I'll tell you. Brace yourself because it might also anger up your spleen, like when you come across a particularly awful crime in the tabloids, one where the hacks get all hot and bothered, excitedly using the word "fiend" or "sicko", making you suddenly lose about 40 IQ points just by reading it and having a sudden urge to bring back hanging for particularly heinous crimes. Like immigration.
I hate it when people put my butter in the fridge.
I know, I know, calm down. It's a contentious issue, this, and there are many who are on the side of cold butter, but they are wrong and should be sentenced to ten years hard labour in Siberian dairy mines.
All right, maybe it's not that big a deal. It's a milky-based foodstuff, so refrigerating butter is good for prolonging its usability and preventing it going mouldy. No-one wants to spread milk-flavoured mushrooms on their butties, do they?
But if you're peckish, and the thick sliced Hovis white is looking particularly sumptious, there's nothing, quite literally* nothing in this world more infuriating than trying to spread granite-like butter onto soft, luscious bread. Instead of a creamy smooth layer of salted loveliness on a firm but moist tile of fresh bread, you get a ragged ring of crust, a large hole and some butter pebbles on a plate. Which is wrong.
Therefore it should not, as is the wont of many misguided indiviuals, be kept at four degrees centigrade, but room temperature, and the matter of buttery longevity addressed by eating it quicker.
Must calm down. Think serene thoughts. I am a smooth stone in the turbulent stream of life. Breathe. Breeeeathe . . .
I started off this post with the aim of examining the topic of taste, and naturally went to the subject of butter as I accidentally used unsalted on some toast yesterday, and you may as well eat plasticine for all the flavour that has.
Taste is a very subjective thing, demonstrated by some people being inexplicably averse to jalapenos and other, sensible, handsome and interesting types thinking they are a tasty savoury ambrosia of piquant loveliness. You can probably guess which way I fall on the jalapeno debate.
When it comes to food, I like most things, so making a list of my favourite foods would be an arduous and pointless task, like writing down reasons to dislike Cristiano Ronaldo. All the obvious ones are there, plus a few personal ones just known to myself.
Far more efficient to mention what I don't like. If that sounds a bit pessimistic, then take heart from the fact that it is a short list. Even if I don't like a certain comestible, I can usually tolerate it, stoic sort that I am. Quiche, for instance, sends my taste buds to sleep but I'll eat it because it's there and someone will have gone to the trouble of making it for me. Spinach makes make me frown, but it's good for me so I'll chow down on it and not kick up a fuss.
There are, however, a few things which I just can't tolerate, and indeed can't even understand why people would like them. I've already mentioned grapefruit as an experience I'm unlikely to repeat in a recent post, and I stand by that. There is also the occasional and criminal practice of putting sultanas in a curry, which is akin to putting geraniums in a trifle. Both are perfectly pleasant separated, but don't belong together in any way.
Another one is ginger.
Oh man, I can't stand ginger. Apart from it looking like something pruned off the top of an unwell giraffe, eating it feels like someone is stabbing me in back of the tongue with a ginger flavoured pointy stick. I would manfully put up with a ginger flavoured biscuit if you offered it to me, but I wouldn't thank you.
This is occasionally a problem because my goodladywife is a very accomplished cook, and tells me that ginger is a useful ingredient in all sorts of tasty dishes. She argues that if I looked through some recipe books, I would probably find some familiar dishes which use ginger as part of their make up, and I would henceforth be more accepting of this hateful tuber.
Occasionally though, you come across something that you know you won't like, and wouldn't be able to acquire a taste for even if it were deep fried and called a Sparklebun. I came across something like this in a recipe book recently.
Despite my almost clinical inability to cook, even I could recognise a dodgy recipe when I saw it, and that was just from the image of the finished article. I don't know how many of you have tried it, but here it is:
There are no redeeming features for broccoli cake. Shunned by every decent, right-thinking individual, it exists only in the shadowy half-light of credibility and edibility, trying to be a contender, but being so warped and twisted, so unsavoury and gross, that it finds acceptance only amongst the dreggy, unwashed, ignorant fringes of society. It is the Nick Griffin of the baked world.
Broccoli cake has quite put me off discussing food now. Ruined my appetite I suppose. Well, taste is not just confined to food. It is also about other aspects of life like fashion and performance, aesthetics and humour, entertainment and frolics.
I saw these posters for some local talent in a pub in Chippenham recently, which demonstrate some of the finer choices of talent available to the connoisseur. All tastes are catered for. On one wall, you get a choice of Tom Jones, Fanny Dazzle and Freddie Starr.
* Quite literally nothing.