Now that we’ve all somewhat recovered from the gluttony of Thanksgiving and all the leftovers have finally been polished off, I believe it’s safe to approach the topic of food once more.

Some research was done in Britishland to see how its inhabitants view the country’s “traditional” dishes.  The foods were ranked on how the respondents placed them on a tier (“God” all the way down to “Crap”). (At this point, my Murkin Readers should refrain from saying “It’s ALL crap” because that would be wrong, and you would be at risk of being labeled “ignorant” by the owner of this here back porch.)

Here are the results:

Now, I have tasted every single dish* in the above, and in fact, I grew up eating a lot of them.  Some are not only beloved, but can be regarded as part of the extreme top of Kim’s Food Triangle.   (*I have never touched Jellied Eels, whose existence can only be ascribed to Satan’s Work, and the thought of ingesting the slimy shit makes me throw up in my mouth, and not a little either. )

Nevertheless, I beg to differ with many of the rankings, thus:

Some explanation ad comment:

  • Crumpets (a.k.a. English muffins) are really just toast, i.e. an accompaniment to a meal.  (Crêpes are another matter altogether, but they’re European, not British.)
  • Cottage- and shepherd pies taste like bland gray hamburger meat covered with mashed potato.  Ugh.
  • Steak ‘n kidney pie could easily make my “God” tier, come to think of it, as could bangers ‘n mash.
  • Welsh rarebit:  chunks of crispy toast in hot beer cheese with fresh tomato pieces… nom nom nom.  If I want to lure my kids over for dinner, I only have to say that this will be on the menu.
  • All the lower-tier dishes pretty much belong there, and I will only eat them out of politeness to my host.
  • I have no idea why sausage rolls weren’t included;  in fact their omission makes the entire study even more suspect than it already is.

All the rest should be self-explanatory.

Oh, and by the way: a “ploughman’s lunch” is not  as pictured in the chart;  made properly, it consists of a cheese roll, an apple and a pint of beer — being what would fit in a farm worker’s lunch bag without falling to pieces and/or messing up the inside of the bag.  I don’t know where they got all that other crap, but it’s bullshit.

Here’s my personal Trifecta Of Yummy:




Were it not for the fact that Doctor Killjoy believes that weighing 500 lbs is A Bad Thing, I’d eat that lovely stuff each day forever.  With a sausage roll for tea.


Seems as though most wine critics and tasters are  bunch of posers who couldn’t tell a Beaujolais from a Bass Ale.

In other news, Queen Marie Antoinette was guillotined yesterday.

As an aside, I once did a couple of wine courses over a period of two weeks at the Bellingham and Meerlust estates.  During that adventure, I learned that a.) there are some people who can in fact tell the grape varietals from a sip of wine, and b.) there are only about a couple dozen such people, tops, in the entire world.  Blindfolded, most people can’t tell red from white from beer (seriously, I’ve seen a few of those challenges).

Here’s a tip when dining out and the sommelier  asks you to “taste” the wine:  don’t do it.  Pick up the sample glass, swirl it a couple of times and then sniff it cautiously.  If it’s not rancid — and you’ll know that  when you smell it — just nod and say,”That’ll do.”  If he says, “Don’t you want to taste it?” reply “I don’t need to.”  Then sit back and carry on with your conversation, ignoring him.

For extra points:  if it’s a dark red like a cabernet or burgundy, wince slightly, then tell the sommelier  to let it breathe for ten or so minutes before he serves it to the table.  (That’s a cheat, by the way;  all  reds need to breathe a little after uncorking.)

The wine world is full of phonies who like to show off.  The way to make people think you know what you’re talking about is to say less, not more.  What you do  (see above) is more impressive than what you say.

Say No More

Now this is what I call Good News:

“High cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol, has been demonized for allegedly bringing on heart attack deaths. But an intriguing analysis of data published at seems to show that total mortality risk is reduced by high cholesterol levels, even LDL cholesterol.”
The point’s P.D. Mangan makes is that even if lower cholesterol is associated with reduced heart-disease incidence, this is more than offset by an increase in low-cholesterol-associated health risks.
As Mangan puts it, from “a public health standpoint, it seems a mistake to focus on changing something that lowers the risk of death from one cause only to raise that risk from another.”

Now as we all know, next week will see the publication of yet another  study which completely contradicts this wonderful news.

In the meantime (via C.W., thankee):

In Texas, that combination of the four major meat groups (ribs, pulled pork, sausage and brisket) is known as the “Four Riders Of The Apocalypse”.

Actually, that’s not true.  In Texas, that’s either regarded as a well-balanced meal, or else as “Git outta mah way, Elmer!”

See y’all later.

Not Too Far Away

This preciously-named website has a survey of the single best BBQ restaurants by state.  I’m not that up on BBQ — for the record, I prefer the spicier Memphis type, rather than the sweet Texas manifestation, but when ya live in Texas… according to the folks at Delish, it seems that the place to go is Stanley’s, in Tyler.

Maybe so, but Tyler is over a hundred miles away from Plano, and even for Texas — where distance is measured in six-packs — that’s an awful long way to travel just for smoked meat.  (It also means that because of MADD [spit]  one can’t have a few beers with the BBQ, which I think contravenes some state law.)

Anyway, it’s not like we don’t have any decent places within a couple zip codes of here (also a short trip, by Texas standards).  Most notable among these are Hard Eight (TWO locations nearby!!), Sonny Bryan’s, Winners and Lockhart (both in Old Town Plano).

But (and my non-Texas Readers will forgive the parochialism) I wrote this post to bring to my Local Readers’ attention a place called Delta Blues (just off Windhaven and the Dallas North Tollway), which is the latest offering from the famous Pappas Brothers company (Pappadeaux, Pappacitos, Pappas Steak House etc.) and which replaced the old Bone Daddy’s establishment at that address.

I went there last Tuesday with the Son&Heir for our sorta-monthly meet-up (when we don’t go to the DFW Range, that is), and good grief:  it is, in a word, wondrous.  I didn’t try anything other than the pork (pork-belly starter and a pulled pork sandwich) because PORK, and let me tell y’all:  best pork I have ever — ever — eaten.  And I’ve eaten a LOT of pork, all over the world.

What Delta Blues has done has created a BBQ place that, contra  the usual BBQ ethos of the down-home, slightly scruffy joint, is about as close to fine dining as BBQ will ever get.  It is admittedly quite expensive — at about the same level as Hard Eight — but the food is much, much  better than average, and it’s served by waiters, not self-serve or cafeteria style like many such places.

It’s so good that I’m going to take New Wife there on Sunday for Sticky Pork Belly Bites and a side of giant fries.

(Honestly, my mouth is watering as I write this.)

The only caveat is that like British pubs, Delta Blues has somewhat eccentric dining hours:  11am – 2.30pm and 5pm – 10pm during the week — and it’s CLOSED on Mondays;  but they’re open 11am – 11pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Don’t care about any of that:  there’s a new kid in town, and it’s got my number.

Sorry, Tyler;  Stanley’s will have to wait until my next road trip out to East Texas.

By the way:  for Memphis BBQ we have Red Hot & Blue, also in Plano.  Are we spoiled, or what?

Just… No

Aaaargh  is nothing sacred anymore?

The makers of Glenlivet whisky have been ridiculed on Twitter after revealing a new method of consuming their product.
Posting a video to Twitter, the company plans to share clear cocktail capsules made from seaweed to house the drink.
The user simply places the capsule in their mouth and pops it to enjoy the ‘perfect flavour-explosion’ experience that will set ‘a new standard on how whisky is enjoyed.’

Here’s a game I’d suggest:

Whoever dreamed up this fucking terrible idea should swallow eight of these capsules whole, one after the other.  Wait five minutes.  Get on a fast motorcycle in Edinburgh and head south towards London on Britain’s M1, at 100mph.

The game is for Scotch drinkers to bet where the “flavour explosion” will occur and the stupid asshole wipes out and dies.