Monday, 2 February 2009

We Are The Champions

Food Inc's How To Be A Better Foodie quiz at Whitleys shopping centre on Thursday set the scene for FoodLovers Britain's monumental victory and proved once and for all that our foodie knowledge is second-to-none. Not to mention our modesty, of course.
Eventful from the start, the quiz seemed blighted by various unavoidables. Thanks to quiz master Sudi Pigott's shaky and flu ridden voice, her equally shaky understanding of her megaphone, and a group of noisy onlookers, actually hearing the questions was the first hurdle to overcome. In honesty, our rather boisterous team probably didn't help much either.
A mixture of table shuffling, careful listening and can you repeat that's got us through, and anyway the growing risk of pneumonia was slightly more pressing. Although we didn't manage to beat the air conditioning, which had the upper hand throughout, we did manage to remain focused on the job in hand. We named obscure kitchen paraphernalia, we identified restaurants and we solved foodie riddles before being crowned (not literally, unfortunately) the winners.
In retrospect, the quirks of the evening probably made it all the more fun and, volume aside, Sudi was great. May I say, though, that I do hold doubts about the validity of the question "Cassia, Star Anise, Cloves, Fennel and which other ingredient makes up Chinese 5 Spice?".
The recipe varies enormously and actually tends to include more like 6 or 7 spices. My (ever so slightly obsessive) label reading over the last few days has revealed mixtures including Coriander, Ginger, Szechwan Pepper, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Cinnamon and even Dill. Since we won, I'll let it drop but I would be interested to hear what you think. Are some Chinese 5 Spice recipes more authentic than others? which ingredients do you think should be included?

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