The blandness of supermarket food

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Posted 13 December 2011 16:50

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Going to the Ludlow Food Festival reminded me of another reason to cook. I normally just think about the savings or knowing the quality or just the fun you get from cooking but looking around at over 140 food stalls reminded me of the sheer variety of flavours a recipe can bring to the same meal.

Take a sausage roll for example, in the supermarket all you can get is a plain pork sausage roll with enough herbs to show colouring but not enough to actually taste. Then compare that to a locally produced 'pork, caramelised onion, rosemary and stilton' sausage roll where the meat content will be a minimum of 80% instead of the supermarkets maximum 40%. This sausage roll was the meatiest I have tasted but still had the extra flavours of the cheese, onion and herbs.

Pile of sausage rolls

Next, when was the last time you bought a 'blue banana' or lavender ice cream? Forget your artificially added strawberry colouring and instead feast upon chunks of real strawberry in your ice cream.

Butter, salted or unsalted? How about garlic, red pepper or horseradish flavoured?

I'm all for variety but sometimes when supermarkets do stock some out of the ordinary items they go too far, cheese & onion or sour cream & jalapeno chilli popcorn? After having tasted them - no thanks! It's odd how I like those flavours in crisps but they just taste wrong on popcorn.

Adding variety to an ingredient also turns some food from something that I would not eat into some really nice dishes, take for example brussels sprouts, a bit boring on their own but great when added with chestnuts and bacon.

What food with a twist on the ingredients have you tried that you would have never thought to make yourself?

What food would you buy if only the supermarkets stocked it? Yes I'm looking at you caramelised onion and stilton sausage roll...

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