THIS was prompted by going for a cup of coffee in the UK recently. A relatively simple activity you may think.
Think again. I remember the days when asking for a cappuccino was seen as exotic and bit pretentious. Now you are frowned at if you don’t order a tall soy caramel macchiato latte, no foam extra sweet. What in heaven’s name is a “Cold Foam Cascara Nitro”? Thank heaven for a simple cafe con leche – its coffee with milk, nothing complicated, it just does what it says on the mug.
I take my cowboy hat off to a cafe in Cumbria which has struck a well-aimed blow for common sense and simplicity by having no truck with such namby, pamby, southern-softy nonsense. It has renamed its cappuccino as ‘Frothy Coffee’, latte as ‘Milky Coffee’, mocha as ‘Choccy Coffee’ and tea as ‘Not Coffee’. Fabulous! Take a bow and accept this award for simplicity the Fairydust Emporium in Silloth in Cumbria.
While I am on my soapbox, when did chips get complicated? Once upon a time the only decision you had to make was whether you wanted curry sauce or onion gravy poured all over them. (Obviously this only applies to northern folk). Now the confusing array of fried potatoes includes skinny, chunky, triple-fried, freedom fried, curried sweet potato chips or plantain chips? No! Just chop up a tatty into pieces, fry them, stick them in a bag and pour some vinegar on them!
I am suspicious of this mania of over-complicating things. Could it be a ploy to extract more copper from our pockets? I know what a bag of chips ought to cost but what is the going rate for a bag of crispy garlic ginger bok choy chips? Usually when that famous duo Bulls**t and Baffle get together bamboozling the unsuspecting is the motive.
In a world of Facebook, You Tube, Instagram and constant exposure to so much stimuli their search for simplicity is now becoming a real thing for me. The simplicity of a quiet walk along the beach, time spent watching the sea, digging toes into the Mallorca sand or watching one of our beautiful sunsets. What do you mean The Penn must be getting old?
Ah well, before the search for simplicity continues I am off for some fillet doigts de poisson avec pomme de terre puree – or fish fingers and mash to you and me!
A-Z OF MALLORCA reaches G this week for something to have with your cafe con leche – GREIXONERA which is a delicious sweet pudding made with left-over ensaimada. Greixonera is the name of the earthenware dish that this recipe was traditionally cooked in. It is a really simple pudding made with ensaimada, eggs, sugar, milk, cinnamon and lemon peel.
Laura Penn hosts The Sunshine Club every Sunday 10am – 12 noon on Mallorca Sunshine Radio. www.mallorcasunshineradio.com