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Minor British Institutions: Devils on horseback

Sean O'Grady
Saturday 22 May 2010 00:00 BST

Never has a prune been better dressed. Pushing the boundaries of culinary inventiveness, someone, probably in this country, once decided to combine the typically British delicacies of streaky bacon and prunes in one delicious snack, nowadays enhanced with some mango chutney. You stuff the chutney into the pitted prune, wrap it in bacon and secure it all with a toothpick. Grill for about three minutes on each side and the most exquisite taste combination will be ready for your expectant palate.

The origins of the name are mysterious, and perhaps derived from the dish's diabolical shades of black and red. Or as a play on angels on horseback, which is oysters wrapped in bacon, or anges a cheval, a French dish. Add stilton to the stuffing or use dates in place of prunes as variations on the theme. Last popular as a party food in the Seventies and early Eighties, these little devils are surely well overdue a comeback.

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