Food for thought

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The Independent Online

Bracing news: the Government's foot-and-mouth inquiry is to call for a new national agency to promote British regional cuisine. Tourists will be helped along "food trails" leading to the finest samples of our unique ways with pastry, meat and whatever else has traditionally been knocking about; a feisty export drive cannot be far behind.

Bracing news: the Government's foot-and-mouth inquiry is to call for a new national agency to promote British regional cuisine. Tourists will be helped along "food trails" leading to the finest samples of our unique ways with pastry, meat and whatever else has traditionally been knocking about; a feisty export drive cannot be far behind.

We, for our part, cannot help wondering if the world is quite ready. True, Paris did give a qualified welcome to the pride of Grampian, the deep-fried Mars Bar, but the deep-fried pizza was not quite such a success. New visitors have had well-recorded problems with mushy peas, especially in the Hartlepool area. Nor are we overly hopeful for Blind Scouse, or Southend Cockle Cake, come to that. And where, exactly, will be adjudged the home of the chicken tikka masala?

Differences of taste within regions may also make for difficulty. Down here, we firmly believe that there is no finer meat pie than that crafted with love by Pimbletts in St Helens; but we know that there are less enlightened parts of Lancashire that take another view. All this, though, is as nothing to our worries about the marketing, particularly in the US, of Black Country faggots.

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