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Pie or a kumquat? The choice is mine.

Byline: Dave Robson

WHAT'S for tea today then? Sausage, egg and chips? A big fat pie? Or maybe a cheeky little parmo...

Well, not in Robson Towers, no sir. For I, my friends, am becoming a new man. Well, new-ish.

One of the problems of having your daughter return from a tour of Asia is she brings with her a much more enlightened way of eating.

For less than a quid a day, she could have as much rice, noodles, lean meat and veg as she could shake a chopstick at, so she tucked in with gusto.

My suggestion, therefore, of a "welcome home" McDonalds ("we can go 'large' if you want") didn't go down well.

But I must admit, over the past few weeks she's helped herald some new dietary thinking from yours truly.

When I was growing up, takeaway food was fish and chips - that was it. And we always had that on a Saturday before the Boro match, so the rest of the week was all about what mam served up. Liver? Oh yes. Steak and kidney pie? Absolutely. I had organs on my plate, some of which processed urine or bile, but the choice was "eat it or starve" so I did the former without complaint and grew to enjoy them. Oh, and of course, LOTS of chips from the chip pan.

Fast forward a few decades and I'm actually thinking about what I eat. Blimey - what have I become? It's just that I fear a lifetime of not putting much weight on has lulled me into a false sense of security. Until, well, about now, I could eat fatty food but still be called skinny (which, apparently, it's OK to call people, but it's insulting if you call someone 'fat' - strange one that).

Anyway, my burgeoning midriff, budding moobs and fears for what's happening internally had already made me think it was time for a change (nothing too drastic, like - I still want pie). Especially because my healthy heart check's due soon - time to shove plenty of oily fish down, methinks.

But what else can I eat? I've just revisited a press release from Eurostar Commodities and Bite UK - yes, those scamps - sent at the start of the year and predicting the UK's food trends for 2018.

"Brexit will continue to dominate headlines as the details are ironed out" they said, correctly. And as we look elsewhere for markets, new fruits will come to the fore, "for example, kumquat and the calamondin, which has fruit like tiny oranges and is very decorative."

Can't wait to pop down the Asda: "Ow gadge, got any calamondins, like?" "Vegan will continue to grow" they predict (not on my plate it won't). And look out for lupini beans - traditionally eaten as a pickled snack food in foreign climes, they can lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity and help appetite control. No mention of what they taste like, mind.

Other big players were predicted to be tumeric, brown rice, Asian cuisine and pizza bases made from vegetable flours like beetroot or spinach.

Hmm - all very well and worthy. And I AM trying, having cut down on crisps and pastries and bumped up the fruit and veg.

But old habits die hard, so their prediction of pizza for breakfast, and particularly of a full English on there, gets my seal of approval.

And as I've been writing this, the Baker's Cabin van arrived, so guess what I just bought for lunch - lupini bean quiche, with a nice kumquat for dessert.

Yeh, right - a delicious steak pie, actually. Just don't tell my daughter.


Steak pie or kumquat? A tough decision?
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 25, 2018
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