Forgive me Readers (if any) for I have not blogged about food for over a fortnight!

I just received an email from the Guardian’s Rachel Roddy, about mashed potato. Now I know many people think mash comes in a packet, and you just add water, and some of us are old enough to remember the Cadbury’s Smash robots laughing at our primitive way of making them… “they cut them with their metal knives”.

Normally, I might just read it, and perhaps some of the things it links to, but I was rather impressed with the way Rachel Roddy referenced, in one paragraph, all of…

Rachel Roddy mentions an Italian trattoria, that served

theĀ puree di patate con lardo. It turned out to be a small mound of buttery mashed potato topped with three slices of cured pork back fat that had once been white, but was now translucent as it melted into its mountain. It remains one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten and summed up the joy of mashed potato: ordinary and luxurious, silly and serious. Mash, wonderful mash.

Now, I have wanted to make lardo for ages, but hey, it’s the 21st Century, and farmers in the UK are mostly producing damned skinny pigs, because everyone knows fat is dreadfully bad for us, so you can’t even get pork fat a couple of inches thick, even when you go to a real butcher. Part of the problem is that pigs are not kept until they have time to get properly fat before they’re rushed off to whatever food product factory has the contract for them. It’s the same problem when I make bacon, as well, there’s only just enough fat on it to be able to fry it properly. Once upon a time, you would put bacon in a pan, fry it, fry the eggs in the fat that was left behind, and then soak the fat up with a Staffordshire oatcake, and eat the lot. I once made a batch of Staffordshire oatcakes, and they were wonderful. I must make more, as I no longer live in Staffordshire, and nobody sells ready-made ones here in Wales.

Staffordshire? You know…

Me, wearing a Panama hat, spectacles, and a fine growth of facial hair.

Author: Walrus

Just this guy, you know. To be continued...