Good Food Blog
Offal-ly nicePosted at 2:44PM, 07 March 2008 by Graham Holliday - Blogger
Oh dear, British food is getting it in the neck again. No, it's not Jacques Chirac this time, it's the Chinese.
"In China, what you call rubbish we cook into another delicious meal."
So said Chinese chef Han Ming last week. Han is one of 1,000 chefs heading to Britain for a week-long British cookery course for the benefit of athletes and tourists attending the Beijing the Olympics this summer. The idea is, the chefs will head back to China and spread the word across the nation's kitchens to get the country up to speed on Bangers and mash, Fish and chips and Sticky toffee pudding in time for the expected British invasion.
Han has a point. The 'rubbish' he's referring to is, of course, offal, fat, marrow bones and the like. It's only in very recent years that offal has returned to some British restaurant menus. In fact, these days it's almost hip to shun steak and plump for the tripe stew down at the local gastropub. However you don't generally find oxtails, entrails, pig's brains and hearts filling the stalls of local markets, butchers or supermarkets like you do in other parts of the world.
In France I have three triperies within five minutes walk of my house, two of which even sell horse tongue. In Vietnam we had offal sarnies on the streets and in China... well it's a stupendous smorgasbord of 'rubbish'. Just browse Chinese food blogger Gary Soup's list of dishes.
But, back to Britain. What do you do with your 'rubbish'? Which dish do you find most offally nice? I'll kick things off with a slow cooked oxtail soup with a hint of Hawaii. Marvellous.