Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Was Grub Better in the Seventies?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Was Grub Better in the Seventies?

Article excerpt

DELIA SMITH has put the boot into modern pub meals, saying she preferred the simpler fayre of the 1970s. DAVE ROBSON asks if she's scored an own goal.

PRAWN cocktail, chicken in a basket, black forest gateau...

A quick office straw poll of people old enough to remember food in the 1970s saw those three items come top of the retro gastronomic pops.

The memories then came thick and fast - scampi, Smash, orange juice as a starter, Vesta curries, Berni Inns, more scampi......

But was it a golden era for pub food, as Norwich City-loving chef Delia Smith is suggesting, or was it a culinary wasteland compared to today's vast array of eating out experiences? Ex-Boro footballer Gary Gill knows a thing or two about pub grub. As well as his BBC Tees Boro punditry, he's also a partner in award-winning restaurant Chadwicks at Maltby.

And while "Gilly" knows where Delia's coming from, he reckons she's off target.

He said: "I know what she's getting at. There was a spell when food got very fancy, but that's not so much the case now.

"It's fair to say there is a leaning towards some retro dishes nowadays. People enjoy the nostalgia.

But more in vogue now is using fresh, local produce - the closer the better. People are environmentally conscious too, things like sustainable fish.

"So I can empathise with what Delia's saying, but it would be unfair to categorise everyone in the same bracket."

But who used to eat out in the Seventies, still eats out now and obviously likes his grub? Step forward Roy "Chubby" Brown. He said: "The last time I ate out, the caterpillar on the lettuce moved faster than the waitress. I had rabbit salad. It was so fresh, it still had tyre marks on its neck.

"And I had some of those canape things the other day. That's not a proper meal, little bits of this and that. They were only filling because I had 20 of each."

But Chubby's a traditionalist when it comes to food.

He said: "Do you know what I like? Wetherspoons Irish stew with mashed potato. And there are some cracking pubs doing food, like the Dudley Arms at Ingleby Greenhow and the Sutton Arms at Faceby. …

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