For a few weeks, The Drum was on both ABC1 and ABC2 at the same time. A very disappointing decision that I assumed was about saving money. Why pay for those great British programs when you can limit your viewers’ choice by playing the same cheap Australian show on different channels at the same time? Even that question sounds boring.
This week, I was delighted to see River Cottage return to my small black and white screen on top of the refrigerator. I was doubly delighted that the episode was about vegetables. Fibre has been the focus of my attention recently.
I wanted to write about Hugh’s “people’s problem vegetables” story. What you get is not always what you hoped for. Last year, when Tumut oranges were in season and abundantly stacked on the IGA shelves, I would buy enough to eat two a day. They were delicious. They were Oranges – with an intentional capital O. Then the “Product of Australia” sign changed to “Product of USA”. I noted the sign and ignored the oranges. I’d heard about food miles and the benefits of buying in season. The signs are designed to make us think about that, and it worked.
But … a few weeks ago, I relented.
I spat orange. It was so revolting. It wasn’t just bitter. It was foul. When I think about it, the taste returns to my mouth.
Yes, I know that oranges aren’t vegetables. I wanted to demonstrate River Cottage’s point. The items we buy at the supermarket are sometimes bad examples of what our food could be – should be.
The supermarkets are rubbished often enough on television as if the decline in quality is a recent development. But many of us developed our food dislikes years ago. Some are legitimate physical aversions to particular foodstuffs. Some are just the result of bad experiences that have tricked our minds, like my USA orange.
In the River Cottage episode, Hugh tried to un-trick a couple who disliked celery and broad beans. I can understand someone not liking broad beans. Mum assures me they are beautiful when freshly picked and sautéed in a little butter. Hugh pointed out that the bitterness intensifies when they’ve been sitting around the supermarket.
It doesn’t matter how much the supermarkets claim to be fresh. If no-one walked out the back and harvested them moments before they go in the fry pan, then they aren’t fresh. They’ve been stored.
Mum picks them fresh. Hugh picked them fresh.
I don’t eat broad beans cause they make me fart.
From the River Cottage web pages: Stuffed butternut squash. The picture on this web page looks terrible. It looked more appetising on the TV. I’m going to give it a go.
From the Citrus Australia website, information about Australian citrus seasons.