Got a recipe to use up furry blue bread, Jamie?

 

Share

Here's a surprising thing about last week's Jamie Oliver fiasco: poor Jamie was in the stocks all week and yet there's one very obvious thing that he still hasn't been slagged off for. When Jamie despaired of the nation's poor and gave his Marie Antoinette-ish "let them eat stale bread" speech, people immediately pointed out that he has no idea what it's like to be poor. They failed to spot that he clearly doesn't understand bread, either. Modern bread, bought in supermarkets, does not go stale. It goes blue and furry and is no good at all for the "beautiful rustic croutons" in his new book, Save With Jamie.

To be fair, the recipes in the book made me drool and it's very helpful on cheap cuts of meat, but like every other television chef, Jamie displays a lack of understanding about how people really cook and live. About that cheap meat: you've got to get to know your local butcher and fishmonger "on first name terms", he says, and "build up a good relationship with your greengrocer". Now, I live in a rare part of London that still exists in the 1950s and I do have a butcher and a greengrocer nearby. But they both close before I get home from work and don't open on Sundays, so I mostly shop at supermarkets, like almost everyone else.

Jamie's book begins with a chapter that can be summarised as "first, stock your pantry". He recommends buying in bulk – including four types of pasta and an equivalent volume of rice – and we've also seen him on the telly keeping spices by the kilo in attractive Kilner jars and cute vintage porcelain.

Of course, food doesn't keep well that way, even if you do have a kitchen the size of a TV studio. And you'd need one for the 46 pieces of equipment that Jamie says you need, including a food processor, a blender and a stick blender, three frying pans, wooden and plastic chopping boards, two graters and a pastry brush.

Jamie also complains about the quantity of food thrown away in Britain. And yet, like most TV chefs, his recipes demand such ingredients as "six slices of ciabatta", "half a bunch of fresh dill" and "quarter of a cucumber". And what happens to the rest? Let them drink Pimm's!

It also asks, "Have you ever opened a bottle of wine and not quite finished it?" Err, well, how shall we put this, Jamie? No. And if we did, we'd probably be more likely to drink it later than start up our own vinegar culture in some unused corner of our enormous kitchen.

Other things that TV chefs don't understand about real cooking include: using metal utensils in non-stick pans will RUIN them; using a blender instead of chopping by hand is only quicker if you don't do your own washing up; hungover people do not wake up and make a dish using 12 ingredients, a peeler, grater, two pans and some drizzling. Nor do we cook a chilli for five hours. (We could do eight, or two, but not five.) Not even when we're waiting for our bread to go stale.

twitter.com/@katyguest36912

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Retail Store Supervisor

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to become a part of a mot...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - ASP.Net, C#

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This business IT support compan...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager / New Product Manager

£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company mission is to be th...

Recruitment Genius: Software Tester

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Tester is required t...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London  

When rents are so high that you have to share a bed with a stranger, surely the revolution can’t be far off

Grace Dent
 

A smear test could, quite literally, save your life. It saved mine

Emma Duke
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project