I see from my calendar it’s almost National Potato Day. And Farmhouse Breakfast Week. But does branding a particular period with a high falutin’ moniker actually up consumption? I’m not sure I believe people from Perth to Portsmouth are downing beans by the bucketload simply because some trade body deemed it The Day To Do So. From the banal to the downright bizarre, there’s one for everything. Ludicrously, far more National Days than there are days of the year. I can only take so many festivities.
What about when two-or more- uncomplimentary events coincide? I might have to eat my Bramleys with my Yorkshire puds. Don’t tell me I don’t have to. I do. It’s surely my National Duty. My country needs me, and all that. It’s a bit different with long established traditions. You can sling a pancake my way on Shrove Tuesday, and I’ve no truck with food symbolism. It’s thinly veiled- and, for the best part, shoddily executed- product promotion that makes me crotchety. And slightly panicky. National Popcorn Day? No one told me. Quick, pass the kernels!
If you don’t fancy your spuds as naked and humble as nature intended this month, you might prefer to wait’til late February, when the chip is celebrated in all its greasy glory for a week. A full week! By the time the feasting draws to a close, you might even have upped your cholesterol a point or two. If not, you can continue to wreak havoc with your salt levels with March’s Bacon Connoisseur’s Week– one for real piggies. If you’re keen on the caffeine shakes, fill your boots in both April and October, with the respective double bypasses’-worth of National Coffee Week and Chocolate Week.
With weird food faddism the norm, it seems we need collective license to permit ourselves to take pleasure in the indulgences we all really should know make a happy inclusion to a perfectly balanced diet. Britain is a nation full of brilliant producers, artisans and foodstuffs- from simple, sensational steaks to modern eccentricities like bacon jam. Surely we shouldn’t need a clumsily-titled reason to celebrate our country’s abundant bounty? Henceforth, I deem today, and every day thereafter, Scoff Whatever You Fancy Day. Eat it because you want to, not because you’re told to.