Secret Garden next left

31 Mar 2018

Thanks no doubt to its high quality writing, my humble blog is followed by up to at least 1 million readers. This is in some senses a sponsored post, because (full disclosure) a kind and generous benefactor has sent me an item to review.

The item in question comprises 1,200g of dried fruit, butter, eggs, nuts, sugar and sherry, at least some of which is a concealed citrus fruit. True Mozz food then. Yes folks, you are reading a review of a Heston Blumenthal Hidden Orange Christmas pudding.

Following a spirited debate in an Edinburgh restaurant some years ago, I firmly believe in the impact of presentation on the enjoyment of food. So I am slightly embarrassed to admit that this particular Christmas pudding was probably not given a fair crack of the whip in that regard. Before I even started on it, two things were awry. First, it is Easter weekend: the last day of Lent being a particularly inappropriate time for the scoffing of such rich sustenance. Second, in true Alan Partridge style, there had occurred some superficial damage to the packaging: hence no unboxing video.

I did little to make up for these pre-determined setbacks of timing and delivery. Because we are staying in a self-catered cabin, to portion the pudding for our family of four, it had to be bludgeoned in half with the ineffective finger of metal that always passes for a knife in such accommodations. The slaughter took place onto the scratchy, inexplicable glass chopping board that ubiquitously accompanies the aforementioned blunt weapon, under the near-blue LED spotlights of the otherwise excellent kitchen. I have a thing about food and lighting (and have recently been experimenting with desserts served on iPads).

Our kind benefactor had also supplied us with some Bird’s instant custard powder, which wouldn’t be my go-to sauce for a Christmas pudding. Nevertheless, we followed the implied serving suggestion. All four Morrisons were very positive about the pudding’s flavour, texture and aroma. It is a particularly moist example of the genre - thanks perhaps to the ironically clearly signposted “secret orange” occupying maybe 20% of the overall volume.

The best recipes result in food that tastes greater than the “sum” of the ingredients. So all of us felt, despite uncertainty, that eating the orange was the right thing to do. And our curiosity was rewarded. Overall, an excellent and very gratefully received gourmet gift.

Tags: food, recommendation