The hashtag #Pastachips has racked up nearly 400 million views on TikTok this week. Boiled, tossed in oil and parmesan, then air-fried, it’s a snacking craze that has gone viral. Don’t have an air-fryer? Food blogger My Nguyen, notoriously criticised by Gordon Ramsay for her carb-free sandwich, advises baking at 220C for eight minutes, tossing, then baking again for another five minutes.
To make a macaroni cheese dip, melt the following ingredients in a pan: two tbsp of butter, 120ml double cream, 360g cheese, salt and garlic powder. Ecco – you’ve well and truly offended an Italian.
We’ve lost our taste for simple tea
Afternoon tea has “changed utterly” in the past century, says Melanie McDonagh in The Spectator. A typical tea in the 1920s consisted of bread and butter, razor-thin cucumber sandwiches, scones, rock buns and, of course, cakes – plum, madeira, caraway seed. It made a good show, but was essentially a simple meal “designed to fill you up as cheaply as possible”.
Today’s glitzy afternoon teas are “over the top and absurdly expensive” in comparison. At £70 a head, Claridge’s “extraordinarily elaborate” tea includes Dorrington ham sandwiches on onion bread, earl grey macarons, and vanilla religieuses. It’s designed for a modern palate that is addicted to sugar. We’ve lost our taste for “restrained simplicity” and are missing out on the “humble pleasure of a buttered crumpet”.
The trouble with toasters
My heart goes out to the “sourdough squad”, says Katrina Burroughs in The Times. Consumer watchdog Which? reports that thick slices of homemade bread won’t fit in most toasters. The average toaster slot is 14.47cm wide by 12.76cm high: ideal for the 11 million pre-sliced loaves sold each day in supermarkets each day, not so good for artisanal sourdough. It makes sense to focus on “the greatest good for the greatest number,” but for home bakers this spells “toastastrophe”.