In previous articles you will have seen me make reference to my Collins Contemporary Dictionary from 1959. I use it not only as a reference work, but also a baseline against which I measure the changes to the English language. One of the areas that I look at each year are the new words that officially enter the English language and therefore are included in the new versions of their dictionaries.
This year there are a couple of obvious ones. I guess the addition of the word “brexit” comes as no surprise to anyone, nor indeed the word “trumpism”! Unfortunately the word processor I use marks both words in red, as words that are not in its dictionary. Obviously the changes have not percolated down to my computer yet! Perhaps I can catch you out with the word “jomo” which means the joy of missing out? Or how about the “snowflake generation” which is defined as “the young adults of the 2010’s, viewed as being less resilient than previous generations”? The word, or indeed words I wanted to focus in on today though are “dude food”.
Interestingly my 1959 Collins defines “dude” as a “fop” or “brainless dandy”. whilst the current Collins dictionary retains the definition of dandy but also adds in a “person: often used to any male in direct address”. One has to assume therefore that if you are called a dude you are either being called a man or a dandy but at least you are not brainless!
There is something about the phrase “dude food”, defined as “junk food such as hot dogs, burgers, etc considered particularly appealing to men”, that just doesn’t sit right with me. For some reason I have never liked the word dude and of course the usage here would suggest that only men eat junk food. In spite of that, and yes I do know that everyone is different, there does seem to be an affinity between fatty, high-calorie food and male tastebuds. The phrase in some ways also seems to define todays recipe.
If further proof of the veracity of the phrase were in fact needed, as I write this my thoughts are turning to last night when a group of us went out for tapas in the quaint back-street bars of Zaragoza. One of the tapas we chose was “madejas”, which are deep fried sheep’s intestines. Whilst all the guys got stuck in to this Zaragozan delicacy, not one of the ladies were tempted to partake. Not a large statistical sample of the population I admit, but perhaps indicative?
So although there is no way that I would classify these sandwiches as junk food, there are probably people out there who are not that fond of black puddings and have them on their “do not eat” list.
Swine are probably one of the food animals that we make best use of, as we waste little or nothing. If we are to sacrifice an animal for food I guess it is the very least we can do. Here in Spain in particular it is difficult to find a part of the animal that is not regularly used. Black pudding are one of the products that is relatively common here and across many European countries. I particularly like the ones from here in Spain as they are often made with the addition of rice and sometime pine seeds too. The white bits you can see in the photographs this week for example are in fact rice, and not fat as one might initially think!
The black pudding has been around for a long time, there is supposedly a reference to it in Homer’s Odyssey. In many countries it is not now eaten regularly by those who can afford to eat “better” cuts of meat, it being left to the poorer segments of society. It is a shame really because there are some really tasty black pudding out there! Cheaper cuts of meat or the use of other parts of the animal should not be disdained on price alone.
So, not only do these sandwiches have tasty black pudding, they also filled with streaky bacon and cheddar cheese…… a real feast of forbidden fatty fruits! Perhaps not something you ought to be eating every day, but it is good to let one’s hair down from time to time and get one’s teeth into a flavoursome savoury treat.
Black Pudding & Bacon Toasted Sandwich
Makes 2 Sandwiches
200g Black pudding
4 rashers Streaky bacon
50g Cheddar cheese
4 slices Bread
Slice the black pudding. Season lightly with a little salt. Fry until done. Don’t worry, it does not matter if the slices break up whilst frying.
Meanwhile fry or grill the bacon until crisp.
Meanwhile grate the cheese.
Make two sandwiches by putting a layer of black pudding:
Then cheese onto two of the slices of bread:
Top with the two remaining slices.
Put a little butter into a griddle pan and heat to a medium heat.
Butter the top side of the bread.
Place in the griddle buttered side down. Squash a little into the pan from time to time to crisp and achieve decorative brown lines from the raised surface of the pan.
When nicely browned, butter the top side without removing the sandwich from the pan. Hold the sandwich together and flip over. Crisp and brown as before.
These toasted sandwiches are delicious just as they are, but a dash of sharp homemade tomato ketchup elevates them to the next level.
As always, please let me know what you think of the articles and recipes by typing something into the comments section.
If you like black pudding why not try Spanish scrambled eggs with black pudding? To see the recipe please click here.
tsp – Teaspoon – 5ml
tbsp – Tablespoon – 15ml
Imperial to Metric Measurement:
1 oz – 28g
1 lb – 16 oz – 454g
1 gill – ¼ pint – 142ml
2016 Lincoln W. Betteridge