These days, we’re baking Victoria sponges and foraging for weeds like there’s no tomorrow. Remember the 1990s, when the exotic was compulsory and British food a crime? Despite our nursery food and vintage tea parties of 2012, the intrigue factor of the exotic just won’t let go. It’s a real MC dilemma: how to satisfy our appetite for exciting new flavours while sticking to our ‘make-do-and-mend’ agenda. How can we get away with seeking out the foreign when we’re supposed to be growing and baking our own?
Waitrose seems to have cracked it with a global snack range featuring those two magical words – ‘street food’ – an ingenious compromise which allows exotic foods to retain cheerful, populist credentials. Their chorizo frittata pancakes and Vietnamese baguettes titillate our taste for the new without betraying the spirit of the times. They’re like eating a foreign version of pasties or mushy peas – authentic, cheerful local food. So now we can have exotic without looking too aspirational or show-offy. Perfect for 2013.
Here’s a little bit more on how street food keeps food basic and modest while meeting our needs for a bit of excitement.