Posts Tagged ‘food’

kebab house serving disgusting food

December 1, 2019

On my return from Exarchia Square I ate at a kebab house I had passed earlier.

I wish I had not, the kebab house was serving disgusting food.

Open until three. I noticed it was three and expected to close. No three in the morning not three in the afternoon.

I have in the past passed what look like good places to eat in Exarchia. This kebab house not one of them.

Taverna Saita

November 22, 2019

Late night I eat at Taverna Saita in Plaka.

I have eaten there before when Taverna Plaka closed. I thought I would try again.

Service appalling. Souvlaki OK, when it finally arrives.

I go to sit at one table, told no. I sit at another table. Then told no, cannot sit there. I refuse to move. Had I got up, it would have been to get up and leave.

I ask for soup. No soup. We do not do soup we are a taverna not a restaurant. Is there a difference?

I request souvlaki. Told I can have chips or salad. I say no, I want both. They relent.

Very long wait until food served. I was on the point of leaving.

Sovlaki reasonable, if a little tough, chips not so good, served on a cold plate.

Tax avoidance, no bill or receipt produced as required by law, and no sign displayed to state this.

Not recommended. Taverna Plaka a couple of minutes down the street far better.

Blue Spice

May 28, 2019

Blue Spice is acknowledged as one of the premier restaurants in Cyprus, dining in our restaurant is a gastronomic experience. – Blue Spice

Pernera is one of those places best avoided, all-inclusive hotels, which in turn attracts bottom end of tourist market. As with Protaras, bars and restaurants competing with all-inclusive, competing with each other in a race to the bottom.

But as I was passing through Pernera, decided to eat at Blue Spice, or at least a friend decided for me when she dropped me off saying it had good reviews

A big mistake.

A strange set up, a very large restaurant surrounding a swimming pool. Also as I discovered later, an art gallery. It also appeared to be part of a larger complex including accommodation.

Souvlaki, or as they insisted on calling it it kebab, was not good. Far worse than No 1 or Vangelis in Protaras and that was not good either.

Very poor quality compared with Plaka in Athens.

As I was thinking of leaving, musicians started to arrive.

It could only get worse I thought, live music.

I could not have been more wrong. Far better than the so-called entertainment in the bars and hotels in Protaras

A guy on electric violin, a guy on keyboards and a female vocalist.

They did not play, they improvised, at one point the violinist was looping.

I asked and learnt they play every Tuesday night.

No way would I recommend Blue Spice to eat, but worth turning up around 2130 for a drink and settling down for the music.

They played a solid two hour set if not longer until around midnight.

A premier restaurant it is not, a gastronomic experience it is not, not unless count gastronomic disaster as an experience, but worth a visit for the trio who play Tuesday night.

Two places worth trying. Demetrion fish restaurant at Liopetri River and Kamasias in Paralimni.

Lincoln Vegan Festival 2019

April 6, 2019

A vegan festival would expect to showcase the best of vegan food.

Er, not in Lincoln, not if vegan festival last year was anything to go by.

Visit in the morning, eat?

I decided to check, could find little help on their facebook page, asked.

There is pizza, Indian, wraps, dosa, chips, Hot dogs, Vegan Steak sandwiches, pulled Jackfruit tacos and more.

To say the least did not sound appetising.

I ate first and turned up early afternoon.

A wise move.

Last year, the only stall making any effort at quality, an Indian stall.

Today, disgusting looking junk food.

Hot dogs. Yuk.

I am used to eating excellent vegetarian food, occasional vegan food, an Indian family that prepares excellent food, Indian restaurants, a dosa off Ollo Foods at Guildford farmers market, a lady who used to prepare excellent vegetarian meals at Guildford Institute, Food for Thought in Covent Garden.

But not what was on offer at Lincoln Vegan Festival. They even had the gall to demand Lincoln Drill Hall close its own cafe.

Apart from a couple of food stalls, clothes, hunt sabateurs, candles, soap, ceramics

I was there all of ten minutes.

I spent longer at Cafe Portico. Passing by, owner waved, I thought it rude not to look in and say hello, and he offered me a coffee.

Cafe Portico, unlike Lincoln Vegan Festival, do take care with their food. As does Curry Jacks I passed on my way to the vegan festival.

It was then to Vine’s Bakery, which opened on Friday at the foot of Steep Hill. They only opened on Friday, and selection currently poor, but it was as though Lincoln had never seen a bread shop before, maybe have not, as a steady stream of people passing through the door into the shop.

A walk up Steep Hill.

Looked in Imperial Teas. Pleased to see they have added Duffy’s bean-to-bar chocolate.

Duffy’s, high quality bean-to-bar, dark chocolate vegan by definition, I am surprised no stall at the Lincoln Vegan Festival. On the other hand, the low quality food offering, maybe wise not to be associated with when have a high quality product.

Not so pleased to see Tourist Information Centre promoting Loyal Free app. Does nothing for Lincoln, even less for local businesses, but does hijack personal data from your phone.

Later, cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.

There was to be talks at the Lincoln Vegan Festival, but if there was I saw no information.

Ludicrous claims relating to environment and health on the back of the Lincoln Vegan Festival flier.

The world has been subjected to a 50-year experiment of low fat, low meat, increased carbohydrates, based upon poor quality data and biased interpretation, meanwhile we have seen an exponential rise in heart disease, obesity and type-ii diabetes. Those who dared to challenge what has now become hard wired, were smeared, denied funding, barred from publication, not invited to conferences. The few contrary studies were dismissed.

Over the last 100 years a sharp rise in the use of vegetable oils from near zero. Trans-fats are formed when we hydrogenate vegetable oils to form hard fats. The first paper alerting to the possible dangers of trans-fats, an artificial fat found in cell membranes, was followed by forty years of deadly silence as the vegetable oil industry shut down all debate. The process produces other artificial fats of which very little is known.

Cooking using polyunsaturated vegetable oils leads to oxidation products linked to cancer. Not only liked to cancer, toxic to rats and mice, damage to DNA and RNA. We breath in these oxidation products each time we visit a junk food outlet, we ingest each time we eat junk food.

Soya oils has seen use increase a thousand fold over a century.

Olive oil does not have the long pedigree led to believe. Even in Greece, use of olive oil does not stretch back into antiquity. The use of olive oil was cosmetic not culinary.

The Mediterranean Diet is recent, conferences in Mediterranean locations, good food, favourable reports, get an invite for next year, all floated on an olive oil industry slush fund.

EAT-Lancet diet for a small planet, almost vegan, good for our health, good for the planet, too good to be true, the wheels fell off within days when subject to proper scientific scrutiny. That promoted by agribusiness should send alarm bells ringing.

Yes, we should eat more fruit and vegetables, grains and nuts, less processed food, maybe less meat, but we need to take a whole systems approach, not be the latest bigot in town jumping on the latest fashionable bandwagon, the latest fad.

In many parts of the world, grazing animals is more environmentally sound than growing crops.

There is nothing intrinsically healthy about a vegan diet, especially when highly processed, indeed all the evidence is heavily stacked against.

Organic food heavily processed is still heavily processed food.

Would those tucking into the vegan hot dogs be so keen if presented with a list of ingredients?

And what of the environmental cost?

Nitrogen-based fertilisers, pesticides, palm oil, genetic modification, reliance on oil industry, just a few of the issues.

Africa, Europe, Asia, North America was covered in open woodland and grassland, savannah, prairie, across which roamed huge herds of herbivores. Man was a hunter gatherer, ate red meat, ate fat, grains did not form part of our diet.

Animals are part of the natural cycle, recycle nutrients. Contrast with ploughed fields, soil erosion.

We need to drastically reduce carbon emissions, healthy grasslands, woodlands, soils, act as carbon sinks. They also help, less radiated energy back into the atmosphere.

Try walking across soil midday day in the Middle East.

We need better farming practices that are good for planet, animals and our health.

The recent trend for fake milks, much to the annoyance of baristas as a cannot make decent cappuccino with fake milk, pause and question the environmental cost.

Where has the soya come from? Plantations where once stood rain forests. Soy can be an allergen. The soy is possibly genetically modified. Soy is bitter and has to have additives to remove the bitterness.

What of almond milk? If California, what of the water used in a state suffering from drought and over extraction of water? Five litres of water for each almond.

If do not like milk, for whatever reason, have single origin V60 pour over.

Too much fake science. For example a vegan burger compared with a meat burger, the former served with green tea, the latter served with a latte with half a dozens spoons of sugar.

There is no such thing as cheap food, we simply externalise the costs, social costs, human rights abuse, environmental degradation, climate chaos and animal welfare.

A handful of people eating plants does little to address ethics in food production.

It is not ethical when we praise quality but expensive food, nor when we praise cheap substandard food.

It is not ethical when rich folk enjoy food produced by poor folk who get poorer the harder they work. It is not ethical when the rich get richer peddling junk food to the masses.

Lincoln Vegan Festival was sponsored by a fake cheese company. If they had a stall I did not see.

Fake cheese is not cheese.

Cheese comes from the milk of ruminants, they process what we cannot eat, turn it into milk, rare breed cows out on pasture, unpasteurised milk, turned into cheese, a wholesome natural product, without any additives, flavourings, not adulterated in any way. Slow food at its best. Anything else, is not cheese.

If not made from milk, it is not cheese.

The demand for cashew nuts to satisfy vegans, especially for fake cheese, is leading to appalling working conditions for those in the Third World who shell the nuts.

Veganuary was much hyped. Was it the success it claimed to be?

Veganuary was much hyped, yes a big increase, but a big increase on a small number is still a very small number. The real measure, how many stuck to a vegan diet? A mere 16%, a tiny number on an already small number. Butchers reported no loss of business.

A vegan sausage at Greggs was much hyped. Did sales increase because their sausage rolls were so bad? Bad diet, highly processed junk food, a diet rich in highly processed carbohydrates.

Om Nom issue 2

April 5, 2019

I first came across Om Nom during a recent trip to Brighton late last year in Magazine Brighton then again in Infinity Foods. I decided to pick up what was on sale In Infinity Foods, issue No 3.

Issue 2? I checked to find impossible to obtain, long sold out.

Then an idea, Ideas on Paper, always back issues.

Out of luck.

Then another idea, Outpost Coffee. I was in luck, not only a copy, they kindly gave me their copy.

Afternoon Christmas Day, after Christmas dinner, I settled down to read Om Nom issue 2.

Om Nom is a food magazine, ethical food and lifestyle.

What is ethical?

Veganism is not ethical. It is a lifestyle choice. A lifestyle choice bordering on quasi-religious fundamentalism.

If you do not want milk in a cappuccino, fine, but do not expect a quality cappuccino with fake milk. It will look and taste disgusting.

What of soya milk, is it ethical? Where has the soya come from? Plantations where once stood rain forests. Soy can be an allergen. The soy is possibly genetically modified. Soy is bitter and has to have additives to remove the bitterness.

What of almond milk? If California, what of the water used in a state suffering from drought and over extraction of water? Five litres of water for each almond.

If do not like milk, for whatever reason, have single origin V60 pour over.

But if insist on fake milk in a cappuccino, then ask for Oatley not an inferior cheap oat milk, and blend in the pouring jug. It looks and tastes marginally better but is not great.

Yes, we should eat more fruit and vegetables, grains and nuts, less processed food, maybe less meat, but we need to take a whole systems approach, not be the latest bigot in town jumping on the latest fashionable bandwagon, the latest fad.

In many parts of the world, grazing animals is more environmentally sound than growing crops.

https://twitter.com/EricaHauver/status/1109108123573387264

There is nothing intrinsically healthy about a vegan diet, especially when highly processed.

Organic food heavily processed is still heavily processed food.

Fake milks are highly processed, loaded with sugar. Fake meats heavily processed, laced with additives, just for starters, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, water, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavours, gum Arabic.

Was the demand for vegan sausage rolls from Greggs an indication of how bad their regular sausage rolls?

Then there is the need for supplements, on what is claimed to be a healthy diet.

And what of the environmental cost?

Nitrogen-based fertilisers, pesticides, palm oil, genetic modification, reliance on oil industry, just a few of the issues.

Africa, Europe, Asia, North America was covered in open woodland and grassland, savannah, prairie, across which roamed huge herds of herbivores. Man was a hunter gatherer, ate red meat, ate fat, grains did not form part of our diet.

EAT-Lancet diet for a small planet, almost vegan, good for our health, good for the planet, too good to be true, the wheels fell off within days when subject to proper scientific scrutiny. That promoted by agribusiness should send alarm bells ringing.

Too much fake science. For example a vegan burger compared with a meat burger, the former served with green tea, the latter served with a latte with half a dozens spoons of sugar.

There is no such thing as cheap food, we simply externalise the costs, social costs, human rights abuse, environmental degradation, climate chaos and animal welfare.

A handful of people eating plants does little to address ethics in food production.

It is not ethical when we praise quality but expensive food, nor when we praise cheap substandard food.

It is not ethical when rich folk enjoy food produced by poor folk who get poorer the harder they work. It is not ethical when the rich get richer peddling junk food to the masses.

It is not ethical when we live in a world where McDonald’s, Starbucks and Costa colonise our towns.

Is it ethical to put a brick through McDonald’s or Starbucks?  Or should we create and support alternatives, indie coffee shops, direct trade, serving specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic, local restaurants, the Italian osteria, supporting local producers, serving local and regional dishes?

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 kebab shop.

Use of instagram is not ethical. Owned by facebook, claim ownership rights to your pictures, act as bait to draw into the facebook walled garden, pictures posted via robot to twitter are not visible on twitter, the pictures could be used to promote something you are opposed to, you would not know as they do not ask permission to use your pictures, complicit in teen self-harm and suicide.

Business model of facebook is to steal and abuse personal data, to manipulate. Facebook are part of a lobbying group opposed to CO2 reductions.

Post pictures direct to twitter, post videos to youtube or vimeo, put a link to videos on facebook, drive traffic out of not into facebook.

Instagram is hosting material that is leading young teens to self harm and take their own lives. A shocking account of how one young teenager was led to take her own life by material on Instagram.

Latest evil of Instagram, complicit in eating disorders.

Anyone encouraging use of instagram, is complicit in teen self harm. People and companies must pull the plug on instagram. Or do they wish to be complicit in teen suicides?

Engaging in a partnership with Tesco is not ethical.

To engage in partnership with Big Business is not ethical. It will be business as usual, at best greenwash.

It is ethical to create and support alternatives, build from the ground up, local, cooperative networks, disrupt, build disruptive business models that topple the existing entrenched order, but not aid, to let their existence continue.

We need to look at the entire business cycle, not focus on one aspect.

The Mylkman delivers nut milk in bottles via bicycle and now electric milk float. That he is using and recycling glass jars from a nearby restaurant is good, also that he is finding uses for the nut waste products, but where do the nuts come from, how are they processed, what happens to the waste?

With every business featured, I would ask are they coops, open coops, do they network with other local businesses, do they accept local currencies, faircoin?

Cheese comes from the milk of ruminants, they process what we cannot eat, turn it into milk, rare breed cows out on pasture, unpasteurised milk, turned into cheese, is a wholesome natural product, without any additives, flavourings, not adulterated in any way. Slow food at its best. Anything else, is not cheese.

If not made from milk, it is not cheese. It is disingenuous to claim threatened when asked to desist on calling a product cheese when it is not cheese.

Chocolate is very strictly defined:

  • cocoa solids – sugar
  • cocoa solids – cocoa butter – sugar – vanilla

Anything less is not chocolate, at least in the US, in EU 5% vegetables oils. Which means cheap crap chocolate substitutes vegetable oils for cocoa butter, the really cheap crap palm oil.

If we have standards for what can be called chocolate, it is reasonable to expect standards for what may be called cheese.

The demand for cashew nuts to satisfy vegans, especially for fake cheese, is leading to appalling working conditions for those in the Third World who shell the nuts

Threatened is when vegan fundamentalists and terrorists send pig farmers death threats. Yes the pigs may be reared in inhumane conditions, and yes that should be addressed.

 

Zero waste is a journey we should all be on.

In nature the concept of waste does not exist either in time or space, the output of one process the input to another.

People walking down the street with coffee cup in hand is a fairly recent phenomena, a recent trend.

Taking a KeepCup to Pret a Manger is not an ethical choice.

Pret a Manger was once part owned by McDonald’s, now 100% owned by German Vulture Capitalists. Pret a Manger even before acquisition dodged tax.

Reusable cups address symptoms not the underlying problem of grab it and go, pointless consumerism.

We need to stop buying stuff we do not need. We buy stuff, own it for six months, a temporary pause from extraction, manufacture, then ownwards to incineration or landfill.

More coffee shops need to follow the example set by Napier Quarter, a coffee shop in Australia that has banned takeaway coffee.

Relax in an indie coffee shop with specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic, single origin coffee, direct trade not the FairTrade scam, transparency, traced back to origin to the farm where the coffee was grown and the best ripest reddest coffee cherries picked, the farmers paid for quality, a higher price than the FairTrade price which is a tiny premium above the price for commodity coffee.

It is indie coffee shops that have led the way with direct trade, compostable coffee cups, keepcup and ecoffee bamboo clones on sale, discount if bring in own clean barista friendly cup. They are leading the way serving specialty coffee in glass or ceramic.

Ask what do they do with coffee grounds? Ask they put out in a strong paper carrier bag for gardeners to carry home.

Small Batch in Brighton have an arrangement where coffee grounds are collected by a mushroom grower Espresso Mushroom Company and used to grow oyster mushrooms. The cycle is closed when Small Batch sell the mushroom growing kits.

Shop in zero waste stores, Hisbe in Brighton which recently celebrated five years, Keep in Farnham, a small room above a vegan restaurant which only opened a few weeks ago.

If shop in Waitrose, harangue the staff and management, ask why fresh produce wrapped in plastic, bananas rotting on the shelves, ask are they still in the environmental dark ages? In M&S individual turnips shrink-wrapped in plastic, coconuts with shells hacked off shrink wrapped in plastic.

In Hisbe, all the fresh produce loose, not wrapped in plastic, pick what you want, pop in a paper bag, weigh, label then purchase.

Bad as Waitrose and M&S are for plastic and over packaging, as nothing compared with Hotel Chocolat with their excessive over packaging and obscene use of plastic.

It was not so long ago buying water in a bottle would have seemed a strange choice when it came free at the turn of a tap. Similarly it would have seemed strange to carry milk back from the shop when it was delivered to the door.

I remember being at my grandmother’s when the milk cart passed by early in the morning, I would hear the rattle of the milk bottles, one of the first sounds I would hear of a morning. It may have even been horse drawn.

I also remember how as children we would knock on doors, and ask for their empties, take to the corner shop and claim the deposit.

We recycle stuff, what of people and places?

There are many abandoned and derelict buildings, abandoned land, people thrown on the scrap heap.

ReSpace puts to use empty and abandoned buildings.

The Hive in Dalston hosted conferences, workshops, small businesses, social enterprises, theatre, music.

A derelict shopping centre in Aldershot could have been reused, but no one came forward to take it on.

Nomadic Community Gardens, a spare bit of land, two people toiling away, bringing back into use. They did not ask for volunteers, the community joined in.

Land in London, ethnic communities, amazing variety of vegetables grown.

A large garden, too much work, people who desire a plot to work, join forces, share what is grown.

The system outlined by Dale Vince of Ecotricty for power distribution is neither green nor ethical. No we do not need large lithium-ion batteries, fields covered in solar panels, crops grown for biofuels.  Lithium is scarce, comes from conflict zones.

We should be creating community owned and controlled local area networks, fed by renewables paid a fair price, mandatory for every new build to have solar on the roof, consumers pay a fair price, any surplus generation fed to other local grids via a publicly owned National Grid, any monetary surplus either fed back into the local grid or used to fund local community projects.

Biodigesters on farms can power the farm, feed into their local grid, the residual waste put back on the fields.

The so-called smart meters being rolled out across the country are anything but smart, all they do is provide real time indication of the electricity we are using.

A real smart meter would enable remote switching on and off of low grade usage. For example an immersion heater for hot water could be turned off to help reduce peak demands, with an override switch.  Electric cars can be charged over night to deliver a base load for wind and wave turbines.

We need heat pumps. All new build should have heat pumps.

Imagine an estate powered by one power station. Build a second estate, conventional thinking is we now need a second power station. No, reduce power consumption of existing estate, build second estate to much higher standards, maybe even a net contributor to the local grid, now not only do we not need a second power station, we have surplus generation from the first, or can be replaced with a more efficient power source, which could be an off-shore wind farm.

We need a Green New Deal. We need a soft energy path, where generation is matched to supply.

Dale Vince owns Forest Green Rovers, a football club he has taken from a village side to the Football League with ambitions to go further.

Classed as the greenest football club in the world. The pitch is chemical free, mowed by a solar-powered, GPS-controlled, robot mower. Real Madrid visited to view the pitch.

A new stadium will be built using wood from sustainable sources, solar power on the roof.  Outside the stadium, charging points for electric cars.

Food served is vegan. Fans come from miles around for the food, not because they are vegan, the food is better than typical football club fare.

Jamie Oliver featured the club for veganuary on his Friday Night Feast on Channel 4.

Veganuary was much hyped, yes a big increase, but a big increase on a small number is still a very small number. The real measure, how many stuck to a vegan diet? A mere 16%, a tiny number on an already small number. Butchers reported no loss of business.

A vegan sausage at Greggs was much hyped. Did sales increase because their sausage rolls were so bad? Bad diet, highly processed junk food, a diet rich in highly processed carbohydrates.

Several of the people featured in Om Nom issue 2 have come from what David Graeber would describe as bullshit jobs. The classic bullshit job marketing. Was it these bullshit jobs that was the impetuous to do something different, to add meaning to their lives, to make a difference? What they fail to comprehend is that it can no longer be Businesses as Usual, we cannot draw from businesses, we have to implement radical changes, there is no Planet B.

Do you have to be a vegan to be an activist?

Do you have to be an activist to be a vegan?

What is an activist? What is activism?

Signing an online petition. Joining a protest. Occupying Starbucks. Refusing to cross the threshold of Starbucks or McDonald’s. Blocking access to a fracking site. Supporting local coops. Relaxing in an indie coffee shop serving direct trade specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic. Objecting to obscene use of plastic by supermarkets. Lobbying politicians. Buying fresh produce off local markets, dried goods from zero waste stores. Objecting to McDonald’s trashing a local pub.

Activism takes many forms. And no, do not have to be a vegan to be an activist.

If we look at meat consumption, be it per capita or per country, it has risen. It would appear the richer we are, the more meat we consume, no meat or little meat is seen as a poor person’s diet. This level of meat consumption is not sustainable.

In 1961, global meat consuption 22kg per capita, 2007 40kg per capita.

There is though a large disparity between countries. India 3.2kg per capita, for Brits and Americans, 85.8kg and 125.4kg per capita respectively.

One of the driving factors was in the USA, post WWII, increased production was going to lead to a glut, people were urged to eat more meat.

But the figures are highly misleading. Meat consumption has risen, but only because of the increase in poultry consumption. This is for the last century. If we go back two centuries, meat consumption, red meat consumption, has declined. If we look at the the historical record, red meat consumption was much higher.

We should also note that if we go back to 1900, consumption of vegetable oil was near zero, if we compare with today. The exception being olive oil in Greece.

But even in Greece, use of olive oil does not stretch back into antiquity. The use of olive oil was cosmetic not culinary.

The Mediterranean Diet is recent, conferences in Mediterranean locations, good food, favourable reports, get an invite for next year, all floated on an olive oil industry slush fund.

No food magazine is complete without recipes. Om Nom is no exception and has a handful of recipes scattered throughout its pages.

They say print is dead. Who they are I do not know. Print is not dead.

What is dead is the rubbish we find in the newsagent, the glossy freebies no one wants, vehicles to peddle crap we do not want, an appalling waste of trees.

Quality print, Om Nom, Ambrosia, Standart, Drift, no advertising, is not dead. Nor the outlets, indie coffee shops, Ideas on Paper, Magazine Brighton.

Om Nom is available as a digital copy, the price is too high. It should be set at one pound, maximum two pounds, made available on LeanPub, set own download format.

Also make Om Nom available on Issuu to browse on-line.

Independent Life is an example of a quality print magazine available on Issuu to browse on-line.

The name Om Nom, I have absolutely no idea. I have asked wherever found, and everyone admits they do not know either. It has been suggested it may mimic the sound of eating.

Union St

March 20, 2019

Union St, co-working space, coffee shop, pop up kitchen Monday to Friday.

Union St is one of those places you walk by and pop in.

Guildford farmers market

December 18, 2018

A day like last Saturday, windy and heavy rain. Luckily the rain held off until afternoon, then killed the market.

I learnt from one stall the market was open until four, but closed earlier due to the inclement weather.

A farmers market should be growers, farmers and producers. Non-producers only allowed at last minute if a spare pitch. It would also be worth following the example of South Bank Street Food Market, a couple of spare pitches reserved for guest stalls.

There is something very very wrong when producers are denied participation on the market, told fully booked, when pitches are taken by non-producers and on the day spare pitches where regulars or maybe not regulars have failed to turn up. All the worst when producers are local and have experience of other markets, where they are made welcome.

Stalls selling tat, an importer of Spanish foodstuffs, tea.

If something from a chiller cabinet is found on the shelves where it should not be in a supermarket, it is not put back in the chiller cabinet as not known how long it has been out of the chiller cabinet.

Why then a stall with poultry, turkeys, turkey sausages, the worst meat products to leave outside of a fridge, sitting on stall all day with temperature a little below 10C? Though not as bad as the summer when on a stall with temperatures exceeding 25C if not 30C.

Why no action by Environmental Health?

Talking to one cheese producer, cows the black and white bulk milk producers, I asked was the milk unpasteurised? No. Did I wish to buy? No. I did not ask were they using bought in cultures for the milk, or traditional methods for what was claimed to be Cheddar.

I can do no better than cite the excellent advice given by Bronwen Percival on buying cheese in an Appendix to Reinventing the Wheel (the book on cheese):

Buy unadulterated cheese … if a cheesemaker hides behind added ingredients, whether smoke, added fruits or spices … it is either a tragedy … or a sign their milk was devoid of character in the first place … Buy raw-milk cheese … Buy complex cheese … Buy from a cheesemonger … good cheesemongers are curators of good cheese.

We are fortunate in Guildford, excellent cheesemonger at end of Chapel Street.

One stall had 10% off vouchers for the cheesemonger, but objected to taking any on the grounds that I had taken a few off her stall before. Whilst this was true, I had given these away to encourage people to visit the cheesemonger. Not only had I given away, but at the time I had asked could I take more then one as I wished to give them away. Her attitude short sighted and infantile to say the least, as the only loser is the cheesemonger.

Cupsmith appear to have given up. No bad thing. Excellent coffee can be obtained in Guildford either from Krema in Tunsgate or FCB Coffee kiosk on Guildford Station. In both cases will be talking to baristas knowledgeable about coffee.

A long queue at the paella stall.

What looked like peanut butter was not. Very cloying when I tried. A nut, I cannot recall what, and added espresso. Did they mean coffee beans? Yes. If so, say so, espresso is from an espresso machine. Tasted not of coffee but of chocolate.

Engaging in one conversation, overhearing another, lack of knowledge on use of social media. To be fair, I would not expect otherwise.

One stall, was I going to tag on Instagram? Absolutely no way. Another how a food writer increased their sales. And no it was not me.

In use of social media, twitter is a must, facebook a very low second, instagram a major no no. Always post pictures direct to twitter, never via instagram. If posted via instagram, not visible on twitter.

Instagram

  • claims ownership rights of pictures
  • acts as bait to entice into facebook walled garden
  • facebook business model theft and abuse of personal data
  • pictures posted to instagram not visible on twitter

Social media should never be used for marketing, it is an intrusion into personal space. It is not broadcast, the clue is in the name, social networks, ie interaction, many to many.

  • broadcast — one to many
  • social — interaction
  • network — many to many

A blog may be useful if have something worthwhile to say, if can write. For example a chocolate maker may describe bean to final product, direct trade, why use cocoa butter, not pad out with cheap alternatives such as palm oil, a cheesemaker rare breed cows, out on pastures, unpasteurised milk, a cake baker recipe for a cake.

The market was to be plastic free in 2019, except no one knows anything about it, and the very idea is being denied.

How many retailers will be around in the New Year?

House of Fraser bankrupt, Debenhams on the verge of bankruptcy, at least one coffee shop closing, others on the verge of closing, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill will close if unable to negotiate a lower rent, Tunsgate Quarter boarded up units, corporate chains selling overpriced tat, devoid of people other than those using as a short cut when raining.

Excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage, the only business I ever see busy in Jeffries Passage. The coffee shop, three customers.

Excellent coffee in Krema. Like Ben’s Records next door, always busy.

Unlike chains which compete with on-line by cutting service, in other words engage in a death spiral, indie businesses offer quality in products and service.

Nuisance caused by Deliveroo serfs

August 17, 2018

Whilst sat outside Krema in Tunsgate overlooking Guildford Castle grounds, unacceptable and illegal behaviour by Deliveroo serfs.

Late afternoon, Deliveroo serf illegally parked his white scooter MJ15 UXK outside the gate to Tunsgate, illegally left engine running, keys left in the ignition, whilst collecting his delivery from Pho, a fake Vietnamese street food restaurant.  No removal of crash helmet, which is also not acceptable.

On return he was told he was illegally parked. He turned very nasty, his arrogant response, I am working and can park where I like.

Complaint lodged with manager of Pho. Not my problem, they work for Deliveroo. Wrong, they are picking up your deliveries.

Forty-five minutes later, a repeat performance, a different Deliveroo serf parks scooter LF15 XKC illegally, no removal of helmet, a delivery for Pho. At least he turned off his engine.

Walking down the street, walking into a restaurant without removing crash helmet is intimidating for staff and diners. It shows lack of respect and courtesy to staff and diners.  There should be a standing instruction to all Pho staff, any Deliveroo serf walking in wearing a crash helmet is asked to immediately leave and not allowed to return until crash helmet removed.

Tunsgate had been pedestrianised, now that the roadworks have finally been finished, people can sit and relax outside overlooking the Castle Grounds. They do not want this nuisance, especially pollution from an engine left running.

Deliveroo serfs on scooters in Guildford are now a major nuisance, they are driving through pedestrianised streets, wrong way down one way streets, ignoring traffic lights. A few months back, I was amazed no accident the behaviour of one of these idiots, the complex road junctions outside the bus station.

The two who were illegally parked at Tunsgate, both were learners, the first not English the second unknown. Are they insured for using their scooters to carry out a business?

Both Police and Guildford Borough Council need to clamp down on these Deliveroo serfs as it is getting out of hand.

AM Ozone Restaurant

August 17, 2018

 

I would have eaten at Caffe Macchiato, but fancied a change. A big mistake.

Sort of greeted by a toad like man as walked in, actually not greeted at all.

One surly waiter cleared away dirty plates.

Virtually empty, and easy to see why.

Dull and dingy, though did then manage to turn on a few extra lights.

An oriental-style buffet, food from everywhere.

The food not fresh, lukewarm at best, only one dish replenished whilst I was there. Open from midday until 10 pm. Do the dishes sit there all day? The plates stone cold.

I was worried would I get food poisoning. The place was shut down and fined it was disgusting. I looked in vein for a  food rating, it got zero last year, could not find, then spotted on the door, 4*.

Kings Cross Real Food Market

August 18, 2017

Outside Kings Cross Station, a food market of around maybe a dozen stalls.

Worth exploring if time, and a better option than buying food inside the station or on a train.

Bread, cakes, cheese, fruit juices, tortilla.

I had excellent tortilla, and cheese off the cheese stall, Comte and Gouda, and a cake off a cake stall.

From a fellow passenger on the Edinburgh train, she alighted at Peterborough, I learnt  there is an excellent street food market around the corner in Granary Yard.

The cheese stall told me I must visit Borough Market.

A pity not a coffee stall serving quality coffee.