Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Mint Lane Café

March 1, 2019

Mint Lane Café one of the best kept secrets in Lincoln.

Mint Lane Café a social enterprise café relies upon donated surplus food which would otherwise go to waste which is turned into delicious meals.

The food arrives in the morning, a couple of hours to prepare, then everything freshly cooked.

The cooks and serving staff are all volunteers, a very friendly and pleasant atmosphere, which is more than can be said for too many eating places.

And the standard of the meals high, very high. All for £3-00 for a three course meal, starter, main course and dessert and no that figure of three pounds for all three courses is not a typo.

I had broccoli and cream cheese soup, followed by roast chicken with vegetables and roast potatoes served with gravy in a Yorkshire pudding dish.

The roast potatoes were from new potatoes. The roast potatoes were the best I have eaten.

The main course served piping hot and of generous portion size, indeed I struggled to finish, especially as I yet had apple and plum crumble served with custard to come.

Sadly no apple and plum crumble as none left. They apologised as I had paid for three courses but I declined offer of anything else as too full.

To put the meal in context, far better than would get in crap corporate chain Cosy Club, hotted up standard corporate fare in a fake 1930s bar, so fake a Monty Python parody of fake.

The cost, a few pence less than I pay for a cappuccino, a pound less than I pay for a V60.

Not only meals, surplus food that is donated and not used for the day’s meal is on sale. Almond milk, bread, tinned products, fruit. I picked up spread, soft cheese spread, crisp bread.

Social enterprise cafés are springing up across the country, some rely on donated foods, others raid skips, some it is pay what you like, or if cannot pay, offer to volunter, others charge a small fee, with the option of paying more if feel able.

When I was at ReSpacing Conference at The Hive we started with Skipping Breakfast. Most attendees thought it meant we skipped breakfast I was one of the few who understood the meaning, breakfast from raided skips.

My lunch in Mint Lane Café is my first meal in a social enterprise café. I was impressed.

Mint Lane Café is not easy to find. Walk up the High Street, through The Stonebow, at Madame Waffle (one of only two coffee shops worth visiting in Lincoln) turn left into Park Street, at Age Concern Park Street Eatery turn left into Mint Lane. Towards the end of Mint Lane on the right within a red brick Victorian building will find Mint Lane Café.

Leadenham Teahouse

February 13, 2019

On the way to Grantham stopped off at Leadenham to visit award-winning Leadenham Teahouse.

What does award-winning actually mean? Not a lot as these days virtually anyone is up for an award and when given by Good Taste Lincolnshire or Good Taste Awards meaningless.

Last year Good Taste Lincolnshire awarded Coffee Bobbins the best tea and coffee shop in Lincolnshire which serving poor quality tea and coffee made the award a laughing stock, as not even the best in Lincoln.

This time around the turn of Leadenham Teahouse for this worthless accolade.

Leadenham is a village on the way Lincoln to Grantham, I say village, actually Leadenham Teahouse on the cross roads, though there is a village church and it does host to my surprise a polo club.

Leadenham Teahouse is a tea shop serving tea and snacks and cake and coffee, a Post Office, well actually a Post Office counter and a little shop selling tourist tat.

As tea shops goes quite pleasant though nothing special.

Custom was myself and a coupe of ladies. No one came in to use the service of the Post Office.

I had avocado on sourdough toast with a sprinkling of cottage cheese, and a little salad.

OK, but poor quality sourdough to what I have had elsewhere and poor offering compared with excellent avocado on sourdough toast at The Cheese Society in Lincoln, which also came with melted halloumi cheese.

In the centre a wood-burning stove emitting more pollution than a diesel lorry, but maybe ok in the middle of nowhere.

The tourist tat, but no tourists, and I could not see why there would be especially as the tea shop not open on a Sunday and closes half day on a Saturday.

Outside bench seats by traffic lights on a major road.

I had a cappuccino. It was not good, poor quality catering supply coffee and clueless on how to make coffee. Though in a all fairness a tea shop not a coffee shop and there was a wide choice of tea.

A few cakes from local bakery, but did not look at all appealing.

I was surprised no fresh bread on sale.

I was told try the farm shop down the road.

Hotel Chocolat clones

February 12, 2019

Waitrose got into deep shit when they copied chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.

Now Holland & Barrett are doing the same, or at the very least stocking chocolates from Cocoalibre which are if nothing else a crude copy of chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.

It looks like Angus Thirlwell will once again have to threaten legal action to get withdrawn from the shelves, though I suggest this time he takes a far tougher line. I can understand why did not require Waitrose destruction of all stock as leads to food waste but at the very least, desist, pay damages and all stock donated to local food banks or handed to homeless on the streets.

Lunch at The Cheese Society

February 1, 2019

New Year’s Eve, I could not find anywhere open for lunch.

Luckily I managed to squeeze on the sharing table at The Cheese Society.

The same today, early afternoon, I thought I may be lucky, and again just managed to squeeze onto the sharing table.

Excellent avocado on sourdough bread topped with grilled halloumi cheese.

My companion Boston sausages on toasted sourdough bread topped with melted Lincolnshire Poacher (Cheddar-like local cheese, not to be be confused with finest adulterated fake cheddar from Skegness).

Served with a small salad, generous portion size.

I have no idea Boston sausage, maybe a variant of Lincolnshire sausage.

Whilst waiting, I tried a brie from Scotland. I will have to pop back and buy.

I recommended Ambrosia to add to their reading material.

I fancied a coffee from Base Camp, but closed, closed for the foreseeable future, change of ownership. Nothing to say closed, or when it may reopen.

Excellent cappuccino at Madame Waffle.

Walking through the High Street, a van and a lorry in what is a pedestrianised street. Every day the same, no Enforcement.

Demolition in Sincil Street, started Monday, by Wednesday almost demolished. And no bulldozers as reported by Lincolnite. Part of the ongoing destruction of Sincil Street by Lincoln City Council in cahoots with the local Coop.

The demolition scant regard for safety of passers-by. There should have been scaffolding and netting to stop debris landing in the street.

Lincoln Central Market

January 28, 2019

Lincoln Central Market is disgusting, shabby and drab.

The couple of excellent stalls, spice stall, wholefood stall, have gone.

Well done Steve the fruit and veg stall guy for speaking out.

More traders need to speak out, they do so privately but fear to speak publicly.

The City Council jobsworth is talking nonsense.

‘The council prides itself on having a great relationship our traders’, if this is a great relationship, I hate to think what a bad relationship looks like.

I have yet to speak with a single trader who is happy with the way the Central Market is run.

If the Council unaware traders not happy, why did they order the banner be taken down at the fruit and veg stall?

No rent increase. Considering the atrocious state of Central Market, the near zero footfall, the traders should be seeing a rent decrease.

I have never seen anything in the bus station promoting the market. I have seen promoting Greggs.

But in its present dire state, there would be little point in promoting the market as it would be counterproductive and show Lincoln in a bad light.

Lincoln is a market town in the middle of an agricultural county, and yet lacks a market.

Nor does Lincoln have a farmers market in the town centre, not if class one stall, two if lucky, maybe half a dozen stalls if very very lucky, as a farmers market.

The one and only stall has relocated to beside the River Witham, but no one knows, no information in the High Street, no information at its current location of the relocation.

People looking for the farmers market in the High Street assume it has finally collapsed.

On a Friday, one stall representing the farmers market, plus a cake and bread stall and a fruit and vegetable stall.

On a Saturday the fruit and vegetable stall and Curry Jacks a curry stall.

York has a market and a street food market.

Chichester a small market town and yet has a thriving market and farmers market.

Guildford has a thriving Friday and Saturday weekly market with three excellent fruit and vegetable stalls, that if in Lincoln would stretch the length of Sincil Street, once a month a farmers market, that if in Lincoln would stretch from St Mary’s Street up through The Stonebow.

Mercado Municipal en Puerto de la Cruz en Tenerife, ground floor little shops, including an excellent little bookshop, first floor fruit and vegetable stalls, a deli cum wine stall, a deli cum little restaurant, a fishmonger. On a Saturday, many stalls selling everything, the fishmonger serving cooked seafood with champagne, the delis also serving up food.

Lincoln Central Market needs gutting, most of the traders kicked out, then revamped with the emphasis on quality independent traders.

Look to Trinity Market in Hull Old Town. Light and airy, quality food stalls, indie specialty coffee, craft beer, bench seats to sit either inside or out. Then contrast with the disgrace that is Lincoln Central Market.

One of the ironies, at a time when we should be moving to eliminate plastic, when Tesco is looking to close its fresh produce, when we should be supporting markets, local shops, zero waste stores like Hisbe, Lincoln instead of moving ahead by supporting its local markets, is doing its best to kill them.

Trashing of Sincil Street has not helped.

Sincil Street was once a busy street of thriving indie businesses. Now look at it. Most of the businesses destroyed, buildings destroyed, new build with large plate glass windows, large size units, neither matches the Victorian street scene, nor of suitable size for the small family businesses that have been kicked out, let alone afford the rent.

Moving in, rubbish chains that find in every ghastly shopping centre up and down the country.

I have yet to meet a single person who is happy with the trashing of Sincil Street.

Look to North Laine in Brighton, three long streets, each one longer than Sincil Street, side streets, similar street scene, except it is busy, full of indie businesses not a chain in sight and very rare to see empty shops, and if empty do not remain empty for long.

Instead of building on Sincil Street and highlighting it was different to the High Street, it was trashed.

How it could be.  The Central Market used for start ups, as they grow, expand into an empty shop in Sincil Street.

Lincoln lacks a wholefood store. If Gaia Wholefoods was still in Central Market, and successful, it could have relocated to Sincil Street.  Not possible as pulled out due to lack of footfall, and even were it still there and successful, no longer anywhere in Sincil Street to relocate to.

That is how shortsighted Lincoln City Council, not only killing existing local businesses, but killing off the growth potential of any future new businesses.

The difference between Hull Old Town and Brighton where they value their cultural heritage and Lincoln, is a lack of vision, useless jobsworths who are clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning, clueless on how local economies function, on the need to recycle money within a local economy, lack of support for local businesses, but only too happy to fall over backwards to facilitate greedy developers and corporate chains.

It is quirky indie businesses, markets, that make a town, give a sense of place.

The City Council in cahoots with the Co-op have done an excellent job destroying Sincil Street, Cornhill and the Central Market.

Lincoln would make an excellent case study in bad planning.

It is not only Sincil Street, Cornhill and Central Market, ugly tower blocks ruining a historic skyline, accomodation for students, temporary residents at best, homeless living on the streets.

Lincoln Co-op a disaster as a retailer, but by historic accident owns large parts of the town centre, and abuse their position to destroy local businesses.

Sincil Street, the frontage of the buildings should have been restored to Victoran frontage, no garish signs.

Central Market the foodie area cf Trinity Market Hull Old Town.

Sincil Street a mix of retail, bakeries, little restaurants, boutiques, bookshops, music shops, coffee shops cf North Laine Brighton.

I have no problem coffee shops, but these have to be high quality indie coffee shops eg Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle, Base Camp, no chains

No corporate chains.

Corporate chains destroy towns, lead to sense of isolation, sameness, drain money out of the local economy, then go bust or a head office spreadsheet exercise leads to store closure, leading to boarded-up shops never to be filled, desolation.

This has happened to too many town centres, Aldershot the classic example, stores pulling out weekly, the few remaining waiting for lease to expire, main street shop after shop down the street boarded-up, junkies and losers lost on the streets.

it is not only the market area the Council has trashed.

Up until the late 1960s early 1970s, Brayford Pool was lined with mills and warehouses.  These could have been renovated. Ground floor indie businesses, workshops, indie coffee shops, first floor studio and office space, top floors flats and apartments. A pleasant urban park leading off the High Street, accessed down the side of Stokes on High Bridge.

Instead what do we have, a desolate wasteland, an ugly urban eyesore.

Yet another example of City Hall jobsworths completely clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning.

Vegan fundamentalists spread twisted lies targeting Hisbe yet again

January 23, 2019

It is a tragedy that vegan fundamentalists have once again targeted ethical food store Hisbe.

Several days ago vegan fundamentalists occupied Hisbe, harassing staff and customers. They were subsequently banned from the store.

Now, in what appears to be an act of desperation, they have resorted to spreading lies on social media to tarnish the reputation of Hisbe.

What they claim about a bloodied pig is very easily verified or shown to be untrue. All animals have to be tracked, as any reputable butcher will be able to confirm.

Hisbe

Your information is incorrect – our pork products come from pigs raised on a farm in Mayfield, and our pig farmer has not transported pigs to Tottingworth or anywhere else today.

No idea what farm this pig is from or what retailer buys their products.

We also don’t use the phrase “Ethical Meat”, never have.

Please stop twisting our messaging and spreading misinformation.

From where is the bloodied pig from, where is it headed, whence the final destination?

Easily checked as all animals have to be tracked.

But hey, who cares about facts when vegan fundamentalists waging a vendetta against Hisbe?

I would not disagree that RSPCA Red Tractor a marketing brand, nothing more and welfare standards should be much higher.

A bit like the FairTrade scam to make Middle Class feel good, a marketing exercise nothing more.

And yes we should be concerned about a bloodied pig, question the how and why. It may have simply caught its ear.

But none of this justifies criminal harassment of Hisbe.

Hisbe is setting the standards for ethical retailing, zero waste, partnerships with quality producers.

Once again is begs the question, why are these vegan fundamentalists not targeting McDonald’s, KFC, halal kebab outlets, anywhere that is using fast growth animals, reared in inhumane conditions?

Inside Hotel Chocolat

January 21, 2019

Chocolate, the food of the gods, is from Theobroma cacao, a plant native to the Amazon Basin.

Chocolate was first used, not as we know it, a bar of chocolate, as a drink by early MesoAmerican civilisations.

The earliest known use was the Olmecs. A drinking vessel found at an Olmec archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, Mexico, dates chocolate’s preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as early as 1750 BC. Traces of choclote on a drinking vessel dated 1900 BC have been found on the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, a Mokaya archaeological site.

The Mayans and Aztecs used chocolate.

The Mayans had a glyph for chocolate, the Aztecs used cacao beans as a currency.

Christopher Columbus encountered cacao beans on his fourth trip to the New World. He found the natives who greeted him using the beans as currency.

Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1519 encountered the Aztecs drinking chocolate at the court of Montezuma.

Bernal Diaz, who accompanied Cortés in the conquest of Mexico, wrote of this encounter which he witnessed:

From time to time they served him [Montezuma] in cups of pure gold a certain drink made from cacao. It was said that it gave one power over women, but this I never saw. I did see them bring in more than fifty large pitchers of cacao with froth in it, and he drank some of it, the women serving with great reverence.

Hernán Cortés took cocoa beans back with him on his return to Spain as a gift for the King.

Jose de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary who lived in Peru and then Mexico in the later 16th century, described its use more generally:

Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or froth that is very unpleasant taste. Yet it is a drink very much esteemed among the Indians, where with they feast noble men who pass through their country. The Spaniards, both men and women that are accustomed to the country are very greedy of this Chocolate. They say they make diverse sorts of it, some hot, some cold, and some temperate, and put therein much of that “chili”; yea, they make paste thereof, the which they say is good for the stomach and against the catarrh.

The Spanish took chocolate back with them, it was still consumed as a drink, to which they added sweeteners and drank it hot.

It was the priests who first served hot chocolate in their monasteries.

The recent history of chocolate is that of using slave labour.

Chocolate grows as a pod, inside the beans, a cob of beans, strictly speaking seeds, surrounded by an edible fleshy fruit.

The pods are hacked off the tree with machetes, the pods hacked open with a machete, the seeds scooped out.

The seeds or beans are then fermented over several days, then laid out to dry in the sun.

Quality chocolate, and that immediately rules out Cadbury’s, now owned by Kraft, does not substitute. One of the commonest cheapest nastiest substitutes is palm oil.

If chocolate, or any product, contains palm oil, refuse to buy, complain to the retailer and ask not to stock, and complain to the manufacturer. Palm oil is bad for people and planet.

Quality chocolate use cocoa butter.

Quality chocolate is from artistan chocolate makers, expensive. Quality chocolate is often bean-to-bar.

Artisan chocolate makers are following the lead of coffee, direct trade, often single origin, cocoa beans roasted to bring out the best flavour profile of the beans.

In the late 1990s Scharffen Berger led the way in San Francisco.  In 2005 sold out to  Hershey for $50 million, who closed the headquarters in San Francisco, relocated to Illinois and changed their production methods.

Others, for example Dandelion, have followed, are now the artisan chocolate makers, purists, only use cocoa solids and sugar.

Chocolate has more flavour notes than coffee, which in turn more flavours notes than red wine. If Dandelion chocolate tastes of raspberries, it is not because they have added raspberries, or God forbid raspberry flavouring, that is the inherent flavour of the chocolate.

Industrial chocolate all tastes the same. We are used to chocolate tasting of chocolate.

The first chocolate was gritty, industrialisation of the process the roasted cocoa beans were crushed into a liquid.

Industrial chocolate, the beans over-roasted, tons of sugar added, vanilla if lucky, if not artificial vanilla, vegetable oils, to make a cheap uniform product.

Industrial chocolate has close parallels with commodity coffee, cheap low quality beans, over roasted to remove any defects, provide a uniform product that requires no skill in the brewing, burnt coffee is burnt coffee, tastes of burnt coffee, hence the need for added sugar or syrups as otherwise undrinkable coffee.

Chocolate is following the lead of speciality coffee, select the highest quality beans, work closely with growers, direct trade not the Fair Trade scam, care taken at all stages to bring out the subtleties of flavour, single origin, traced back to the farmer.

For example, a bag of Honduran coffee beans from Cartwheel Coffee, country of origin, the farmer, date when roasted, Q grade of the coffee.

To be called chocolate, in the United States, 100% cocoa butter must be used, the EU allows alternative fats not exceeding 5% of the total fat content. Within the EU this permits the use of cheaper substitutes to be used for cocoa butter, for example soy emulsifiers or even worse palm oil.

Quality chocolate, bean to bar, artisan chocolate, craft chocolate, purists for example Dandelion Chocolate, cocoa solids and sugar only, pragmatists, for example Patric Chocolate and Amano Artisan Chocolate add cocoa butter and vanilla if improves taste and texture.

Channel 5, Inside Hotel Chocolate, a two-part documentary on Hotel Chocolat, a retail chain, a hotel and a couple of restaurants.

At the time the documentary was filmed 100 shops, about to open 101, cocoa plantation on St Lucia in the middle of which is located their hotel, aptly named Hotel Chocolat.

An odd documentary fronted by a Richard Branson clone Angus Thirlwell, one of the two co-founders. The impression given, documentary made by Hotel Chocolat, then given or sold to Channel Five.

When co-founder Angus Thirlwell walks into a store and talks of an affront to good retailing, ‘no crimes against good retailing’, refers to a brand, we know he has lost the plot, just another High Street chain within a ghastly shopping centre with all the other crap corporate High Street brands, if a brand, all hype and zilch content.

Location of St Lucia, following the Richard Branson Virgin model, incorporate in an overseas tax haven to avoid tax?

Part One, very much a disappointment, an interesting insight into the company, but nothing about chocolate.

A store manager (now an area manager) drops chocolates on the floor, pops back in the box. In the design lab, women with long hair not tied back.

In the tasting room, takeaway coffee cups. Do they not care about the environment? The over packaging and plastic wrapped chocolates in their stores would indicate not.

A captive audience in an office environment, absolutely no excuse for takeaway coffee cups. The cups should have been ceramic cups or mugs, at the very least anyone with a modicum of businesses acumen would have had on the table branded KeepCup or ecoffee bamboo cups, and on sale in their stores.

Good news, Hotel Chocolat will be launching a bamboo cup.

In York, customers in a shop to taste latest chocolates, to provide valuable feedback. I was appalled to learn they have to pay.

At the hotel on St Lucia, to say the least bizarre a chef shipped out from England for a few days to design the menu. Everything on the menu infused with chocolate, even savoury dishes.

I quite like the idea of staying at a hotel on St Lucia on a cocoa plantation in the middle of a rain forest though a long way from the sea. But I would wish for authentic local dishes prepared by a local chef, not dishes dictated by a chef flown out from England, and no way every dish contaminated with chocolate or cacao, though the occasionally chocolate dessert would be fine.

What impact climate change on the plantation?

I paid a visit to a Hotel Chocolat store, a prime High Street location, lunchtime day after broadcast of Part One of the documentary.

The store was worse than I expected, hype and over packaging, bars of chocolate in plastic.

There are though plans to phase out plastic.

Would it not be better the chocolates on display, customer chooses what they want, pop in a paper bag? The norm in Athens.

I expected the shop to be heaving. It was not, I was the only customer with one young lady serving. I popped back late afternoon, store was still empty.

Contrast with what was shown in the documentary, busy stores half a dozen staff.

Although the staff were friendly and tried to be helpful, they were not knowledgeable about their core product, chocolate.

I was appalled to find bars of dark chocolate, wrapped in plastic, added soy emulsifier. The single origin, a wrap around paper, within, plastic packaging, had to withdraw to find any information on the contents. On none of the bars could I find the weight.

Contrast with dark chocolate from elsewhere, even M&S which makes no claim to be a chocolate company and guilty of excessive plastic for fresh produce, single origin dark chocolate, simple wrapped paper and no added emulsifiers.

The other big difference, the M&S single origin £2 for a bar of chocolate, Hotel Chocolat plastic wrapped cheap soy emulsifier to replace cocoa butter a couple of pence shy of £4 for a smaller bar of chocolate.

Did I wish for a VIP Card? Not really, as did not wish for junk mail. I was assured no junk mail, provides discount on expensive chocolates, and a free gift. Within days, received junk e-mail for a piece of junk I did not want, more household clutter. On leaving the store I was given a brochure for the same piece of junk.

Contrast Hotel Chocolat with the mouthwatering chocolates on display in Aristokratikon, a chocolatier in Athens.

As walk into Aristokratikon, a wonderful aroma of chocolate.

Also to be found in Athens, shops selling loose nuts, dried fruit and loose bars of chocolate or blocks of chocolate.

The same in Istanbul, mouth watering displays in the shops, including of course Turkish Delight, but not the low quality Turkish Delight found in UK.

Part Two of Inside Hotel Chocolat proved to be more interesting, the logistics how a chocolate passes from design to market. But again raised many questions.

Single origin chocolate from the St Lucia estate, the focus on the chocolatier, but if we draw a comparison with single origin speciality coffee, the fermentation, drying in the sun, roasting of the beans are all as important if not more important. It is the roasting of the beans that brings out the subtle flavour notes.

We heard nothing about these various stages a chocolate passes through.

If single origin from St Lucia is the flagship dark chocolate, why substitute soy emulsifier for cocoa butter? No bean-to-bar artisan chocolate maker would do this.

Strange the chef who designs the menu for Hotel Chocolat on St Lucia also designs their chocolate liquor.

Why start with whisky? Would not brandy or rum be a more suitable choice, or a neutral alcohol? Gin, the vile smell rules it out, on the other hand Hidden Curiosities Gin with its subtle aroma worth considering.

The tasting panel, yes experts on chocolate, but a liqueur? I would invite some one like Martin Hudak, Coffee in Good Spirits World Champion on to the panel, as he would be able to provide valuable insights.

A small business may start with a van or stall, move to a shop. Hotel Chocolat in reverse, a chain of shops, then a van.

Maybe a better idea a kiosk, something like FCB Coffee. But would also need coffee, then need a skilled barista.

There are close parallels with BrewDog. Two founders, passionate about what they do, turn that passion into a multi-million pound business.

Hopefully the full two-part documentary Inside Hotel Chocolat will be uploaded to vimeo.

When coffee shops first appeared across Europe they served not only coffee also drinking chocolate.

Today we are seeing drinking chocolate served in specialty indie coffee shops. These coffee shops are also where high quality chocolate can be found.

Edgcumbes Coffee have taken this a step further. They have paired with Noble & Stace who have added roasted coffee beans to their chocolate bars, which are then on sale at Edgcumbes Coffee. They also host Noble & Stace chocolate sessions.

We need to see more craft bean-to-bar direct trade chocolate makers. Too many are buying in chocolate, melting it down, remoulding their own bars.

What is not acceptable, Waitrose passing off an inferior Hotel Chocolate clone as their own, even down to the obscene use of plastic packaging. The same Waitrose that bags fresh produce in plastic, bananas on the shelves sweating and rotting in plastic bags.

We need to see more ethical stores like Hisbe, Infinity Foods, that support and partner quality local producers.

Vulture Capitalists have taken a controlling stake in Montezuma Chocolate, like Green & Black now owned by Cadbury’s, it is no longer an independent chocolate maker.

Vegan quasi-religious fundamentalists target Hisbe

January 14, 2019

An act of unbelievable crass stupidity when vegan quasi-religious fundamentalists target Hisbe, an ethical food store.

Where next, Infinity Foods, a workers cooperative? Maybe not, Infinity Foods bake vegan cakes and where would we be without vegan cakes?

Maybe do something useful, target and shut down McDonald’s or a halal kebab shop.

Or try targeting M&S or Waitrose for wrapping fresh produce in plastic.

Sausage and mash County Restaurant

January 8, 2019

County Restaurant for many years was an excellent place to eat. It then went downhill, picked up, sadly seems to have gone rapidly downhill again.

Very poor choice today, bangers and mash or bangers and mash. There was a choice of sausage or fake vegan sausage.

And a choice of a flavoured chicken.

The bangers and mash were served with (at extra cost) unappetising looking mash potatoes, under-cooked beans and overcooked greens, served in a bowl formed by a Yorkshire pudding that required a saw to cut, plus gravy if desired.

The sausages cheapest disgusting sausages they could find, though not as bad as found in a Coop or M&S bangers and mash ready meal.  The sausages under-cooked.

The mash tasted better than looked.

Vegan sausages to pander to the vegan lobby. I do not know why anyone wishes to eat fake sausages or fake meat, anymore than from Greggs a fake sausage roll or even why eat from Greggs,  I would rather have an excellent vegetarian dish, though the vegan sausages could not have been worse than the half cooked real sausages.

Served in a Yorkshire pudding a gimmick.

They need to concentrate on quality not gimmicks.

They used to have two good chefs. No sign of them. Maybe they have left.

Water, plastic, not glass.

On sale, Quad Restaurant reusable coffee cups, ugly not barista friendly plastic reusable cups. No surprise low take up.

V60 and Om Nom at Outpost Coffee

December 27, 2018

In indie coffee shops, not only excellent coffee very often interesting reading material.

I came across Om Nom in Magazine Brighton. Then when I came across again later in the day in Infinity Foods I decided to pick up a copy, On Nom issue 3.

Issue no 2, long sold out.

The day after the longest day, the Saturday before Christmas, I decided to try my luck in Ideas on Paper in Nottingham, as always keeps back issues. I was out of luck, issue 3 but no earlier issues.

They did though have latest issue of Standart and Ambrosia.

Then another idea, Outpost Coffee. I had seen Om Nom on display on a previous visit. I may be in luck. And I would have as always an excellent V60 from one of their single origin coffees.

At first I thought I was out of luck, not on display, then I noticed more reading material tucked away on a shelf. I was in luck, not only a copy, they kindly gave me their copy.

As always an excellent V60 served in ceramic.

The ceramic cup, Åoomi dust ceramic coffee mug, is on sale at Outpost Coffee.