A Food Alphabet

A is for Artisan this and Artisan that

A is for Allergies, which we all have now

A is for Avocado on toast, adult baby food

B is for Barbecuing - Bangers, Burgers, Beef, Belly pork - throwback cookery in which we rediscover our primitive selves

B is for Baking Bread, Biscuits, Brownies, Blaumeiner Buchetorte - throwback cookery in which we rediscover our Women's Institute selves

B is for Blueberries, which we can't do without

C is for Celebrity Chefs, the new gods

C is for Class war: chia seeds v. chicken nuggets

C is for Chilli and Chocolate, and their odd alliance

C is for Complexity, for the thirty-ingredient, two-day dish (a day for the shopping, a day for the cooking)

C is for Climate Change, and vineyards in Scotland

D is for Dietary requirements, which we all have now

D is for that damn Discretionary service charge and its hidden iniquities

E is for E numbers, and their stealthy presence in our guts

F is for Flat white, New Zealand's most important contribution to culture after the All Blacks

F is for Fairtrade, and Free range, and Farm fresh, whatever they mean

F is for Farmers, obliged to sell their produce for less than the cost of production, so that supermarkets can lure us with discount prices

F is for Fruit-pickers, camping out in clapped-out caravans so that supermarkets can lure us with discount prices

F is for Fish, what's left of them, and Fish Farming

F is for Foraging and Freganism (food for free), the raiding of woodland and skip

G is for Gluten, the new evil

H is for Healthy eating, which we are now mindful of, now neglectful, and for the Helmsley sisters, who invented it

H is for Heston, and his glorious sense of humour

H is for Home cooking, and a hundred alluring new recipes a day to try

I is for Ice cream parlours, and the intravenous intake of sugar and calories

I is for Instagram, and idyllic arrangements of food filmed from above

J is for Just Eat, and the end of home cooking

K is for Kale, once fodder for cattle

L is for Lobster, and its incomprehensible association with Burger (see above)

M is for Mexican food spicy slop wrapped in stodge, no no no, a taste revolution

M is for Microbes, and their stealthy presence in our guts

M is for Microbreweries, and much improved beer, hooray

M is for Meat, which is murder

N is for Nose to tail, and other defiant carnivorousness

O is for Overweight, which over half of us are - is food itself a drug?

P is for Pan-fried, no, not fried, pan-fried, that is, fried in a (frying) pan

P is for Pop-up here and Pop-up there

P is for Pulled Pork, ok, pull it if you must, and Pulled chicken, surely not, pull the other one

Q is for Quorn, which was going to rescue us from our bad habits, and Quinoa, which will rescue us from our bad habits, once we have agreed on how to pronounce it

R is for Raw food, a new invention, and raw food restaurants, that is, restaurants without cooking facilities

R is for Raspberries in winter, and where did they come from?

S is for Superfoods; for Spirulina and Spelt and Samphire and Sunflower Seeds and several super-duper species of Seaweed

S is for Street food, seductive but almost invariably disappointing

S is for Simplicity, for the three-ingredient dish, for the joy of a decent apple and a lump of cheese

T is for Turkey Twizzlers and their beautiful demise

U is for Umami, the mysterious sixth taste will there turn out to be a seventh taste, and further tastes?

V is for Vegetables, another recent discovery which could revolutionise our lives

W is for Wagamama, and the inexplicable triumph of the pot noodle

X is for Xanthan gum, the mysterious substitute for gluten, also used extensively in the oil industry

Y is for Yotam, who has encouraged us to fill our store-cupboards with strange and seductive stuff, including

Z is for Zatar, or Zahtar, or Zaatar, or maybe even Za'atar, which will bring zing and zest to our lives, once we've agreed on how to spell it, what does that apostrophe mean? which of course is not really an apostrophe.....come to think of it, we could do with knowing a bit more about Arab culture......oh yes and what are the people of Raqqa eating today?

A-Z by Orlando Gough

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