Sunday, September 5, 2010

A brief history of the gastronomic world

It’s amazing that television has just discovered food. I’ve been eating it all my life. … 1951-60s. My mother's steamed puddings and her sensational lemon meringue pie. … 1960s. Chips and vinegar wrapped in newspaper at Ray's fish shop on the Princes Highway at Tempe. We ate them while we played the pinball (Tropic Isle and Rack-a-Ball). … 1968-74. KFC. The golden nuggets, available at any hour, were a perfect accompaniment to the alcohol and drugs I was consuming. … Mar ’74. My first curry in South Kensington, London, at the Noor Jahan. Velvet flocked, crimson and gold wallpaper. Dal, onion bhajis, mattar paneer. A revelation. I became a regular. … Oct ’75. Picking grapes at the Chateau Ausone, St Emilion, I was fed what I later learnt was blood sausage. Thinking of it now still makes me gag. The house wine, given to us at all meal breaks, was well received. … Dec ’76. Loukoumades in a below street-level cafe in Othos Akadameias, Athens. Hot puffy balls of dough in runny honey and sprinkled with cinammon. To die for on a cold day, but it was a no holds barred scramble to get a table. ... Summer ’79. My first mango, at South West Rocks, NSW. I'd previously been scared of them. It was heavenly. In retrospect, I'd guess it was a Bowen. Sticky juice everywhere. … September 14th, 1982. Fresh buffalo bocconcini in Gubbio, Italy. The waiter insisted I order them. A TV in the corner told me that Grace Kelly had just been killed when her 4x4 went off the coast road that Cary Grant sped along in ‘To Catch A Thief’. The waiter was right. The bocconcini were squisito. … Dec ’82. Fuls mesdames. I ate them every morning at breakfast for six weeks in Egypt. Served with a sliced lime, a boiled egg and parsley. … Oct ’04. Dahi vada. Dumplings in a sweet and sour yoghurt sauce in a place I called the Fly Restaurant, for obvious reasons, Mangalore, India. Street dogs outside bullied me. … So much food, so little time