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Say Cheese! – What other food has the variety and versatility of cheese?



The phrase dates back to 1943 when the Big Spring Herald newspaper in Texas encouraged people to use the word to induce a smile when having a photograph taken. Prior to that date, people were encouraged to look serious in photographs, and the word “Prunes” was used, which produced a tight closed mouth. Regardless of its use in photography, there are many reasons to smile when thinking of cheese.
What other food has the variety and versatility of cheese?  There are one thousand eight hundred types of cheese in the world and almost as many ways of classifying them. Starting with Cheddar, this is the most popular cheese in the UK, claiming 51% of the market. It is also the second most popular cheese in the USA, the most popular being Mortzarella.  Cheddar is named after the town in Somerset where it was first produced. Cheddar cheese is now produced commercially worldwide. Only West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, uses local milk, and since 2007, is a protected brand.
Imagine you are making up a cheeseboard. In my case I would of course, knowing its popularity, choose Cheddar. Then I would choose another English cheese, Stilton. This can only be produced in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, since a law was passed in 1993, protecting products made from traditional recipes, in a particular area.  Such a cheese is Yorkshire Wensleydale, a mild cheese traditionally enjoyed with fruitcake.  A third cheese I would add to my cheeseboard is Boursin, a soft creamy cheese, originally flavoured with garlic and herbs. This was first produced in 1957 by Francois Boursin in Normandy, France. 
Finally, I would choose Edam, a semi hard cheese with a low-fat content. This Dutch cheese was the world’s most popular cheese in the fourteenth and eighteen centuries. There are a wide variety of biscuits sold that are made to compliment cheeses, so I would make a selection of these available. A cheeseboard, apart from the enjoyment of the cheeses,  can make up for any culinary deficiencies in the preceding courses at a dinner table!
Apart from fine dining, there is also that great social event, the Wine and Cheese Party, where guests are able to help themselves to the perfect combination of wine and cheese.  There is no need for people on a low-fat diet to miss out on cheese.  Cottage Cheese, with zero fat content contains as much calcium as full fat cheese and is delicious with fruit.  A very small piece of full fat cheese, the size of a small matchbox is sufficient for daily calcium requirements, and unless the diet is very strict, enables the sampling of the cheeses. 
Cheese can be used in many ways in cooking. Just heat up the grill for a cheese toasty, or mix with pasta or rice, or use as a topping for a Jacket Potato. As well as being versatile, commercially produced Cheddar is also relatively cheap! A £2 slab will produce a variety of meals for several days, requiring very little preparation. I am tempted to say it has often saved my bacon!
Finally, there is a cheese, which is likely to raise a smile, but which I have never tasted. It is called “Stinking Bishop” It apparently has a distinctive odour, but the name derives from the Stinking Bishop Pear, which provides the Perry, used in the production process. (The Pear itself derived its name from a nineteenth century famer Frederich Bishop, who gained the name of “Stinking Bishop” due to his eccentric behaviour.)   Made from the milk of Gloucestershire cattle, only twenty tons are produced each year and it is not on sale in supermarkets. It is a handmade cheese and may be found in Harrods, or Fortnum’s, or artisan grocery shops. It can also be purchased online from Charles Martell & Son Ltd estd 1972, Cheesemakers and Distillers. 
Bon Appetit!

In the nineteen sixties I worked in London stores. Worked as an Insurance Clerk in the City of London during the nineteen seventies. Divorced in the nineteen nineties. Now I am a retired Civil Servant, managing home and garden and escaping onto social media whenever possible.

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The best Fish & Chips shops in the UK



Many tourists would like to try real fish & chips when they come to the UK. Unfortunately, in central London and other tourist spots, decent fish & chips are not easy to find According to the ‘Fry Magazine’ these are the 50 best fish & chips in the UK.

As you can see there is only one in London and it is in Harrow, not exactly in the centre of town. But on the list ( not by ranking) there are some shops in fairly touristy places like Alnwick, Norwich, Dorchester, Weymouth, Kendal and Penzance.

Finn’s Traditional Fish and Chips, Reading, Berkshire

Fintans Fish & Chip Co, Llanishen, Cardiff

Fish ‘n’ Fritz, Weymouth, Dorset

Fisherman’s Bay, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear

Fochabers Fish Bar, Fochabers, Moray

Fraser’s Fish and Chips, Penzance, Cornwall

Frydays of Kendal, Kendal, Cumbria

George’s Fish And Chips, Hanham, Bristol

Harlees Fish & Chips, Westbury, Wiltshire

Henley’s of Wivenhoe, Wivenhoe, Essex

Hiks, Brynhyfryd, Swansea, Glamorgan

Hooked On The Heath, Knutsford, Cheshire

Jason’s Fish And Chips, Rackheath , Norwich, Norfolk

Land & Sea, Sowerby, York, North Yorkshire

Linfords Traditional Fish and Chip Shop, Market Deeping, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Market Hill Fisheries, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire

McLeod’s Fish and Chips, Inverness 

Auckley Friery, Auckley, South Yorkshire

Callaways Fish & Chips, Dorchester, Dorset

Carlo’s, Alnwick, Northumberland

Castiglio’s Fried Fish & Chips, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire

Chippy Chippy, Holyhead, Anglesey

Chips @ No. 8, Prestwich, Manchester Chish & Fips, Norwich, Norfolk

Cox’s At The Lighthouse, St Neots, Cambridgeshire

Croft Street Fisheries, Farsley, Leeds

Davenport’s Fish & Chips, Louth, Lincolnshire

David’s Fish And Chips, Brixham, Devon

Dhillons Fish Inn, Throckley, Newcastle

Dunkeld Fish Bar, Dunkeld,  Musselburgh, East Lothian

My Plaice Fish and Chips, Gorleston-on- Sea, Norfolk

Newington Fish Bar, Ramsgate, Kent

Priory Plaice Fish and Chips, Ulverston, Cumbria

Sea Salt Sole, Dyce, Aberdeen

Seasmiths Fish Chips, Porthtowan, Truro, Cornwall

Shap Chippy, Penrith, Cumbria

Shaw’s Fish And Chips, Dodworth, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

Smith’s Chippy, South Shields, Tyne & Wear

Sykes, Pendlebury, Salford, Greater Manchester

The Cafe Royal, Annan, Dumfriesshire

The Cottage by Haddocks, Rawtenstall, Rossendale, Lancashire

The Crescent Fish & Chip Shop, Flint, Flintshire

The Esk Cafe, Carlisle, Cumbria 

The Fish At Goose Green, Wigan, Lancashire

The Fish Bar, Crewe, Cheshire The Fish Works, Largs, North Ayrshire

The Friary, Carrickfergus, County Antrim

The Golden Fry, Benllech, Isle of Anglesey

The Horseshoe Fish Bar, Pontnewynydd, Torfaen

The Little Chippy Tyldesley, Manchester The Plaice to Be, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

The Shire Fryer, Shrewsbury, Shropshire Tony’s, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire

Towngate Fisheries, Idle, Bradford , West Yorkshire

Valerio’s Fish And Chips, Lanark, South Lanarkshire

Yan’s Fish Bar, Cardiff Every Fish Bar, Harrow, London

Farnhams Fish And Chips, Boverton, Llantwit

Major Fiddlers Elbow Fish and Chips, Leintwardine, Herefordshire 

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Too Good to Go against food waste, how does it work?



On paper it seems like a great idea and I wanted to try it. This is the Too Good To Go app which would is a system to collect food that shops or supermarkets intend to throw away at the end of the day. It is good to know that food is not thrown away in this way, but there are also excellent bargains to be found.

Of course, the biggest problem with food is that it needs to be eaten right away and those who live alone may struggle to eat everything. Another problem is that once booked we do not know what the bag (Magic Bag) contains. Which for many is a positive aspect to have a surprise. Those with intolerances and allergies or a particular diet can have problems and must limit themselves to shops or restaurants that have everything gluten-free or vegan food.

When I tried this app, I first of all looked at what was next to me, because you have to go in person to get the mysterious bag. With restaurants closed during the pandemic, the choice is a bit limited, but I have a Greggs store very close to home and I decided to try this app.

The shop seems to give five bags a day to those on a first come first served basis, of course, yesterday I found a bag  on the app and reserved it, paid immediately with PayPal, at a cost of £ 2.59. I had to pick my bag up this afternoon and the app reminded me an hour before that it was nearly time to go. Once you arrive at the store, just show the cashier your phone with the order and then you have to swipe and confirm that you have had your bag, in front of the cashier. This done, I was given a paper bag.

Inside I found a baguette with cheese and salad, a tuna baguette, one of the famous vegan sausage rolls that made a lot of noise a couple of years ago, a kind of cheese and onion pasty, and a large biscuit with jam. . In all, if you think about the retail prices, the package is worthwhile, however, I have to eat it all  today. There are also supermarkets that offer food packages for a few pounds and these should last a little longer.

The whole procedure is very simple, at the shop they knew very well what it was and I had no problem. To conclude, I think this is a very efficient way to get cheap food and maybe try new restaurants that may be out of reach. Those lucky enough to live in central London will find a variety of famous restaurants that allow to eat delicious dishes for a few pounds. 

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Health : Going Bananas about Bananas!



I’m going bananas about bananas! The use of idioms would be perplexing to students of the English language, who could not deduce from the words used that I am very excited, or at least enthusiastic about bananas as a food. Who would not be when they realise that wrapped within a protective skin that mainly keeps out pesticides, even if not grown organically, there is both a perfect health and convenience food? 
While some people may not like their taste or texture, the banana is among the world’s most popular fruit.  It can satisfy a sweet tooth, while at the same time being low in calories. One medium sized banana has a hundred and five calories, containing fibre, minerals and antioxidants that are good for the digestion, kidney and heart function. 
 I remember a neighbour, whose daily regime after a coronary bypass operation, consisted of a long walk plus  – you’ve guessed it a banana!  The reason for this was that bananas are a great dietary source of potassium. One medium-sized banana (118 grams) contains 9% of the RDI.
A diet containing adequate levels of potassium can help lower blood pressure.  Bananas also contain magnesium, which is also important for heart health.
A single medium sized banana also contains Vitamin B6 33% of the RDI, Vitamin C 11% of the RDI, Copper 10% of the RDI and Manganese 14% of the RDI. Think how much these supplements are going to cost in the health shop and you will see what a good deal you are getting with a natural fruit! There are only 0.4 grams of fat in a banana, so it can also be considered a weight loss food.
Bananas should not cause major spikes in blood sugar levels as they contain pectin. However, people with type 2 diabetes should probably avoid eating a lot of very ripe bananas, as they monitor their sugar levels.  As in all circumstances people should take medical advice if concerned about their diet. 

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