Someone Jimminy Crickket said:
au fait at the moment
To be "au fait" means "to be knowledgeable about". What the faitecky fait??
Food snobs have been tricked into saying they like Greggs after the British high-street pasty biz went undercover at a London festival. Visitors to the Foodies Festival were fooled into thinking "Gregory And Gregory" was the latest purveyor of gourmet salads by posh signage and smart aprons, complete with geometric leaf logo …
"I've grabbed a Gregg's pie when I've only had a short lunch break. "
I used to, many years ago when they were still a relatively small and local chain but now my life is on the road, rarely in town centres, so the only Greggs I see these days are the ones at motorway services and no way in hell am I paying those prices!
Greggs Belgian buns are excellent. Also their bread pudding slices are pretty damned good too. Their ginger cookies are too bad.
But their jam doughnuts are an abomination, for not having been properly fried, so you might as well be just eating bread and jam. Worse than Sainsbury's poor effort.
The cheese and onion pasty is nice and the sausage roll is OK. If you don't think about what's in it. Sometimes you just need a sausage roll.
That's how it works -- whether it's food, wine, music, or whatever, once you hit a certain level of snobbishness, it's not about whether or not a particular instance of the thing is good, it's about what image it projects and what being seen with that image "says" about you. It's about being part of a club.
or "Pretentious people" have no opinions of their own i.e. they are just yet more sheep waiting for group concensus to be delivered from the leaders of their flock.
Greggs (the shop) sells to people who know what they like even if they do not recognise healthy food
>>Greggs (the shop) sells to people who know what they like even if they do not recognise healthy food<<
Many a small child (in pram/buggy etc.) have I seen happily skinning a Greggs sausage role, some like the sausage, some like the pastry.
Personally I think Greggs is one of the better food outlets. They actually pay their taxes at a realistic rate, They don't have a gender pay gap to speak of away from head office, They pay £2+/h over minimum to shiney new 16yr old shop assistants and the prices don't make you wince.
No I don't work for them!
"Many a small child (in pram/buggy etc.) have I seen happily skinning a Greggs sausage role, some like the sausage, some like the pastry."
Speaking of which, I see someone in the USA has just invented the sausage roll. They've imaginatively called them Puff Dogs
"I see someone in the USA has just invented the sausage roll."
No, you see someone in the USA who is pretty clueless about food. I've been eating sausage rolls here in California since the early 1960s (El Camino Bowl and H&H Burgers had them, both in Palo Alto, by at least 1965). Presumably they existed long before that. Grandpa called 'em "Pork Wellington", which is possibly the earliest food related joke I remember, early 1960s.
...just like every other kind of snob, so far up their own fundaments that they can easily be fooled by anyone putting in just a little effort to dupe them.
Food is not a way of life, it's just food. It goes in one end, hopefully stays in there, stops you feeling hungry and general makes it way out in a timely fashion.
The food snobs might be arses. But varying degrees of food effort, taste, healthiness and presentation are necessary. I paid £70 two weeks ago for scallops followed by beef wellington. Best not think about the drinks bill... The food was excellent and beautifully presented. The service was superb. That was a posh, expensive place in London for my brother's 50th. Last weekend I had friends over who needed feeding, and I knocked up a ragu in 15 minutes that kept us all nicely fed, with a bit of pasta. All from fresh ingredients, but very little effort. This week I ate a Greggs sausage roll for lunch, because it was nice. In a couple of weeks I'll spend many hours in the kitchen prepping a family meal, because it's nice to have nice things - and there'll be some poncing around making it all pretty.
All these things are good. In their time. It's horses for courses. Main courses if I have my way, it's delicious.
Many many years ago I discovered Greenhalghs (greenhalghs.com) when I worked in Bolton, UK.
Always used to like their cakes & pies BUT like most surviving 'Bakers' they have tended, over time, towards the same 'down to a price' standard as Greggs et al.
Unfortunately, I live in an area where there are few other choices and they are dying out fast.
People want cheap so quality tends to get crowded out.
If you are lucky enough to have a decent proper Baker nearby ...... please support them !!!
A message from the 'Real Bread, Cakes & Pies Marketing Board' !!! ;)
P.S. I miss proper Brown Bread that was 'Brown', 'Dense Textured' and could be chewed rather than the beige pap that you get now.
Don't get me started on 'Crusty Bread' of any type ..... when I was a young lad* Crusty Bread was so hard you would cut through 'Tank Armour' with it ....... almost :) !!!
When did chewing bread become a health hazard so we now have soft pap :(
*insert suitable joke here.
If you can't find proper bread, bake your own. It's not exactly rocket science ... People have been doing it since before we had electric/gas/coal ovens.
A couple pointers: Homemade bread is always edible (unless you over salt it, or incinerate it). Get and use a peel and a baking stone. Learn to make a sourdough/leaven/chef with wild-caught yeast & lactobacillus. Stick with it for a couple weeks until you get it right; you'll never buy store-bought bread again (unless you can't avoid it). Don't get fancy at first, stick to flour, yeast, salt and water (crawl, then walk, then run). Throw boiling water on the floor of the oven a couple times in the first couple minutes of cooking (unless you can afford a steam-injected bread oven).
"wild-caught yeast & lactobacillus."
And FWIW, to save all that exotic hassle, buy a bread machine. Preferable with user programmable settings, but not essential. Just experiment with ingredients ratios. Pretty much any bread flour will do. It's primarily down to the fact it's fresh and not full of stuff to increase shelf life that makes it taste so much better. Then you can experiment with other bread flours and ingredients as it takes your fancy. I've never had a loaf that was inedible. The only downside is you always get the same shape with a paddle shaped hole in the bottom but you do get the wonderful smell of fresh baked bread to wake you up instead of an alarm in morning.
(and you can always, for special occasions, just use it to kneed the dough (the hard bit) and then stick it in the oven i whatever shape you like.
Agree on the bread machine. I especially agree on just using it for the mix/proof/kneed/rise portion of the cycle, then form by hand and bake in a conventional oven. I use mine for pizza dough, other flat breads, crackers, and small runs of things like bread sticks and rolls. Occasionally I'll use it as an olfactory alarm clock ... they make good bread for toast and sandwiches.
You can often find them in thrift stores for a couple quid ... the original owner tries the "sample" packet that comes with the machine, which makes 'orrible bread because it's been sitting on a shelf for a couple years and is well past it's sell-by date. They assume the machine itself is useless, and it winds up in the thrift shop. Look for a model that makes a two pound loaf ... and always use fresh ingredients! GIGO applies to baking just as much as it does to databases.
I've been using my trusty Panasonic bread machine for several years now, experimenting just as you said ( although I did once forget to add water and wondered what the strange smell coming from the machine was.)
I've found adding 50g of Porridge oats to the mix gives a lovely crunchy crust.
To follow on from Paul Hollywood, he did a book that's just called 'Bread'. I've no idea if it's better than other bread books, but it was £5 when I picked it up, and it has various different kinds of bread, how to make them and how the baking actually works. Which then means you have an understanding of the baking process, and so can experiment with knowledge. It was an excellent investment of £5.
Get yourself a baker's scraper, if you're going to hand make bread. It's basically just a tall bit of unsharpened metal with handle (or the top bent over to make one) but helps quite a lot.
But if you don't fancy starting by making it, I also use a bread maker. If you keep all the stuff in a corner of the kitchen, ready to hand, you can have a loaf on the go in 5 minutes - then 2-4 hours later the machine goes ping. Hey presto!
If I want to experiement, I'll probably work it by hand - as you can feel if you've made a dough too wet, or say put too much cheese in it so it won't bake properly. At which point you just add more of the other ingredients in proportion until you've corrected your error.
A baking tray of water on the bottom of the oven gives you crustier crusts. Yum. Fresh bread and butter is the way to lunch on a weekend.
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