Most people who know me probably realise that I am almost fanatical about my food. I always try to explain that this is part of my cultural heritage, that it is an inherently Cantonese thing (to the point that the standard greeting between Cantonese friends tends to involve asking if they’ve eaten yet, or similar) but the truth of it is that I’m probably just plain obsessed.
However, it can’t just be any old food. It’s got to tickle the taste buds, be interesting and preferably with some provenance. I love nose to tail eating, am passionate about seasonal, local produce and proper animal welfare but am not a vegetarian. Giving the animals we eat as food a decent quality of life should be a matter of course but I certainly don’t see why I should stop eating them as long as I do what I can to ensure that I buy responsibly and respect where the food comes from.
I love making things from scratch and very rarely buy anything pre-cooked or ready-made. I just don’t like not knowing what’s in my food or where it comes from. And more often that not, if you have a careful look at the label on the back (if you can make out the tiny writing) you’ll discover all sorts of E-numbers lurking, as well as surprising (and disturbing) quantities of fat, salt and sugar.
However, recently I bought a small ready made pie from our local Waitrose (I love Waitrose). Maybe there is some truth that in a recession people seek comfort food (though the food in that article is definitely not my kind of food!). I thought it might be a good lunch for us at the weekend.
The pie I bought was the Chicken of Aragon Pie from Pieminister, an award winning Bristol company who insist on using the best and freshest ingredients for their hand made pies. Obviously, I checked the small print at the back. No e-numbers, no odd ingredients or preservatives and free range chicken in the pie. Ticked all the boxes so far; what about the taste?
I cannot praise it enough. It was an absolutely heavenly pie with crisp, light pastry and a succulent, tasty filling. Not only were the chicken chunks tasty, but I could actually taste the vegetables as well.
I definitely could have eaten the whole one to myself; shame I had to share it with Jase. I think he was thinking the exact same thing…
I am going to buy two more this weekend. For those not fortunate enough to live across the road from Waitrose, they are also selling these in Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Roll on comfort food!