I’ve been away from writing for a while – new job, trips etc keeping me away from the computer but I am back now. Thought I would start with something small, but by NO means insignificant.
Last week I went to the Shortlands Tavern, a pub next to my house. Just for a couple of beers, you know, as the sun was out. I felt a bit peckish so I thought bar snacks would be a good idea, and as we love pork crackling/scratchings, and the pub stocked a range of flavours, I thought trying those would be a good idea.
The crackling is made by a relatively new company (founded in 2014) who make snacky pork products with exciting flavours. All their products are double cooked and more than a bite size in each piece.
I asked the bartender for a mix of all their flavours, after he reeled them off at me, failing to query him on one particular name. That being the ‘Pig of Doom’. As he had layered each flavour in a beer glass, the first couple of layers were GREAT. The Maple Pork and Funkin’ Fennel were extremely tasty, and were a great marriage with my pint of Doom Bar. I have only just seen the irony now, as I write this, of the double ‘Doom’ pairing. I placed another porcine flavour bomb in my mouth, and felt a tingling sensation on the back of my tongue. This intensified pretty rapidly, and I guessed it must be chilli flavoured. My mouth was on fire. I couldn’t talk, I could barely move, I was in shock. I know that drinking anything is the worst thing you can do with chilli mouth but I DIDN’T CARE I WAS ON FIRE. I proceeded to down my pint, keeping mouthfuls of it at a time to sooth my blazing tongue. This went on until the pint was finished and I was too embarrassed to go to the bar so had to sit it out. For a good ten minutes. Two gentlemen who had commented on the pint o’pork when I entered the garden, seemed like the obvious re-homing for these spicy goods. They had said ‘what a good idea’ to the combination of pork scratchings and beer, so I went over to them, with a massive disclaimer.
The conversation went as follows
Me: ‘These are really quite spicy, but you’re welcome to them if you like.’
Them: ‘Oh we LOVE spice, thank you.’
Me: ‘No, really, they are SPICY look at my tears.’
Them: ‘Ah I’m sure we can handle them, we love spice, thank you.’
I had warned them, and sat back down at my table, to notice moments later tears streaming down grown men’s faces which were now a light shade of beetroot, and one of them running to the bar with empty glasses for refills.
On further research I have found that the chilli is the Bhut Jolokia chilli (aka ‘Ghost Chilli’), which is one of the hottest chillies in the world. Now I get it. This product is painful, but a wicked secret santa, or work team build challenge which I obviously did the next day after taking away a fresh helping when I left the pub.
The other flavours are truly tasty and you can read about them more on their website;