You’re sticky with fruit juice and the tips of your fingers are stained a deep plum colour, but you’ve never felt better – you’re fruit picking, contributing to the food industry with your very sweaty labour. The apples, pears and grapes that you collect in your bucket will be shipped off to both small and large retailers across the world, enjoyed by unknown and faraway humans and perhaps the occasional lucky rabbit. I once spent a few months in New Zealand undertaking this somewhat backbreaking toil, but thoroughly enjoying it.
I've just bought a new breakfast cereal – a very worthy Dorset Cereals muesli – and it now takes me about half an hour to get through a bowlful each morning. I was happily eating cornflakes until a friend criticised my apparently “backward” breakfast choice, claiming that I was falling short of every slow-release energy and fibre rule in the book. Given that I'd been complaining about how hungry I was by 11am, I thought it best not to laugh at her faddy escapades. So I buckled and begrudgingly gave muesli a go...
Locally sourcing and foraging: the new austerity cuisine?
I used to work in a small cafe that put a lot of emphasis on locally sourcing their produce. That meant the bread was delivered daily in a tiny van - except on Sundays, when the baker was given a lie-in -, Tuesdays were veg days, and Thursdays were dairy days. The fridges and vegetable boxes would be crammed full of fresh produce until the following Monday, when we had to forage around in the depths of the cupboards to find occasionally very bizarre ingredients with which to make our homemade cakes.