a 22-year-old who has been to catering college, reckons it is a brilliant innovation.

But Berger is not so sure. 'All their supplies are freeze-dried,' he explained to the Gastropod, 'so there's not much I can tell them to do unless they are lucky enough to catch a fish.'

THE ARRIVAL of mesquite marinated Mississippi catfish in the chiller cabinets of Tesco at an introductory price of 99p per fillet signals the first attempt to export the fish that has caused a minor revolution in America. Advances in aquaculture (fish farming) have promoted the catfish, which was once a strictly regional delicacy, to the status of fifth most popular fish in the USA.

Catfish, unlike, say, salmon, are ideally adapted to intensive farming and, being cartiliginous (boneless), are extemely easy to process. One drawback is that they are naturally bottom feeders, preferring to wallow in mud, sucking up nutrients and acquiring a distinctly muddy flavour, but farmed catfish will happily rise to the surface of their ponds to feast on soya pellets. The diet ensures a fish that is highly nutritious and packed full of Omega 3 fish oils, which Americans are convinced will prevent heart disease. Farmed catfish has what they call a 'delicate flavour', meaning it does not taste of much, which is doubtless why Tesco has decided to coat its catfish with a spicy marinade.

ANYONE CONTEMPLATING a trip across the Channel to stock up on cheap booze might like to know that the annual wine and beer show is going on at the Kursaal Casino in Dunkirk next weekend, from Friday to Monday until eight each evening. Organised by a charitable body called Les Chevaliers du XXme Siecle, it brings together 100 exhibitors from all over France, who will be delighted to let you sample their products before you buy. The entrance fee is a paltry Fr10 ( pounds 1), which goes to children's charities.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Ashdown Group: Print Designer - High Wycombe - Permanent £28K

    £25000 - £28000 per annum + 24 days holiday, bonus, etc.: Ashdown Group: Print...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager

    £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager required for ...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator

    £25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator A...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement