Pork pies: Must have jelly
Pork pies: Must have jelly

A pork pie with no jelly is like love without sex: You can tell a lot about a person by the things they don't eat

Samuel Muston
Tuesday 08 March 2016 19:13
Comments

Judgement is one of those eel-words that slip about, its meaning, or at least its resonance, is ever-changing. It is thought laudable in, say, a theatre critic or a reviewer of films, but if you are ever on a bus and listening to some teenagers, you will certainly at some point hear an angry voice screech “DON'T JUDGE ME” as if it was a mortal sin. Of course, it's not, being just a simple means to come to sensible conclusions. Or at least that is what I think when I consider my own judgement, which, like most people I know, is always appended with the word “good” in my head. Other people, though, well, they are something else.

I often find myself repressing my inner magistrate (he has owl eyes, a nose red with drink and lives in Plumstead, I like to think). This biting of the tongue often comes when other people are biting into their food; or rather more accurately, at the point when they are not biting into their food. I find I judge people not on what they eat, but what they don't eat.

If you want to put cheese and onion crisps inside a cheese and pickle sandwich, then go right ahead. Or if you sometimes want to buy those frozen mini pizzas that cook in the microwave and seem to be the love child of two slices of Dairylea and a car sponge, that's OK – we can still be friends. Peperamis, of course, they are absolutely permissible on hangovers. I wouldn't recommend eating too much of those things, to be honest, but I am not your mum and we all have our guilty pleasures – mine are Scotch eggs from M&S. Or Tesco, if I am a bit short.

To judge a person by the things they eat is madly pompous, the preserve of people who refer to themselves as bon viveurs in their Twitter bios. But you can tell a lot about a person by the things they don't eat, I swear it.

People who leave crusts on a pizza are, for instance, invariably spoilt: why leave the good, noble crust? Especially if it has been prepared by a careful human hand and not Dr Oetker. And anyone who removes the fat from a well-cooked bit of steak, and who doesn't have a heart condition, is simply a vegetarian who has been misguided.

Pork pies, while we are on the subject, should always come with jelly. A pork pie without jelly is like love without sex. If you don't like the jelly with all its abundant, intoxicating flavours, you probably don't like pork pies. Or meat.

And if you are over 15 and you say you don't like veg, then you have been too indulged in your life. Don't worry though, that can be cured quickly and cheaply, at just £9.99, by consulting Simon Hopkinson's cookbook, The Vegetarian Option.

Naturally, you understand, I would never say any of this to you, though, reader. Because, well, I wouldn't want to judge.

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