Ploughman's Lunch

active 2008 Jun 16 · joined 2008 Jun 15 · 0 votes cast

I am haunted by certain flavours from childhood to young adulthood. The rest of my life has been a search to taste those flavours again.

Here they are:

- Hot dogs on my grandfather's BBQ. He was a tinsmith and built his own barbecue. It had a chimney. To this day, I have to be physically restrained to stay away from a hot dog stand on a warm summer evening. I have sampled many, but none have ever matched the perfect flavour my grandfather's smoke-stack barbecue produced;

- Lamb kofta made at a small roadside grill by the beach 30-minutes outside of Tel Aviv (it must have been the fresh seared lamb loaded with parsley and kissed by garlic and maybe -- probably -- fairy dust, as I've never been quite able to define the taste);

- Zhug, the Yemeni green condiment. I've had it piled on falafel or eaten it straight. It is definitely the garlic and the cilantro together here. I've made this numerous times -- I've come close -- but never quite captured the taste of memory;

- Souvlaki from a restaurant in New Westminster, BC. Yes, New Westminster, BC. Souvlaki really isn't that good, but I order it every time I go to a Greek restaurant hoping that that New Westminster chef has decided to open a restaurant elsewhere (The restaurant closed down a long time ago and I don't even remember the name). I haven't found him in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Ios, Athens, Rhodes, Naxos (you get the picture);

- Sushi, the near perfect food. Whether it's makis, sashimis, nigiri or chiriashi. I fell in love with my wife over sushi -- I can't say more than that;

- Ploughman's lunch. England swings and I love the combination of stilton with fresh greens and ploughman's pickle on a warm bun. Add a John Courage, John Smith or a Tetley cask-conditioned ale after a long walk on the heath and you have a damn-good lunch.