First they came for the haggis, then the Marmite, and now the Weetabix. Where does this food discrimination end?
It was the Americans who banned the haggis, of course. No real surprise there. For a country that seems happy to ram any old combination of fat, salt and reconstituted meat into its gob and on to its waistline, they sure got the screaming abdabs when it came to intestines, mashed internal organs and chopped onions.
Admittedly, the mighty haggis does resemble repackaged road kill, and it’s unlikely to be served up in on fine bone china, but as ambassador of a national cuisine it hammers nine bells out of the hot dog, which many suspect actually involves dog. Well, these here Americans get so pernickety about organic ingredients and authentic packaging.
Apparently our mistake was to tell them exactly what was in the sheep’s stomach. That’s the trouble with Americans, as Jack Nicholson pointed out in the film A Few Good Men, sometimes they can’t handle the truth. Man v Food, indeed, and our food won.
No one could have been more astonished than I, however, when our doughty Nordic neighbours, the Danes, turned on Marmite. Now, I have said this before, and I will say it again, there are people out there who say they do not like Marmite. They are wrong. Just like the Americans and their problem with the truth, there are people out there who cannot handle Marmite. Marmite is food fit to fuel a Viking raiding fleet, as long as they could access strong sweet tea and cheap white bread for toasting, admittedly not commodities readily available in tenth century Europe.
Now it is the turn of Weetabix, impounded by no less than than the New Zealanders. I am a huge fan of Weetabix. In fact, I seem to be a fan of all these international pariah foods. Weetabix is extraordinary. Not only does it fuel you up for a busy day, it cocoons you in an air of smugness. Not for us the sugary choices at the breakfast table, oh no. We prefer something that looks like the bedding for a hamster cage. It’s a brutally Presbyterian breakfast. It is unrelentingly ugly. It takes unappetising to an entirely new level. It makes porridge look like the sort of thing an executive chef would knock up for a breakfasting Beckham.
It tastes great.
The afterlife of Weetabix is amazing. Look what happens if it dries on to the plate because “someone” has forgotten to wash up on the way out. Ye gods, if we coated our new aircraft carrier in that stuff we could laugh at Russian quips about “it’s just a massive target”.
Do your worst, Ivan. Dried Weetabix could deflect your heat-seeking missile with nary a dent, like a Scottish rugby international hard-shouldering an impudent tackler.
Free the breakfast cereal seven
The problem in New Zealand is that some upstart outfit have a product called Weet-bix. Their customs officers have seized imported stocks of Weetabix and the Kiwi Johnny-come-lately is insisting that the impounded lion of the breakfast table should be displayed only with a sticker, like the branding of Hester Prynne with the Scarlet letter of shame.
Pfft, I say. Of course our product is the superior brand. It’s got an added ‘a’ for a start.
The shop that imports the genuine article sells seven boxes a week of Weetabix. There are seven people denied their brekkie favourite who need our support. What exactly is that aircraft carrier doing?
Send it south and bring relief to the beleaguered breakfasters of New Zealand.
Warplanes don’t grow on trees
Well done to all who sailed in and around HMS Queen Elizabeth, and managed to sneak her under the bridges without a prang.
Trust me, I am familiar with the sound of the crunch of metal against stone, heralding the car acquiring a whole new set of racing stripes and demolition derby contoured bodywork.
I hope Big Betty performs well in her sea trials. So well, in fact, that we buy a couple of nice aircraft to sit on the deck to complete the look.
Although, I rather fear that the current state of our finances means we won’t be buying fancy toys for the Navy boys any time soon. That famous “Money Tree” Theresa banged on about so much during the election must be looking a bit bare by now.
Oh, there’s a thought. Perhaps the DUP could buy us a wee plane as a thank you gift?
Hold your nose
Mind you, if haggis makes Homeland Security reach for the barf bag, just wait until they meet the Norwegians’ tasty terror, Surströmming. It’s Baltic herring, salted then fermented for six months. It is widely recognised at the world’s most smelly food. There’s a reason why those Vikings were rowing away from the fjords at that rate of knots.