Food is a frequent topic of conversation, when a group of people are stuck on an island eating fried noodles with onion every day. Fantasy food conversations abound, and people often surprise themselves with the details they can provide about a long-absent treat. Maybe the crunch of fresh, cold lettuce. The smell of warm stilton. The savouring of a Magnum ice cream bar, and the feeling after eating one, with your eyes rolling into the back of your head. On Balak, we had many such conversations, but I don’t recall ever mentioning Melton Mowbray Snack Pork Pies, but I found myself magnetically drawn to one of these this morning – my first morning in the UK for 6 months.
There could be a couple of reasons for this; the first deals with the shame and public ridicule faced by pie scoffers, and the second is the difficulty in making a pie sound tantalising. As for Pork Pie Shame – I can’t find any references to this on the web, but I remember some survey results in the news. It turned out that marketeers were having difficulty targetting pork pie advertising, as no-one would admit to buying them. Through extensive research, they found that it was middle-aged men who were the missing noshers – but they did so secretly, without mentioning it to anyone. As for making pies sound nice, they are quite revolting to describe. They are made of fat, and bits of pig anus, wrapped in a clear slime-like jelly (made from pigs’ feet – hmmm), and then dipped in pastry covered in more fat, and then hermetically sealed in lard, before being left to sweat.
But I am coming out of the closet. I ate a snack pork pie on my second day back in the UK. But I was weak. If I’d have been a real man, I would have bought one of the six pound pie beasts, I would not have wolfed my snack in private. I urge you all to succeed where I have failed, and take a whole pie back to your household and display it with pride in the fridge. Apparently, Hitler agreed not to bomb Melton Mowbray in the second world war, as he intended to occupy England, live in Oxford, and live on a diet solely consisting of pigs’ feet pies.