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Category Archives: Food

Here’s some of the McDonald’s history I experienced first hand.  McDonalds made a foray into Bermuda in the 1980’s.  The first time, they sent out some reps to the Naval Air Station with the ingredient to make Big Macs in the base’s Rec Center, which was atop a hill adjacent to the Carter House.  A huge portion of people on based lined up.  My family was in that line — at the time, most fast food on military bases were operated by AAFES, so a Big Mac that day came with a huge dose of nostalgia for The States.   Not long after,  McDonalds opened a restaurant.  My sister worked there for a time.  It stood across the street from the air strip, with the Tradewinds further up the hill, and the bases movie theater like a couple of blocks away.  Once the base was closed, however, McDonalds had to go with it.

Bermuda has strict laws about signage and neon.  Well, a ten years ago, McDonalds tried to regain entrance to Bermuda.  After all, a significant chunk of the tourists that visit there are American.    The BBC further lays it out:

The idea of golden arches spanning Bermuda’s winding lanes was controversial enough to provoke uproar on the island – and provoke uproar it did.

In view of the fact that Sir John was the former leader of the ruling United Bermuda Party, the finance minister, Grant Gibbons, was forced to deny that anything improper had occurred.

But government backbenchers, intent on fighting to the bitter end, introduced the Prohibited Restaurant Act which, while not mentioning either Sir John Swann or McDonald’s by name, was clearly designed to block the plans.

The debate on the bill was bitter and contentious, causing deep divisions within the United Bermuda Party.

When the act was finally passed by the island’s legislature, an equally determined Sir John challenged the constitutionality of the law in the island’s Supreme Court.

Although the Supreme Court struck down the act, agreeing that the absence of compensation provisions conflicted with the island’s constitution, the three-judge court of appeal has now ruled that the Prohibited Restaurant Act is constitutional.

This is in response to Raingod’s goat cheese enchiladas.

2 Cans of Garbanzo/Chick Peas

1 Can of sweet, non cream-style corn

1 Can of small or medium, pitted black olives

1 tommato

1 small red onion

1 Athenos Package of Crumbled Feta

1/2 Green or red pepper

5-6 “Pinches” of basil or Italian seasoning

Olive Oil

Red Wine Vinegar

In a large bowl, pour a very large and unscientific amount of olive oil. Count 4 to 5 seconds out load. Pour a lesser amount of red wine vinegar in. Add the pinches of basil/Italian Seasoning. Whip it with a teaspoon, so that the oil and vinegar are mixed together, along with the spices. Cut up the vegetables into tiny bits. Dump into the oil and vinegar. Stir the vegetables around. Then open, drain, and dump all canned goods into the bowl. Add the feta. Mix thoroughly, for a long time. Use your hands if you have to. Depending on the size of the black olive used, the olives should end up stuffing themselves. Stick bowl in your fridge and don’t touch it for like twelve hours. I suggest making this night before you plan on eating it. Basically, you want everything to “marinate” for awhile. It’s much more flavorful that way, rather than eating it once you finish making it.

There’s more ethnic food in supermarkets. And when I mean “ethnic,” I mean strange Polish stuff you’ve never heard of before, even with a bit of Polish heritage in you, as well as the very small amount of time spent you spent in Poland….

One of the things, when hanging out on horror fiction message boards, is that you often find yourself talking to Canadians and Brits. Sometimes, the subject of food comes up. Since I used to live in the UK, I usually find myself publicly disparaging certain bits of British cuisine, especially black pudding. Usually, the response is “But I love black pudding!” So much so, I sometimes rethink my position, because I only had it once, when I was 7 — and 7 year olds nearly hate everything that isn’t sweet or made of chocolate. So, I thought I’d do a bit of googling on “black pudding.” So, I end up on the Foodio54 Blog, and it’s post about “The Five Most Disgusting Dishes Ever.” Yep, black pudding is one of them, and so is scrapple. However, there’s some shit on there that I can’t mention again, for fear of involuntary regurgitation.

Again, I must point out the truth The Chocolate Blog offers, this time about the Cadbury Flake:

Upon hearing the news that Cadbury are to launch Flake Dark next month, I immediately went out and bought a multi-pack (5) of the original Flakes. Call it my mini protest if you will. flake wrapped.jpg
I noted upon opening the multi-pack wrapping that the Flake was…smaller than usual. Please oh lord of all things cocoa let the reason be that multi-packs are meant to have smaller Flakes in them and not a. Cadbury have reduced the size of the Flake or b. I have grown so big that everything seems smaller these days.

Ignoring the smallness of the Flake I must say that they were it was flake two break.jpgas yummy as ever. (of course the other 4 remain in the pack for later) I put forward the same question as with Cadbury Chocolate Buttons, ’same chocolate, different taste/experience?’

Here’s the flakey history for you ‘The Cadbury Flake bar was originally launched in 1920. The concept of the Flake was discoved by a Cadbury employee who filled the chocolate moulds. Once the moulds were full, the excess chocolate used to spill over the edge and fold down in a stream of chocolate. Once this stream cooled, the Flake product was created as the texture had many thin layers of chocolate and was very crumbly and flakey!’

God bless that employee!!

As a kid in the 1980’s, I used to love to buy these things. They always crumbled in my fingers, living a pile of chocolate on a strategically placed candy bar wrapper. Being the glutton driven seven year old I was in Britain, not only did I suck up the chocolate dust, but licked the wrapper. Every. Damn. Time.

I must quote the following, from the Chocolate Blog, for truth:

Double Deckers are one of those bars. We kind of ignore them when we choose our chocolate. But, when it actually occurs to us to buy one, we can’t understand why we left it so long. We binge on them for a couple of weeks and then leave them once again, to be ignored on the Sweet Shop shelf.

I guess the name is so apt in more ways than one. Just like the proverbial (double decker) bus; you wait for ages and none appear, then numerous ones arrive all at once.

The lower deck of this bar is crispy crunchy cereal and the upper deck is a chewy nougatine; all wrapped in milk chocolate.

double decker half1.jpg
If anything makes me nostalgic for the part of my childhood in the UK, it’s the mere thought of a Double Decker Bar. Cadbury has made incursions into the US sweets market, but as of late, it’s only been the large fruit-and-nut or other varieties of square segmented chocolate. So, the real treats, like the Double Decker, or The Flake, have largely remained in Great Britain, off limits to Americans.

Of course, the Brits don’t do patatoes as good as the Dutch or the Belgians, but then again, Cod-and-chips, preferably doused in malt vinegar and stained with newsprint, is also something I’ve been craving as of late.

Also, from Flickr, under creative commons, with the photo taken by mellowfood.

Creative Commons licensed photo found on Flikr, uploaded by Le Blagueur à Paris

Americans, I’m sorry to say, are not the masters of the french fry. We may like to believe that we are, with all of our fast food chains, but if there’s one thing I really miss about the Benelux, it’s frites. As this guy attests, before relying this bit of history:

The Dutch, however, cannot take responsibility for inventing the fry. Neither can the French. That honor goes to the Belgians, where fries are cherished even more than they are in Holland. The fry culture in Belgium is similar to that of Holland—fries are everywhere, the thick slabs of potatoes are freshly fried and served in paper cones, and they are offered with a variety of toppings, the most popular being mayonnaise—but the Belgians have also developed a wide variety of specialized fries shops, called, in Belgium “frietkots” or “fritures”. These range from small stands, to sheds, busses and caravans, to shacks or quaint chalets.

It is only in the United States that the nomenclature of fried potatoes insinuates a French connection. In England they are called “chips,” in France “pommes frites” (which means, literally, “fried apples”), and in Belgium and Holland “patat” (not the word for potato, which is “aardappel”). The French fry has little to do with France other than the fact that it’s popularity spread to that country as quickly as it did to others. In fact, the French, like most of Europe, eyed the potato with suspicion until the last century or two.

Here’s common joke: there are 5 food groups in the UK: meat, Diary, Fruit, fiber, vegetable, and junk/grease. Hell, they have a whole meal time between lunch and supper. It’s called tea. Basically, somebody brews up a pot of tea, hopefully PG Tips or Earl Grey, and there’s a whole bunch of non-nourishing things to go with it, like biscuits, scones, cookies, buttered toast. But, it goes further than tea time. The Brits have a wonderful array of junk food, whether it’s salt-and-vinegar chips or chocolates, like Double Decker bars or Cadbury Flakes (all of which are not available in the US). Digestives are things I miss the most. With a name like “Digestives,” a casual outsider might mistake them for something pharmaceutical, like laxatives. Nothing is further from the truth. I could describe them myself, but perhaps it’s best to let britishfoodshop.com‘s product copy do the talking: Wheatmeal biscuits covered in milk chocolate.