I’m at a party and have ended up talking to gastro-bores. Foodies. I can be a bit foody when the mood takes me, but this conversation, lubricated by alcohol, is spiralling out of control. Predictably they are trying to impress each other with wildly implausible meals – stuff they just “whip up” at home. Yeah right. I know that one of the guys is single – I know what single guys eat. Strangely though, he is not saying “I like ham ‘n’ pineapple supermarket pizza and sometimes, when I’m feeling adventurous, I might add some extra ham” – oh no, he is discussing the benefits of tearing fresh herbs as opposed to chopping them up. He is keeping a straight face and using words like “bruising”, which, incidentally, is what I would like to do to his straight face.

Everyone seems to have adopted menu language without realising it’s just a marketing trick. Saying “pan-fried breast meat” will not impress me, you are talking about chicken fried IN A PAN.

Probably a frying pan.

How sexy does “frying pan” sound?

Likewise, “sun-ripened” tomatoes – what else will ripen tomatoes? Satan? Baby unicorns?

Another one of them keeps saying “chorizo”, he cannot stop saying it. I think it’s because he is pronouncing it differently to everyone else “thoreeeeetho” he seems very pleased with himself. He has mastered the “chorizo lisp”.

“I love cooking with thoreeeetho. You can’t beat proper thoreeeeetho to lift a Catalan paella”

This sort of thing irritates me, he is basically trying to impress us by saying “sausage”. Although he would probably pronounce it “thothidge”. And he says “paella” like he was just saying “pie” and then got attacked by a wasp.

Pie – ay – YA!

Now one of the women is talking to me.

“What about you James? Have you ever created something magical with food?”

I ponder for a moment, there was that CurlyWurly I nibbled into a Harry Potter wand? That was pretty convincing – I remember pointing it at a dog and shouting “EXPELIARMUS” (which could’ve been awkward but luckily it’s owner was blind). Then there was that perfect fishfinger sandwich I had in the summer of 2005 – no, too pedestrian. Think James! Think! They are all looking at you to wow them with a culinary masterpiece, a signature dish so outlandish and delicious sounding that they’ll all get tongue erections and their ears will salivate.

“Well,” I say “I once drew a pair of tits on a jacket potato?”



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