Delia’s done it again. The queen of homely cooking has prompted some surprise – and a little fury – for her suggestion that frozen mash is the way forward.
“Delia, for the love of God” starts food blogger June, “honestly, how long does it take to peel a spud? Or to get someone else to do it for you?”
Even Waterstone’s bookseller Neill Walker has a bite at the hand that feeds by taking her to task in no uncertain terms:
“Oh Delia what have you done?How to cheat is one thing but using processed and frozen foods in your recipes is another.
“If you peel and mash potatoes yourself instead of using instant, for example you will have tastier and healthier mash ( and it doesn’t take too long). Can we have the real Delia back please?”
In today’s Telegraph, Delia justifies her stance and explains what’s behind her latest book release.
In what could take the award for being the longest interview ever published online, The Telegraph’s Mick Brown reveals how Delia “has scoured supermarket and delicatessen shelves to come up with 100 recommended ‘hidden servants’, as she puts it.
“Thus a recipe for a meze plate includes branded Odysea aubergine meze and stuffed vine leaves; an ‘amazing moussaka’ includes tinned minced lamb from Marks & Spencer and frozen chargrilled aubergine slices from Asda. A recipe for ‘good old shepherd’s pie’ stipulates Aunt Bessie’s Homestyle frozen mashed potato.”
Delia goes on to explain:
“Cooking can be two-tier now. You do the real thing when you have the time. I still say there’s nothing nicer in my life than to go into the kitchen, switch on Radio 4, and spend the day cooking. I still love that. But there’s this whole other life, which is, “Where is the next meal coming from?” So I really do feel that this is revolutionary.”
For my part this has made me feel a bit naive, I will confess to being blissfully unaware that frozen mash even existed.
In the interests of journalism I will seek it out and give it a taste test for you. Trouble is, if the Delia effect takes hold in the same way as it did when cranberries and salted capers were cleared from the supermarket shelves, it could be some time before I get the chance.