Tuesday, 29 September 2009
I read something in the newspaper the other day that the more stressful our lives become in the current financial situation, the perceived threat of global warming etc, the more we return to the comforting nostalgia of the past. This particularly so regarding food, with "retro recipes" becoming popular - casseroles and stews, pies, rib-sticking puddings like granny used to make. Apparently Wagon Wheels and Angel Delight are having a new heyday; Arctic Rolls (I remember those with great fondness, as do my children actually!), Cadbury's Whispa bars, and even Findus Crispy Pancakes (pass). Jan Moir wrote about this in the Daily Mail a couple of weeks ago, and put this nostalgia down to us wishing to subliminally live in another age, where we felt "safe"- we are fooling ourselves (through food) that everything is fine. It's no wonder that people have been making Cup Cakes - which to me is an Americanism - I divide such things into Fairy Cakes (small) or Muffins (big)! What makes me laugh is the prettified cakes on sale for ridiculous prices - almost a pound apiece in some upmarket shops.
Apparently Waitrose has pricked up its ears and noticed a niche market which had formerly been overlooked - boiled sweets (that should please the dentists out there). They got their customers to vote for their favourites and the short list included pineapple chunks, kola cubes (I bought some only last month!), rhubarb and custard and sherbert lemons. Record sales of other "retro" foods have also been reported - Penguin bars (my children remember those from Grannie's choc bar tin), Bacon Frazzles and Cloudy Lemonade.
I suppose when Dame Vera Lynn can be "top of the pops" then we really are looking into the past and liking what we see . . .
What is an essential component of your childhood and what foods do you miss/want to have again?
I would like: Vesta Prawn Curry, lots and lots of packets of Potato Puffs, Corona Cherryade (really the best pop and Delivered to Your Door!), Sherbert Dabs, Toffee Crunch or a Toffee Twist stick, Jamboree Bags, Lemonade Powder, a slice of Battenburg cake and orange jelly with a tin of manderins set in it! I'll pass on the Fondue Parties of the 70s though . . .
Now, let's turn to the Home Service - I think we're just in time for Muffin the Mule . . .