Oooh... What Sauce!
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RAKUSEN'S REAL

Manufactured by: Rakusen's Limited, Rakusen House, Clayton Wood Rise, West Park Ring Road, Leeds LS16 6QN
www.rakusens.co.uk
Ingredients: Sunflower oil, water, egg yolk, sugar, salt, acetic acid, lemon juice, garlic
Taste:
Maple sawdust sprinkled across a freshly made treacle and banana blancmange sandwich, topped off with crisp pine nuts and shredded green cabbages, all lightly fried together in barge flavoured olive oil and deer fat
Colour: The inside of an albino gorilla's half closed eyelid mixed almost imperceptibly with the ever so subtle shades of 100 unlined A4 sheets of paper from an office supply shop in Crawley
Comments: Best eaten inside a waterfall of polystyrene woodlice
Overall: 8 out of 10 - An uncomplicated sauce that could break down a great many cultural barriers with its blend of cascading silky textures and tart porpoise like aromas. I have since learnt from the helpful Mr Grayson at Rakusen's that this more than adequate mayonnaise is only made for Passover and is unavailable the rest of the year. He suggests I bulk buy and fill my dank cellars with Kosher mayonnaise should the local rabbi pop round for a theological chat over a cup of kosher tea and a mayonnaise bagel or something. Who am I to argue? Consider my cavernous cellars duly restocked Mr Grayson

RAKUSEN'S REAL

I'm not Jewish, but hey, some of my best friends aren't Jewish either. So until this delicacy popped into my local supermarket amidst a clamorous Hebrew fanfare, I had absolutely no idea what makes a mayonnaise kosher, as opposed to say halal or vegetarian. Or not kosher. In fact I come from a traditional lapsed Church of England background where the only dietary requirements placed upon my upbringing were the ability to eat three lavishly huge triple decker beetroot, onion, mayonnaise and Spam sandwiches after midnight, and of course consume without gagging the traditional Friday night dish of eight litres of Merrydown Vintage Dry Cider washed down with a slab of Dairy Milk chocolate the size of a small brown ping pong table.

Rakusen's was founded in 1900 by the Jewish entrepreneur Lloyd Rakusen in Leeds, a large yet attractive Victorian city in Yorkshire, famous for its magnificently ostentatious architecture, its vibrant music scene and lately for the hordes of over paid, moronic, arrogant, after shave soaked and frankly ugly Premiership football stars who roam the gruesome ring road searching for Asians to attack*. Lloyd Rakusen was a watchmaker by trade, but started making Matzos for Passover in the kitchen behind his watch-making premises in order to serve the needs of the local Jewish community who at this time, before a single Asian had even reached Bradford, were the main focal point of a traditional violent night out for drunken north of England louts.

Now I'm obvious that as offensive as I may have been so far in my web site, no one is going to get too upset at drunken insults directed randomly at supermarkets, Slough and indeterminate Belgian industrial estates. But, at the risk of starting some sort of terrible internecine warfare with the Jewish community at large (even though they are about a twenty minute bus ride away), Matzos biscuits are essentially just a barely cooked paste of wheat flour and water. The taste, speaking purely culinary, is something akin to cardboard, baked dust mites or those terrible low calorie wooden smelling wafers that obese menopausal women on harsh dietary regimes pile over an inch high with low fat spread, lettuce, tomato, coleslaw, cottage cheese, shrimp, tomatoes lard and pork dripping.

Rakusen's even boast that their brand of Matzos are 98% fat free and are low in calories, which just makes me wonder how something that is made of lightly roasted but very congealed flour and water paste even manages two per cent fat and more than about half a calorie each. So, yeah, well done Mr Rakusen, you invented baked glue and 100 years later you've branched out into mayonnaise. Small wonder that Mr Rakusen needed large dollops of Kosher mayonnaise to enliven his drab larder.

*As verified in a court of law. Thank you the Bristish justice system.

Trevor Brooking

MORRISONS BETTABUY

Manufactured by: Produced for Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc., WF2 0XF
www.morrisons.plc.uk
Ingredients: Vegetable oil (49%), water, vinegar, egg yolk, modified starch, mustard, glucose syrup, salt, thickener (E412), acid (E270), herbs, flavouring
Taste: Like a cardigan fashioned from the wool of pipistrelle bat, marinated inside a ceramic jug of spider's phlegm, with of course ever so subtle hints of tin foil, gecko and damp cotton wool ear muffs
Colour: The inside of an albino cat's mouth as it partakes of an exceptionally long yawn on a bright summer's day after drinking a litre an a half of milk
Comments: The stinginess appears to extend to buying tasty ingredients. I note in the ingredients that 'acid' is an additive. Did no one at Morrisons spot that in the development stage, or possibly feel that the public might fret about consuming a highly destructive and corrosive gut rotting of a dressing?
Overall: 5 out of 10 - Nothing special but can be used to remove paint for door frames, polish silverware, scare sensitive children or with a little forethought may become a useful missile to be propelled from a captured Spanish cannon

MORRISONS BETTABUY

Moving on from the finest Leeds mayonnaise as detailed above, we journey now to Bradford, another Yorkshire City famed for its particularly dark and satanic mills, and the exceptionally tight fisted value seeking ways of its inhabitants. In Yorkshire the past is always better, despite the grinding poverty and biannual famines that could decimate entire families in an afternoon. As mentioned in at least a thousand other places on this web site, the gruff northern English mill workers of Yorkshire revel in their hard hearted, mean spirited, miserly, penny pinching ways, gained from having to raise a red cheeked family of twenty eight children on just three pence every third fortnight.

Morrisons take this Scrooge like search for value to the limits that other brash young whippet fanciers such as Asda can only dream of. I would add though that this is real, bleak, genuine stone faced meanness, and not the prefabricated carefully considered shoddiness of Somerfield and its grubby faced urchin chain of crumbling Kwik Save stores. Not for Morrison's the flirtatious retail skirt lifting in a desperate attempt to woo soft Southerners with only a casual interest in penny pinching into their stores, along with promises of hygiene cleanliness and lavender scented dairy aisles. Genuine stinginess is hard to achieve but I believe Morrison's achieve it in cheap copious abundance, by playing on their grim Yorkshire past where only two percent of the population ever reached adulthood and by utilising that recognised budget device, the illiterate brand name. 'Bettabuy' seemingly is once more plucked into being either by a misguided marketing development manager after a series of pointless meetings, or else a specially trained chimpanzee and a bagful of Scrabble letters. I would also draw to attention the lack of an apostrophe in the presumably genitive "Morrisons", but hey ho, let us not dwell too long.

The origins of Morrisons (there's a limerick in there somewhere) dates back to 1899, when the eponymous William Morrison a Bradford lard and dripping merchant started a business in the local market. Sadly the world was not ready for a trained chimpanzee that could invent spurious brand names for condiments conglomerates, but two years later, with Queen Victoria wheezing her last regal breath down south somewhere, Mr Morrison then hit upon the idea of selling his provisions, leaving the simian marketing to future generations. It was an instant success, and only six decades later in 1961 the very first Morrisons supermarket was born, in a converted cinema called the 'Victoria', a winning combination of cheap groceries and B movies won the day and the word spread. Supermarkets were a novel idea at the time, and by his sly cinematic references and business acumen the canny Mr Morrison ensured that no small businessman would ever again audaciously challenge the retail supremacy of nation wide retail chains.

There are now 110 stores and 81 Petrol stations nation-wide, and the 146 year old Mr William Morrison shows no sign of slowing down his slow expansion southwards and of carrying on his tradition of personalised customer care and outstanding meanness.

Gary Lineker

BAR BAR WACKY WEST COAST MANGO

Manufactured by: "A BBQ Classic from" BMI Brand Marketing Group Ltd., Kent House, Maidstone, Kent ME16 6LH
Manufactured in the UK as a possible cover for any number of shadowy international agencies of destruction. See how many you can spot at www.barbbar.com
Ingredients: Rapeseed oil, water, mango chutney (13%), spirit vinegar, sugar, egg yolk powder, salt, chilli puree, skimmed milk powder, modified starch, spices, kibbled chilli, mustard flour, stabiliser: (xanthan gum), preservative: (potassium sorbate), lemon juice concentrate
Kibbled? Is that healthy?!?
Taste:
A tomato and extra mushroom flavoured pasta sauce coated in a treacle mud bath and joyously mixed with mossy forest undergrowth and twigs inside a half coconut full of garam masala flavoured mangoes in a brine, red wine and powered apricot concrete secretion
Colour: A pink shrimp's belly coated with a paste of pale red modelling clay and tomatoes which has been diligently marinated in a jug of rancid strawberries steeped within a pint of homogenised fox's bile
Comments: The highly distinctive stench of an embarrassed bat's cave, with the aroma of a lemon coated child's football inserted in a paddling pool full of over ripe cider apples distracts from a label that is more frighteningly cluttered and unfathomable than the mind of the average serial killer
Overall: 9 out of 10 - Probably an acquired taste, with a great many unidentified chewy things that are not suitable not for the jaded condiment purists and their diet of prune juice and chips, this mayonnaise can dazzle, excite, sing 1950's show tunes and dance a jolly little jig upon the taste buds. Not just for summer eating, this would make an ideal Christmas mayonnaise for the twelfth bowl of turkey scrapings

 

BAR BAR WACKY WEST COAST MANGO

"Welcome to Bar-B-Bar's BBQ World!" Yipes! What on earth is going on here? Frankly I'm scared and only a dictionary and a silver crucifix can save me from the the dyslexic dressing that is staggering menacingly towards me, its gaping drooling mouth and wide moist eyes open and expressionless. Normally such a poorly spelled mayonnaise would be consigned to the non league ranks of bargain basement dressings, along with Kwik Save and Portion Pak and Morrisons Bettabuy. This sauce succeeds where others fail by being so utterly shameless with its cheesily cheerful and brazenly haphazard alliterative dyslexia.

Barbecues (note spelling) are the last refuge of the mangled spelling and tortured diphthong. A once noble word, with a lineage descending to the English vernacular from the Arawak 'barbacòa' via the Spanish, the long suffering outdoor grilled meat feast can now legitimately be called be a BBQ, a Bar-BQ or any other combination of vaguely similar sounding monosyllabic grunts. The 'wacky' world of Bar-B-Bar's BBQ World, is surely though the most unsubtle way of describing an open air burnt-meat-athon, where middle aged men with the culinary ability of a arthritic half drunk orang-utan have their once yearly cook out under a burning hot sun.

Prerequisites for this pagan festival of chargrilled almost edible animal matter is a humorous apron, preferably sporting a witty slogan or a crude depiction of women's breasts, a big hat marked 'chef', at least forty eight bottles of near frozen and obscenely cheap Belgian beer smuggled across the channel for the very occasion, a six foot tall pile of dead animal off cuts and a minute griddle, full to bursting with charcoal, wood, newspaper, fire lighters, petrol from the lawn mower and a liberal soaking of highly combustible aircraft fuel.

Despite what the crazy frothing mind of Brian George, the highly driven yet slightly demented and tortured man behind BB-Bar-Bars Bubbling World of Boo-Boo Bar-Queues may think, barbecues (note spelling) are not yet the high class experience he would have us believe. The whole experience is generally a mayonnaise free affair and tends to be the last culinary hiding place for congealed tomato and sweetcorn relish and the fluorescent yellow mustard from yesteryear, the type that is generally squirted in quantites of a litre or more rather than being lovingly apportioned from an earthenware pot with a minute tiny spoon. While I welcome Mr George's noble attempts to end the domination of such chunky red and yellow horrors, I wish for the sake of all our children he would buy a dictionary. Even a cheap one.

Apparently "BBQ's are now fun, funky and fashionable", so remember that when you next chomp down on a slab of animal, raw and possibly still breathing on the inside but burnt to an atomic crisp on the outisde. Who knows, with mayonnaise it might just be edible.

Alan Hansen
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