So, unsurprisingly, I have started to receive a number of letters on the subject asking for various pork related advice. Due to the high volume of mail I've received, I can't possibly reply to them all due to my extremely busy lifestyle so I have decided to publish some of them here in a sort of agony pig section.
Here we go then:
Dear "The Sausage Man".
I read with interest the chapter in your book "Austerity Dad" where you claimed that eating a lot of bacon would increase your IQ. Since then I have been having it every day and in fact am planning to start an Open University degree in Business Studies in the Spring. Not bad for someone who left school with just one GCSE in woodwork, eh? However, during the summer my bacon diet ran into a big of a problem. My wife and I decided to holiday in Greece to get a bit of culture to go with my new found brain power, and found a nice little island, away from the main tourist hotspots. However, I was horrified to discover that the hotel we stayed in did not provide what I consider to be "proper bacon" with the breakfast. Instead of the traditional shape we have all come to know and love, this bacon was of a long, streaky, greasy and very fatty variety. To make matters worse, on the second day I broke my tooth on a concealed lump of bone in it. Because I had inadvertently left my E111 card at home in a dash to get to McDonalds at the airport before the 10:30 breakfast cut off time, this cost me a lot of money. During the remainder of the week I searched all over the island, but this unpalatable bacon was sold everywhere. I was not happy, and I know it affected my brain power because before I went on holiday I used to read The Times and since I got back I've reverted to The Sun.
We are planning to go on holiday again next year, but I don't want to suffer like this again, so can you offer any advice?
|A picture of the offending bacon.|
"Toothless" of Tooting.
Dear, oh dear, that is a traumatic tale, my heart goes out to you. But fear not, there are plenty of resorts out there where you can get English bacon. I recommend trying some of the Spanish islands such as the Balearics or the Canaries. They cater very well for the English "chip brigade" as we are known. I went to Majorca a few years ago and if you wander along the main strip in the morning, all of the cafes are advertising "English Breakfast with English bacon and Sausage". They also have plenty of fish and chips and drinks such as Guinness and Strongbow for the evenings, so you can feel right at home. I'm not sure whether you will be able to get a copy of The Times though, there's not much demand for it over there.
Dear "The Sausage Man".
My wife has come over all environmentally conscious and is insisting that we become vegetarians. I am not keen on this at all, but she has really put her foot down - living in this house is like being under martial law. I have managed to sneak out to John's Bacon and Sausage van a few times for a sneaky bap, but it is very risky. She has spies everywhere. But the regime now is getting ridiculously strict. Now she says that I cannot have Walkers Smoky Bacon crisps any more, which are my favourite. I always thought that crisps just contained flavouring and were OK for vegetarians, but she insists otherwise. Can you advise, please?
"Famished" of Bicester
|Smoky Bacon crisps|
It's bad news I'm afraid. Walkers announced earlier this year that they were to trial putting real meat extracts into their crisps, which means that historically you would have been OK, but not any more - a quick glance at the website confirms this product is no longer suitable for vegetarians. You could try an inferior or Own Label brand, but let's face it, they won't be as good. To be honest, if I was you, I'd get a new wife.
Dear "The Sausage Man"
I am a married woman in my late forties with two grown up children. My husband and I had always enjoyed an "active" lifestyle if you get what I mean, but recently he has started to show a distinct lack of interest in that area. There's very little in the way of swinging from the chandeliers going on around here these days, slumped on the sofa in front of Eastenders is more like it.
I tried cooking a romantic meal the other night with prawn cocktail, steak and chips and a black forest gateau, to try and rekindle the glory days of our courtship back in the glory days of the Berni Inns, but it was to no avail. Even a bottle of Blue Nun didn't help. After dinner all he wanted to do was watch Newsnight.
Can you offer any advice at all?
"Starved" of Southampton.
|The good old days!|
I think where you went wrong was with the steak. Although it's very tasty, it is not known for its aphrodisiac qualities. I think you should have gone for sausages. Now we all know that their is an association between sausages and you know what. I should know for sure, I've had enough remarks bordering on the homophobic about me being a "sausage taster" recently. And perhaps that is exactly what you need to do. Cook another meal, perhaps on a night when Newsnight isn't on, and make sausages the highlight. I suggest picking up your whole sausage on the end of a fork and nibbling it seductively across a candlelit table, in the style of the old flake adverts. He'll soon get the idea. And go upmarket a bit on the wine - Black Tower is far classier than Blue Nun.
Well, that's about all we've got time for, keep your letter coming in and we'll publish some more soon!
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