Monday, April 20, 2009

Bad News Tour

Apropos fusion cooking, of which I spoke two day ago, I am reminded, by Les, that the humble potato, in its chipped form, creates a fusion with pretty much anything. In the sense that fusion is a coming together of different styles or tastes and of the fruits of different countries, then there is much to support this. The potato has its roots, literally, in the sod of southern America, though quite when and where the first attempt to put it into a deep-fat fryer occurred I honestly couldn't tell you.

Fish and chips, therefore, is a fusion of whichever sea, the Andes Mountains and Scottish lard-boiling levels of cholesterol. As cod has only rarely been found in the Andes, I would suggest that fish and chips is well and truly fusion. Moreover, the very name - potato - is derived from the Spanish, hence emphasising the culturally-fused nature of the chip.

As a further example, a non-chip one, at blog HQ the other evening the dining-table fare comprised chicken and pork fillet plus onion, garlic and aubergine with carrots and green beans, pasta, lightly pickled red cabbage, tomato, canónigos (corn salad) and condiments of Dijon mustard, sweet chili dip and tartar sauce. I'd say that this was fusion - Italian, German, French, Thai. There you are then. Fusion. Or. Any old stuff that happens to be lying around the fridge and larder.

My fear with fusion is that it is a name that allows for some fusion of prices - two lowish ones into one high one. It is like that old con-fusion of nouvelle. It may be a gag about nouvelle cuisine, but it did actually happen that I and the femme du jour once partook of some nouvelle in a chic Chiswick bistro with a French name and had to stop off at the chippy on the way home - for some fusion.

Fusion and confusion. What are we supposed to make of Bar Plaza Restaurant that has emerged from the ruins of the old nursery in Puerto Pollensa's square? The one-Dakota, two-Dakota, three-Dakota, four advance of Boulevard and the Bony legover have been usurped in terms of dumbing-down with its board with photos of dishes to greet the potential diner. It's a chinky, at least I think it is, but its name suggests something else, while the actual sign, someone was berating me at great length (as though I could do anything about it), looks as though it belongs in Benidorm. That was her opinion. Personally, I've never been to Benidorm, but I daresay that there will be those who say that it belongs in Alcúdia because Alcúdia - allegedly - is like Blackpool and probably Benidorm as well.

Rather more sophisticated, I was once again at Vora Mar in Cala San Vicente. As I parked, this gigantic American estate wagon thing rumbled past, beat its horn and turned to pull up behind me. From its interior, several Germans were disgorged. I was observing through the rear mirror from the safety of my driver's seat, as the final occupant stepped out. It was one of those how startled can one be by someone's appearance moments. The leather trousers were not so strange, given a German predilection for such garb, but it was what was on the chap's head - his hair in other words. Here was a head-banded John McEnroe having undergone electric shock therapy, a comedy rock-star bouffant, greying candy-floss, a 70s Liverpool era perm that had procreated to form quadruple Keegan head furniture. It was quite extraordinary, not least that anyone could move their neck with that weight. It was a hair expansion rather than extension. In "The Young Ones", Neil had a hippy friend called Warlock. A Warlock character with elevated hair was now walking up the steps into the restaurant. I never knew that anyone seriously ever had a haircut like that, unless they were playing it for laughs. Given that one other of the party looked as though he should have arrived on a Harley and was probably a roadie for The Scorpions, it occurred to me that maybe here were some remnants of The Bon Scott Band, the AC/DC tribute that had played in Alcúdia the night before. Except. The day before, in passing the road into Bellevue, I noticed a trio of different old rockers emerging from Yummy Yummy, one of whom had an AC/DC t-shirt on. Could these have been the core of The Bon Scott Band, heading back to their apartment? It was if Bad News (in which Neil became Den) were in town: an English breakfast, trashing Bellevue and then off to the bullring for some tribute headbanging. Or maybe they were in town for some biking. And what, may one ask, is it with the motor bikes that roar around the roads in convoys at weekends at huge noise and at huge speeds? Bad news.

Yesterday's title - Ipswich Town. Today's title - and what were the names of the other members of Bad News (the characters, not the actors)?


No comments: