The Third Leader: Nettles and custard

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Further evidence has emerged, I see, of people with fancy ideas introducing them at the expense of unfussy traditional native practices that have been absolutely fine with our ancestors and their ancestors and never did them any harm, thank you very much.

Research carried out for a new television series has highlighted many previously popular foods in this country that seem off the menu these days. Nettle pudding, meat pudding (offal, fat and herbs), and roast hedgehog: all seem to have gone the way of turkey twizzlers, no doubt outlawed by an early Oliver or some condescending saucepan shuffler, probably foreign, most likely Roman, or Norman.

Is it, do you think, a coincidence that we are now the most expensive place in the world to eat? Or that that the descendants of the Romans spent yesterday complaining about the price of pasta? We say: nettles!

Mind you, I wasn't previously aware that the Romans had invented custard, the golden ambrosia that makes any pudding (except, perhaps, nettle and meat) great. Again, many of their delicacies, including that sauce made from fish guts and heads, have similarly failed to last the course. They were also in the habit of fattening up dormice and then storing them asleep to be taken off the shelf at will for a snack in the winter months. Verb sap, pasta protesters.

I note, too, that a Wigan sandwich maker is in trouble for passing southern chicken wraps through the fence at an Oliver-affected school. The battle continues. By the way, we also used to eat squirrel and, of course, rooks. The latter, I've been assured, were "perfectly disgusting".

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