April 20, 2003
Jonathan Meades’ A-Z of British gastronomy:
Full English: Maugham’s dictum that if you want to eat well in England you have to eat breakfast three times a day was no doubt an epigram for an epigram’s sake. But it contained a still pertinent truth. Full English, a hotelier’s coinage, is all too English in one regard: bacon with mushroom, with choice of eggs, with black pudding, with sausage, with kidneys, with fried bread, with tomatoes… With, with, with. With is the preferred conjunction of this country’s professional chefs. They may regard Full English as old hat but a majority of them unwittingly take it as the model for their multipartite creations: seared tuna ossobucco, with chorizo lanyards, with fudge-flavoured couscous, with a gruyère filo samosette of okra and spearmint cracklings, with a line-caught sea urchin napping. Like I say: babel.
Full English is also a specialised form of flagellation.
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Written by Paul Love who lives and works in Edinburgh building useful things. You should follow him on Twitter