A Cheeky BLT and a Sausage Shocker!
Posted on October 17, 2013
Facebook posts and links from my friends are often about nostalgia, a Great British fascination recalling the golden days of Commodore computers, Rubik’s cubes, footballers with perms and Sam Fox’s breasts. So imagine the diversity in my delight when today, I did the exact opposite by experiencing what it is like going forward thirty years rather than back. I did this with my fiancée, Justine, by visiting Poppies, a tea room/cafe in Ringwood.
Poppies is a quaint looking place upstairs from a bakery and we were expecting some tasty home made baguettes with a lovely cup of breakfast tea. However, we weren’t banking on the deteriorating taste buds of pensioners born in a period of rationing when they had to eat anything that came their way.
I asked (this is true) for a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) baguette, a request that was greeted with a look of utter disdain by the elderly waitress who seemed to be fighting a losing battle as she attempted to embark on customer service against all her better instincts.
“I can’t do you a BLT but a bacon baguette does come with a lettuce and tomato side salad.”
It would appear that no-one had ever thought of the maverick and cosmopolitan concept of putting the lettuce and tomato in the baguette and as a consequence of my request the rest of the members of UKIP who were in the cafe, took her side by looking at me as if though I had asked her for a complex paella dish.
So, I settled for some cardboard with bacon flavouring inside a baguette with lettuce and tomato on the side which, with audacious risk and no respect for the Poppies rule book, I placed in the baguette, thus creating the BLT I desired. I know this daring act risked a Poppies petition to the Sunday Express demanding my deportation but upon seeing the arrival of Justine’s alleged sausage baguette as I sipped at my budget brand tea, I just didn’t care anymore. I was a loose cannon surrounded by angry elderly racists who thought a prawn cocktail was for dirty foreigners.
Only once in my life ( a caravan cafe on a hard shoulder of the A34 in the early 90’s) has a sausage had such a nauseous impact on me. Justine had already stoically attempted consumption by covering the sausage in ludicrous amounts of ketchup but it was not to be, the colour from her face was draining at an alarming rate and she had to call it a day.
I am not good with half empty plates so I just had to give it a crack. Oh my good God, it was so hideous I almost had to congratulate the staff for dishing up such a revolting item. It was like a sausage anti-Christ that caused me enough nausea to almost make me copiously vomit on the spot as the sweat beds emanated from my forehead; I temporarily felt like I was rejecting an unsuitable organ.
However, looking around the room, all the pensioners were on first name terms with the staff and seemed content with their lot. I couldn’t work it out, was it because they had never been anywhere else and their taste buds were trained to believe that what was being served represented good food?
What it did make me realise is that there is only a small window in life when it is assumed that you might just want to taste food that is edible. When eating out, children are forced to eat processed burgers and nuggets and pensioners are happy to consume the cheapest ‘meat’ possible, just as long as the portions are big.
I am an experimental eater who will try and happily consume most things but to be subjected to something that borders on poisoning and be expected to be grateful is a bizarre sensation that I have only ever experienced in Britain.
In thirty years time, will I be happily chewing on a sausage made of salt, sawdust and pigs ring pieces?
I really hope not