Carry On Eating
I had a lovely bit of tongue from the butcher the other morning.
OK, stop sniggering at the back, I did. Ox tongue. As I drove home to Plymouth from my girlfriend’s pied-a-terre in Bristol I was thinking about what to have for lunch. My mother, her of culinary fame, has her own breadmaker and had sent me off from the leafy Home Counties suburbs with a fine granary loaf. The question was what to put in it.
And as I drove down the M5 in the glorious sunshine my mind turned back to Voisins, the butcher-poulterer along the road from me. When I went on a little foodie adventure It was one of the places I went to, picking up six home-made bangers for little over a quid. At the time I had noticed he was selling ox tongue and while intrigued I didn’t buy any there and then (I’m a cautious consumer).
But now was a time to make up for it, as it make me hark back to my childhood of bad childhood sandwich meats – luncheon meat, pork liver sausage et al – designed mid and post-war to make palatable those parts of an animal you might otherwise quibble at scoffing.
Ox tongue is different, admittedly, in that it is a proper, identifiable part of an animal. But it harks back to those days when people readily ate parts of an animal you would nowadays throw straight in the bin.
So when I got back I went to the shop and bought three chunky slices. They set me back £1.50, not cheap for just three slices, each of which was enough for one round of sarnies. But it filled me with a sense of good having been done. Wrapped inside its leavened sleeping bag with a little mustard, it was pretty damn tasty.