First we had the deep fried Mars Bar, reportedly invented in 1995 in the Haven Chip Bar (now the Carron), in Stonehaven near Aberdeen. Originally a novelty item it has now become synonymous with Scotland’s notoriously unhealthy diet. After an item on the Channel4 programme, the Big Breakfast, chip shops around the country started putting it on their menus. One phone call to a local paper and in the space of just a few days a bit of fun between a chip shop owner and some local children in a Scottish fishing town, the dish was transformed into a global cultural and gastronomic phenomenon. The product is “not authorised or endorsed” by Mars Inc.
But like all phenomenons, there is always someone who wants to take the theme still further and today we read that an ex-pat Brit, Chris Sell from Rugby, Warwickshire, who has a New York chip shop, has come up with this “tasty” treat to satisfy hungry Brits living in the Big Apple who love fish and chips and a traditional fry-up – a 1,200 calorie battered sandwich with a full English breakfast filling!
Now I don’t know about you, but the thought of anything deep fried makes me cringe! On the rare occasions I do find myself having a fish and chip supper I always strip the fish of all the batter before eating but I do know people who love this type of fatty food – each to their own.
However, why ruin a perfectly good English breakfast by wrapping it in batter? This type of heart attack on a plate needs to be consigned to the nearest dustbin – unless you’ve got a hangover of course when I’m sure it will hit the spot nicely! And the next big decision you will need to make? Will it be red or brown sauce with that?!?
And so we find ourselves at that time of year when our weekend TV entertainment is taken over once again by reality shows!
Now I must admit that I am a bit of a fan of Strictly Come Dancing [if I can ignore the bits where the geriatric Bruce Forsyth mumbles his way painfully through the bad script on his autocue while Tess Daly smiles through gritted teeth every time he touches her, or the fact that the new judge, Darcey Bussell, is possibly the most irritating woman in the history of television!]. What I like most about this show is the opportunity to see the professional dancers show us that Latin and Ballroom dancing is still an art form to be enjoyed.
On the other side we are then subjected to the X Factor which, for me, has surely passed its sell-by date? Last night saw the return of the live shows in the studio and once again I was underwhelmed by the so-called talent up on stage. I’m not sure precisely where any of these people come from but I am pretty confident that there are much better performers in the local pubs and clubs than the sorry few that make it to this stage of the competition. Perhaps it sounds different to the people in the studio but to us at home it can be rather embarrassingly awful to sit through.
I also wonder what the contestants themselves think will happen after their 15 minutes of fame? Previous winners have all but disappeared from the face of this earth with some maybe achieving a few column inches in various tabloid newspapers for wearing something awful or falling out of a nightclub – a lasting career in the music business? I seriously doubt it! We listen to Louis, Tulisa, Nicole and Gary banging on about finding someone “current” and “exciting” and we are then subjected to distinctly average covers of songs by the likes of Queen, Spandau Ballet and John Lennon? What’s that all about?
There is a glimmer of hope this evening however. Season 2 of Homeland starts on Channel4 at 9.00pm. If it is as gripping as Season 1 then we’re in for a treat!