The idea of ‘cheap food’ doesn’t sell that well with foodies.
Cheap = fast= nasty.
Huge glutinous plates of all-you-can-gorge buffets and buckets of trans fat glow in the dark bonelessness spring to mind.
But it seems there’s a growing desire to get more out of the produce we buy and it’s interesting to start to see this currently being reflected back at us in the latest wave of TV food shows.
This week, Channel 4s new Food show kicked off. OK the ‘investigation’ into the cost of supermarket baskets was almost insultingly obvious (Waitrose pricey, Asda cheaper. Fancy that!) but it is also highlighting so called cheap cuts such as this recipe for pork cheek ragu.
It was also interesting to hear food writer Diana Henry talking about the same issue on today’s Radio 4 Woman’s Hour. She made the point that cheap cuts are often seen as less popular things such as offal but that actually many were the traditional cuts of meat which have been overlooked. During the interview she also makes the point that meat doesn’t have to be the main focus of the meal and suggested listeners find more interesting things to do with the veg.
Maybe it’s the start of a new austerity brought about by necessity.
Possibly it’s got a lot to do with commissioning editors not wanting to push content which seems extravagant or overly indulgent
Either way, rediscovering some of the dishes from our past and seeking out ingredients available close to home sounds like a good way to reconnect with food and worth some experimentation.
What’s your favourite cheap cut? Let me know how you cook it below.