Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Breakfast in England

In the May issue of the Literary Review, the best books magazine in the world, the Spectator’s Low Life columnist Jeremy Clarke reviews The Breakfast Book by Andrew Dalby and The Breakfast Bible by Seb Emma and Malcolm Eggs. He begins with an account of a recent breakfast he had while hungover in London, behind Paddington Station to be precise:
I eat anything. Wipe its bum and chop the horns off, ho ho. I’m not fussy. The average number of taste buds in the average gob is between two and eight thousand. I have about twenty. But when my full English arrived, the mere sight of it turned my stomach. I prodded the bacon rasher with my fork. The factory-bred sow, raised in China in conditions only slightly more cramped, I guessed, than those in which she was served up, tasted, rejected, then thrown in the bin, had lived and died in vain. The flesh was bright pink, barely cooked, barely even tepid, and had a fleshy nakedness about it that was faintly obscene. The anaemic egg was a tragic poem. The themes of the poem were artificiality, incompetence, waste and quite possibly blasphemy. The tomato was a product of that strange impulse of the Spanish to ex port scarce water from the Costa del Sol to northern Europe in spherical, thick-skinned packages force-grown in sterile conditions under polythene. The triangle of fried bread was a saturated sponge sweating cold grease. The sausage was budget bag of (at a guess) snouts, intestines, eyelids and hepatitis C.

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