Magazine article Marketing

Daily Diet of Tripe Catches in Richer Viewers' Throats

Magazine article Marketing

Daily Diet of Tripe Catches in Richer Viewers' Throats

Article excerpt

You needed the tracking powers of a Louisiana prison bloodhound plus enough cash to fill a large soup tureen to get a good meal in Britain when I was young. Even then you couldn't be sure, since not even God could conjure up reasonable food somewhere like Luton. Today much has changed, if not necessarily in Luton. Britain is hardly the gastronomic Oexemplar of the world, but you can quite easily find good food, though in places like France where you could always rely on it, you no longer can.

We can thank writers like Elizabeth David for inspiring this glorious revolution, and television for propagating it. I remember the first TV chef in the 50s, Philip Harben: a smug, bearded, pot-bellied, sweaty-looking, lip-smacking little man you could empathise with because he seemed such a greedy pig himself. It gave me quite a turn on waking from my evening snooze recently to see a better-looking new version of Harben called Michael Barry on a show called Food and Drink. The content was as banal as the title - but sillier. First he gave a half-wit's guide to making curry, after which another man told some kids that pork comes from dead pigs and (I couldn't believe this) how to appreciate the taste of crisps. Then some woman gushed ludicrously about wine.

Three kitchens were toured to see how dirty they were. Food poisoning, I learned, has doubled in the past eight years and things will get worse because of that bore of the decade: global warming. These figures probably derive from the growing army of snoops our taxes pay to harry us, but they set me worrying. …

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