Oooh... What Sauce!
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FORTNUM AND MASON TRADITIONAL

Manufactured by: Fortnum and Mason plc.,Piccadilly, London, England
www.fortnumandmason.com
Ingredients: Vegetable oil, pasteurized egg yolk, wine and spirit vinegar, salt, sugar, mustard, potassium sorbate, spices
Taste: Stark bitter intonations of richness, with a delicate cupric taste bringing hints of loose change to bear amidst a swirl of chicory and cumin on a young bat's wing. A warming aroma of shrill gannet and and a frivolous panda throwing ripe bamboo sticks at a map of Bhutan greatly enhanced the refined experience
Colour: A jaundiced koala licking a weak mustard paste off the tongue of a faded Dunlop white plimsoll
Comments: A warm evening in with you pipe and slippers of a sauce, that gently comforts and caresses the taste buds offers to get you a small whisky, and then probably washes up afterwards
Overall: 9 out of 10 - Posher than a hamper full of tiaras at only a fraction of the cost

FORTNUM AND MASON TRADITIONAL

By far the poshest mayonnaise ever reviewed by The World of Mayonnaise, Fortnum and Mason are the caterers of choice for the hamper laden race going set and and the grocer by appointment to various guffawing toothy champagne fuelled over privileged straw boater clad louts without chins everywhere. When this sumptuous little mayonnaise number arrives at your dining table, sat upon its sumptuous silver fringed velvet cushion, its time to sit up politely, pay attention and hide the salad cream underneath the pet dog.

Founded in 1707 by the eponymous Mr Fortnum and Mr Mason, their Piccadilly based grocery store started posh from the very beginning and has grown steadily posher over the years, achieving a level of poshness that now is demonstrably and measurably posher than most Scandinavian monarchies.

Of course it's easy to forget in these strange egalitarian times in which we live that 'poshness' is not something which can be readily achieved or bought. We sadly live in such an age when a half brained talentless singer, pale emaciated and gagging upon her own enormous bank balance, over burdened with pretensions and faux Tudor mansions populated with plastic flamingos, can legitimately ennoble herself as Baroness Lady Victoria Posh Spice of Dagenham, Countess of Beckham, appear in every magazine in the land twice a week and opine her weak brained judgements on taste morality and decency. What a far cry from the quality and unattainableness of F&M and their lavishly executed dead things pickled in rich exotic jellies.

By 1788 top of the Fortnum and Mason menu was the not very subtle option of boned portions of poultry and game in an aspic jelly decorated with lobsters and prawns, all prepared so as to require no cutting or slicing for a clientele who were most likely unaware as to whether they even possessed a kitchen or not. Ready roasted duck and green peas, partridges at half a crown and a whole truffled pheasant for fifteen shillings. My arteries scream for mercy at the very thought.

In amongst all of this gout causing richness of whole truffled pheasant and partridges, Fortnum and Mason also have the honour of being the first UK store, in 1886, to stock Heinz products, a tradition that continues today. The poshness of Fortnum and Mason is a poshness that can still confidently and diligently sell baked beans without even the hint of a wry and ironic smirk, even if they are £48 per can.

1964 -Preston North End

VANDEMOORTELE

Manufactured by: Produced in Belgium for the unscrupulous Vandemoortele (UK) Ltd., Hounslow, Middlesex TW3 1NH. For those of you who rightly believe West London to end somewhere near Chelsea, let me happily confirm your fears. Hounslow is a swirling mass of inbred humanity and evil that deserves more plane crashes than it currently enjoys
Belgian mayonnaise fan Christian J. DeFeo kindly suggests the following link: www.vandemoortele.be
I'm just sorry Christian that the Iceland frozen food store in Richmond couldn't guarantee not to store this precious lowlands mayonnaise on a sanitary shelf some distance away from glaring direct sunlight, a broken leaking radiator, a strong magnetic source and several strong and malodorous stenches
Ingredients: Soya Oil, pasteurized egg and egg yolk, water, spirit vinegar, salt, sugar, concentrated lemon juice, flavouring
Taste: None, in the traditional sense of the word, though if pushed I would suggest the merest hint of walrus smegma and mole's feet
Colour: Diseased canine mucus with hints of yellow fever and minestrone soup after something unspeakable has drowned in it after a long struggle
Comments: Show me the mayo
Overall: 0 out of 10 - A first, but then unlike Organic OMayo!, the recipient of a much coveted one out ten award, I at least hopefully excepted a half decent and possible meal enhancing condiment experience. As it was I hurled the freshly disinfected jar into a deep foul smelling midden where no doubt some evil devil's minions of doom are wrestling over it to this very moment. Big monkey's arse, another wasted moment

VANDEMOORTELE

Vandemoortele. What can I say? Nothing actually. Sadly this promising little mayonnaise mutated into a foul and unspeakable swamp of dog mucus and coloured mulch within the space of a week, even before I got the lid off and despite the correct storage in a properly conducive environment. Oh, I could complain yes, but frankly I'm far too depressed and angry at the world to even bother today. Or tomorrow.

You see the British, especially that much lamented lost race the English, are just no good at complaining. The Celtic temperament of the Scots and Welsh is quick to anger if not wholly and utterly drunk, and the English can get quite a bit vexed if a Spanish donkey is hit with a stick or tree is threatened by a the building of a bypass, but generally the British reserve is still alive and well.

I think it would be right to call the British Empire the largest, if not the greatest, empire that the world has ever seen. Stretching from the northern snow covered tips of Canada to the burning deserts of Africa and on over the shimmering peaks of the Himalayas to the harsh outback of Australia, the British Empire in its Victorian heyday was a golden and splendid dominion ruled over by a benevolent and somewhat porky monarch who possessed a benevolent sagacious disposition to her overseas subjects, and a gothic sense of dress that would put Wayne Hussey to shame.

And yet, what happened to this land of plenty, where the sun never set and the gods were kind and gentle? Well, it wasn't like the decline and fall of the decadent and obesely proportioned Roman Empire. There were no bloodthirsty hairy German Visigoths wantonly knocking down the walls of the capital to destroy all refinement, civilisation and learning. Indeed, on the contrary, the only German Visigoths in Britain at that time were mostly related to the Queen. There was no fatal genocidal overthrow, in the manner of the Aztecs after they incorrectly believed the Spaniards to be thoroughly decent chaps, and not the maniacal animal worrying mother fixated squid munching pope fearing sociopaths so familiar for over fifty years to British tourists in Benidorm.

No, the British Empire was simply given away. With a half hearted apology that we were all really very sorry for conquering the world and wouldn't do it again, and you're all welcome to come and live in Britain in fact, and open spicy flavoured restaurants and try and educated the jaded British taste buds away from salad cream, and once more we're really very very sorry for all that viceroy stuff and shooting natives armed with grass skirts and a bit of make up. Sorry.

And that is why I didn't complain, not because the half hour bus journey daunted me or because I'm a gutless spineless cider addled embittered agoraphobic bigoted red nosed drunkard.

1975 - Fulham

LLANGLOFFAN GARLIC MAYONNAISE AND DIP

Manufactured by: 'Specially prepared' by Forest Products, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5BU www.forestproducts.co.uk
Ingredients: Vegetable oil, pasteurized egg yolk, wine and spirit vinegar, salt, garlic powder, sugar, mustard, preservative (potassium sorbate)
Taste: Grass clippings inside the skull of a hedgehog marinated in brine, with the unmistakable unsettling tickling sensation of a tennis ball sliding down a child's slide covered in custard and peas. And all with a subtle garlic aroma, that like some mountain dwelling freedom fighting guerilla cunningly assaults the senses some considerable time after first taste with no announcement of intent necessary
Colour: Like the murky layer of ice on a froze pool of curdled cream, with the hopeful promise of mature farmhouse cheddar lurking somewhere beneath
Comments: Really quite agreeable, but what constitutes a dip and what constitutes a normal sauce? Especially as I just spooned it out in huge dollops of love as I always do. Dipping sounds so fastidious and pernickety, when pouring is always the best option available. The only time I ever dip is when I'm going under low doorways
Overall: 7 out of 10 - Like a wet weekend in Pembrokeshire this sauce will linger long in the memory and always seem better in retrospect

LLANGLOFFAN GARLIC MAYONNAISE AND DIP

A lot of ill feeling still exists between the Welsh and the English, although the Welsh are now officially oppressed (as defined by the Charter of the United Nation's Tolerance Subcommittee) and are listed as a protected species alongside the red panda and the rhino. It is therefore still legally permissible to denigrate the English on a daily basis whilst the Welsh must be protected from the smallest unintentional slight or malicious disparagement of their strange harp playing, sheep worrying, rock worshipping, seaweed eating, daffodil baiting, close harmony singing and guttural vowel emitting habits.

Indeed, the Welsh and their evil counterparts in Hollywood, an incongruous but undoubtedly sinister alliance cemented in the manner of some medieval nuptial via the unholy marriage of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, do habitually malign the English on a daily basis with such films as Patriot Games, Blown Away and other hilarious IRA based English murdering adventures which go to great lengths to extol the virtues and joys of exploding Englishmen.

These films invariably feature loveable yet psychopathic bombers, as well as jolly jigging old Oirish gunmen who somehow blarney their fiddle playing way into the hearts of the gullible cinema goers, whilst the villainous Brits with their implacable eyebrows and bland accents are torn asunder with powerful explosive devices by Bruce Willis, Liam Neeson, Harrison Ford and all of their wise cracking Yankee counterparts.

The upshot of this all is that the English become the true victims of the piece despite the perceived persecution of their Celtic colleagues, and are forced by law to spend countless summer holidays in a run down leaky caravan tucked away into some miserable leek smelling rain sodden corner of Pembrokeshire, where the locals view people even from the next village with a deep century's old mistrust and suspicion. In these nether regions of Celtic loathing the only possible alternative for holiday makers who feel themselves close to murdering the six other members of their family crammed into a damp mildewed space that a veal calf would consider crowded, is to trudge in wellington boots at midnight to a thoughtfully provided camper's social club centred around a former air raid shelter in a former cabbage field where the resident band firmly believe the Birdie Dance still to be the very height of fashion and where cocktails are not a post ironic mode of expressing extreme self loathing and despair.

Having said all that though, I'm sure that the Llangloffan Cheese Centre www.welshcheese.co.uk is well worth a visit. Tell them I sent you.

1980 - Arsenal
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