16.12.08

Suet pudding

Since I stopped eating meat nearly 30 years ago (I confess I'm not vegan, nor vegetarian, cos I eat the odd bit of fish) there have been food items I've missed. I used to have dreams about liver, like the grilled liver and chips with a fried egg on top we used to have in the cafe over the deli at Boggi's in Clerkenwell. I have fond memories of salt beef sandwiches with mustard from a shop that seemed to serve nothing else, in Fetter Lane. One thing I used to love as a lad was steak and kidney pudding, with tinned peas and a ladle full of brown gravy, as served in that cafe over a shop on Kay Gardens, when we wagged off school on a Friday. They did meat puds in tiny tins too, I seem to remember from my student days. The nearest to it was a wild mushroom suet pudding from Terre a Terre one Christmas freelancers lunch a few years back. Gorgeous! Since then we've seen veggie haggis and black pudding appear, tho I'm not conviced by the V Pud - tastes nothing like the real thing! Veggie food has come a long way since that brown slop they once served at Crank's. Thank goodness for Linda MacCartney and Quorn. I love pies and pasties and still mourn the demise of Sainsbury's Savoury Pasty. Yes, I know you can buy cheese and onion pasties ('do I have to spell it out!') and Waitrose do a lovely hand-crimped vegetable one, but I crave that MEAT taste! Linda's Country pies are a great stand-by, but frozen products seldom come out right with me. Recently Quorn have been releasing various pastry slices, including Minced beef with onion (not available in all supermarkets I'm sad to say) which I quite like but examining the shelves at Asda the other day my heart stopped when I spotted the new Quorn Beef style and ale pudding! And yes, it does taste like I remembered, and you don't have to boil it up in one of granny's stockings for hours on end! They do a mince and onion version too (but curse their packaging that makes every product look alike!). It's a dream come true. So what's next on the wish list? If they can do haggis, which is mostly cereal filling anyway, it can't be too difficult to produce a veggie faggot? Come on Mr Brain, what are you waiting for?
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