McDonalds Adverts vs Reality

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

McDonalds medium fries UK advert
My local neighbourhood is plastered with McDonalds adverts. I pondered whether it's an attempt to overcome the proliferation of chicken shop takeaways offering £1 kids meals, which are abundant in this part of East London. These chicken joints make McDonalds look positively expensive and have the added bonus of resepctfully calling their customers 'bossman'.

This advertising is probably targeted near to the large drive-by McDonalds situated around the corner, in the hope that the sight of massive Big Mac on a bus shelter will cause people to enter a zombie-like state, marching tirelessly with rolled-back eyes until they reach the shiny touchscreen ordering altar of this global corporation, where their bloodlust for fast food can be sated.
McDonalds. The Truth.
Disliking McDonalds can be quite fashionable, especially in oh-so-virtuous middle class bubbles of foodie culture, but I'm not that person. As a…

Childhood Memories of Food – The YBFs 2017 Entry

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

The YBFs Entry 2017
Awards ceremonies, especially for bloggers, are often little more than a PR exercise for the organiser and main sponsor. Worse still are the public-vote events, a back slapping exercise amongst nominees and voters for those who work their social media the hardest during voting, getting vital coverage for that sponsor.

Because of this, I only enter competitions that are independently judged by people who I respect and require no publicity to garner votes, thereby avoiding the rather tiresome 'LOOK AT ME, VOTE FOR ME' nature of many blogger awards.
The YBFs
Earlier this year I entered the Young British Foodie 'Fresh Voices in Writing' competition, otherwise known as the YBFs. These awards are industry judged by well respected figures within the food world, so represent a great opportunity for recognition of high quality work. Sadly, my valiant effort fell short...come and read more...

Spelt Buns – Do I Need to Knead Spelt?

Gavin WrenBaking, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

I've always wondered if I need to knead spelt dough, because it never seemed to make much difference. So I've done a side by side bake test to see if you really need to knead!
Throughout my blog, I've declared that there's no need to knead spelt dough.

This pearl of wisdom originated several years ago from a source that I've entirely forgotten, yet, as I create more spelt recipes for my blog, I've begun to question it.
It's all about the gluten
Roger Saul, in his Sharpham Park 'Spelt' book, says to knead spelt dough for 10 minutes in every recipe. I was surprised to read this, it seems excessive, however, I also realise that he grows the stuff and sells it in supermarkets, so I was interested to see what benefit this really has.

All varieties of wheat (including spelt) contain two proteins, gliaden and glutenin, which if combined with water and kneaded, create a complex protein known as gluten. Gluten is what gives dough it's elasticity and stretchability, resulting...come and read more...

Yoast Readability vs 5 Titans of Literature

Gavin WrenBlogging

Yoast Readability
Upon completing the most spectacularly lucid section of prose that my fingers have ever battered into a keyboard, I look across to the Yoast box and see "Readability: Needs improvement'.

My heart drifts south into my belly as these words cut through my soul. A few amendments upgrade the rating to 'OK'.

BUT I PUT EVERY FIBRE OF MY LITERARY SELF INTO THIS!!!

This phenomenon is all too common unless I pretend to write for a five year old, which seems to be the intellectual level of the internet these days.

To prove my point, I've taken excerpts from five titans of literature to see what they can achieve in Yoast readability scores. The utterly hilarious results are below...come and read more...

Spelt Blackberry and Apple Muffins

Gavin WrenBaking, Dairy free baking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Soft and tender spelt blackberry and apple muffins, a recipe created from seasonal fruit picked directly from the plant, a dairy-free recipe using delicious spelt flour and the perfect natural pairing of blackberries and apples.
This post is a recipe for soft and tender spelt blackberry and apple muffins, created from seasonal fruit picked directly from the plant, a dairy-free recipe using delicious spelt flour and the perfect natural pairing of blackberries and apples.

As September started, I had recently returned from a week of singing, yoga and relaxation at a camp near Glastonbury. My sleeping bag and tent were purposefully residing in the hallway, causing a very minor detour to the loo and at worst, an awkward trip hazard. Their placement wasn't due to tardiness on my part, the sleeping bag had already been crammed back into it's right-sized gap in the spare wardrobe, then removed again.

A peculiar feeling had risen up inside me, calling me back to the tent, despite an openly professed hatred of camping. At first, a presently underwhelming feeling suggested that I grab this bundle of synthetic...come and read more...

Arrogance in the Food World

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Arrogance in the food world
When it comes to food, we’re all equal.

Eating is a basic unifying experience within humanity. It stands alone, as a unique ritual which the global population, hopefully engages with on a daily basis. Every single living person’s existence depends upon hunting, gathering, buying, cooking or ordering to ensure a steady supply of energy, and these processes require interaction with the outside world.

Obtaining food can be fraught with danger, such as dodging herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the Serengeti, or boldly sailing across Columbia Bar, ‘the graveyeard of the pacific’. However, these experiences pale into insignificance when compared to the condescension of Rex Goldsmith, The Chelsea Fishmonger, when attempting to buy organic salmon on a Wednesday morning in south west London.

Quite how perilous SW3 might be pivots entirely on your understanding of aquaculture and wild-capture...come and read more...