Friday, August 01, 2003
I'd been debating for two days whether to post this link, but the overwhelming reaction I've gotten from friends has swayed the decision to "yes!"
You've heard the old saw about British cuisine lacking flavor, color, or nutritive value...well, perhaps it used to be true, but as in the U.S. immigration has somewhat spiced up the English national menu. However, this classic dish from the "Black Country" region of Olde Englande is in a category all its own:
Mr. Brain's™ Pork Faggots, in a Rich West Country Sauce!
Yes, Virginia, they do eat faggots in England. One hundred million every year!
Don't freak out, thou tender of ears. Pork faggots are merely an English variety of pork-liver meatballs (which remind me of German leberknodel, or liver dumplings). But how on earth did they get get such an outrageous name? As the Mr. Brain's™ parent company, Hibernia Foods (which also owns the UK subsidiaries of Sara Lee™ and Entenmann's Bakeries™, among others) explains for the benefit of nonplussed Yanks, the name comes from the "Latin/French word for bundle."
Personally, I'll try any food once, and since I won't be within planeshot of the U.K. in the near future I may have to try making some pork faggots at home. A cursory web search produced product reviews of the faggots and a promising recipe, from a reader named "Dave" on Ciao.uk.
Don't forget to check out the Doodys (Frederick, Janet, Lewis and Grace), the Mr. Brain's Faggot Family!
Note that the website dutifully acknowledges that each member of the Doody family is quite athletic; dad Frederick jogs, mum Janet loves gym class, Pilates and yoga to maintain her girlish figure...even little Grace goes to gym and takes tennis classes.
The 'rents and Grace will probably do just fine in the future. It's sensitive-looking bookish son Lewis I'm worried about. He's sole sports holdout, with only bowling to mitigate the deleterious artery-clogging effects of eating pork faggots on a daily basis. Someday, grown Lewis may plop his considerable faggot-eating frame on the analyst's couch, revealing that he and his family once traveled the UK as the Mr. Brain's Faggot Family to promote the wider consumption of pork-liver-and-suet meatballs.
I can't take it anymore, Doctor. Every night it's the same dream...pork faggots in rich western sauce chasing me down a dark hallway, and all me mates laughing at me..."Ay, arn'tchoo that Faggot Family chap?"...I want to kill them, kill them all!
Shout out to Lileks for the tipoff in yesterday's Bleat.