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
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Restaurant Manager / Sommelier

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Receptionists - Seasonal Placement

    £12500 - £13520 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced Hotel Receptionists...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Receptionists - Poole

    £12500 - £13520 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Recruitment Genius: Lifeguards / Leisure Club Attendants - Seasonal Placement

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Qualified Lifeguards are required to join a fa...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn