I’ve been reading Nigel Slater’s Toast for FAR too long. It’s not because I’m not left shriekingly joyful with each chapter but more that I want to savour it. It’s a strange phenomenon for someone who devours most things. For my posterity, I’m going to write it off as growth.
Slater’s memoirs, collated in this witty and poignant way, sheds light on the way he interacted with food and what it means to him within the context of his family. This is the angle that I quite enjoy about food because, let’s be honest, it’s not really about the dish but about the people you share it with that make the meal memorable.
This recollection of his childhood, of economical means and then of the thing that made him feel slightly more posh – eating a grapefruit topped with sugar and then grilled to a caramelised glaze – introduced me to the simple pleasures of a boy growing up in the 60’s.
Having done exactly that this morning, I can attest to the sheer decadence of deconstructing warm ruby grapefruit with a spoon. Its brilliant mink juices collected at the base of the shell ready to be slurped with glee once the flesh is gone. The grapefruit flavour, softened gently by the heat and sugar. It’s all too luxurious for words!