Now, I never intended for this column to be ultra-political, I promise it will remain lighthearted. However, I want to discuss the gastronomical repercussions on the UK’s democratic decision to leave the EU.
Once Article 50 is triggered, my current student readers will (for the most part) have secured a swanky career, and won’t need to fret excessively over the price difference between a hass avocado at Aldi and a hass avocado at Tescos (it’s 25p, if you cared).
I want to discuss the gastronomical repercussions on the UK’s democratic decision to leave the EU.
However, due to Britain’s dependence on importations for the food industry, our weekly shop will be significantly affected by Brexit. Only 15% of fresh fruit and 55% of fresh vegetables in the UK is grown here. For the rest, we majorly depend on trade from the EU. Currently, we depend on intra-EU imports to have access to foods our environment cannot grow. We also do not have the farming space readily available. So, for example, although apples are obviously able to be grown in Britain, a staggering 76% of the apples consumed in the UK are from overseas. Over 60% of the UK’s apple orchards have been destroyed in the last 30 years, meaning that Britain is dependent on imports. Our agriculture also depends on EU migrant employees for farm labour.
It may seem one of the lesser ethically-important consequences, considering that the government cannot currently guarantee that EU migrants will be able to stay in their UK homes, but with a diminished workforce, our culinary creations could suffer. Without access to the single market, the import tax on our everyday basics will be increased.
I’m suffering Brexit-blues, so I’m going to provide you with some exciting international dishes which celebrate trade with international countries. My favourite international food shops in Exeter are ‘Best One International’ and ‘Heera International Foods’.
Plantain fries (serves 2; 80p per serving)
- 2 ripe plantains (yellowish with black patches)
- 1 tbsp of sunflower oil
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Slice the pealed plantains 1cm thick. Heat a non-stick frying pan with the sunflower oil. Fry for approximately 4 minutes, turning regularly.
- Add the chilli flakes and cayenne pepper. Continue to fry further for a minute.
- Remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper towel until the oil is mostly soaked up.
- Plate up, season, and serve!
Avocado and tarragon ice-cream (makes 2 servings)
Don’t worry, avocados are a good kind of fat, making this a healthy(ish) summer treat.
- 1 large avocado. Pick the large green ones with thin and smooth skin, not typical hass variety. These are uber cheap from Eat your Greens, on Sidwell Street.
- 1 lemon
- 50g soft light brown sugar
- 8 fresh tarragon leaves
- A pinch of salt
- Halve the avocado and remove the stone. Scope out the flesh and roughly chop.
- Squeeze the juice from the lemon, removing any pips.
- Blend all the ingredients in a food processor into a silky smooth consistency. Put this mixture into a sealed container and leave in the freezer for at least four hours.
- Scoop up and serve immediately!