A Sense of fun : Olympic proportions !

Posted on August 13th, 2012 by Robin Goldsmith in Beer, Drink, Food

A sense of fun

Beers and House of Chilli from the Isle of Wight and some interesting people at the GBBF!

So the Olympics have finished, but the smiles remain, even if the full benefits won’t be felt for another 20 years, or so we are told. Hopefully, the Paralympics will be a fantastic success too (although can’t the Olympic flame be continued until those Games have finished ?). A real sense of fun has pervaded the atmosphere, which leads me to the following observation. Has food and drink become more “fun” recently? I think so and about time too!

In a previous article, I wrote about national food stereotypes. One bonus of the Olympic experience is that I think many negative stereotypes people may have had about the UK and its people have been shattered. We are not all as rude, introvert, stiff upper lip, violent or unwelcoming as some foreign media have tried to make out in the past and even the weather was generally good! Although the pressures of corporate sponsorship denied Games organisers the opportunity to showcase a proper representation of quality British food and drink at the Olympic venues, all is not lost. On the contrary, those typically British qualities of innovation and eccentricity are already benefiting our food and drink culture. For example, although perhaps not the healthiest, the snacks sector is growing and there are increasing examples of modern, highly inventive and, above all, fun flavours of crisps and nuts. Heston Blumenthal has been redefining fine dining, or should that be “fun dining” for many years now. Also we’ve just had the annual CAMRA Great British Beer Festival full of beer with irreverent, not smutty names guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. I do hope that some foreign visitors to Britain, over here for the Olympics, attended the beer fest and witnessed the atmosphere at London’s Kensington Olympia – no fighting or drinking for the sake of getting drunk, just a celebration of quality beer and good fun. By the way, no mass-produced cheap lager, alcopops or vodka-based drinks in sight – perhaps those responsible for drinks taxation should take note!

Having just spent a week on the Isle of Wight, two foodie highlights for me were the “House of Chilli” www.houseofchilli.com and “The Garlic Farm” www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk, where a host of chilli and garlic-infused products, respectively, can be tasted before buying. Also both sell ice cream specially made for them by Minghella, which kept me happy! Above all, both places exhibit a sense of fun and this is how food and drink should be and can boost our economy.

Let’s build on the post-Olympic glow, make the most of our sense of fun, despite these times of austerity and ensure that quality food and drink are affordable and continue to put a smile on our faces and those of our foreign visitors. However, let me end with my favourite quote of the last few days, from LBC’s Nick Abbot – “How can a nation which takes a car to the supermarket and then fills it up with crisps win 29 gold medals ?” Well perhaps these are lemon, garlic and Habanero chilli crisps for sharing with friends after two hours down the gym. I’ll wake up in a minute!

One response to “A Sense of fun : Olympic proportions !”

  1. Puma66 says:

    Yes, I think fun crisps are good…think they should sell organic with customising little bags..add your own chilli/ginger/lime & coriander sauce to your basic flavour.

    I’d also like to see British tapas…you know, minature fish and chips/pielettes/micro cornish pasties.

    organic pasta in silly shapes for adults (not suggesting anything too pornographic)

    We do chocolate in all sorts of shapes..so why not the same thing for ice cream and sorbet?

    Apart from that guy Tim who won Masterchef two years ago, I haven’t seen much of that visual humour in cooking..would be nice.

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