McDonalds latest special is the 1955 Burger, ‘a tribute to where it all began’ apparently and advertised with modern day scenes of life in the UK that transform into homely images of 1950s American suburbia.
The burger is comprised of: ‘A 100% beef patty with caramelised onions, lettuce, tomato, bacon, seasoned tomato sauce and our special smoky sauce in a sesame seeded bun.’
I’ve no idea if that was indeed the kind of fast-food fare you could enjoy in post-war America, but it would certainly have been a novelty in the austere UK of the 1950s when cheesecake and spam fritters would have been considered exotic.
But tastes have changed, or rather they have become homogenised as foodstuffs have become yet another globalised commodity that the consumer can count on for consistency from Blackpool to Bangkok.
It is heartening then that some treats and dishes retain their sense of place and seldom venture beyond their country of creation, no matter how yummy they might be.
Take kudu for example. The meat of this African antelope is delicious when cooked correctly. Lean and dry and slightly gamey, but apart from a few specialist online suppliers, it is not something that is readily available in the UK.
Of course, it is a long way from Africa, but we’ve never had a problem with Argentinian beef or New Zealand lamb in the past, at least not since the invention of refrigeration.
What made me think of all this is the photo above of the originele stroopwafels that my daughter brought back from her recent visit to Holland where I gather they are a common delicacy.
They are a simple confection — caramel sandwiched between two crispy waffles. Fifteen seconds in the microwave and they are absolutely delicious.
My point is that UK manufacturers haven’t pounced on this idea when Holland is but a shortish boat ride away and despite the historical association between our two countries.
It rather gives me hope that not all foodstuffs will become McDonaldised or KFC-ed and that there are still many culinary discoveries for me to make beyond these shores.