Monday, 18 June 2007

Tales from the Green Cup: Glasto food and drink

What to eat at Glastonbury?
You can take your own food and there are even stalls selling perishable staples (bread, milk etc). But if you not on a budget a part from brewing a morning cuppa you may want to buy your snap. Here are some musings on what’s good and what’s not.

My first falafel:
Back in the day (isn’t that terrible phrase, what does in mean, you hear 19 year olds saying it , what 3 years ago when you were sixteen it alludes to a mythical past presumably when they were 1920’s gin runners or a drummer with the Four Tops, “back in the day” my word what nonsense) Sorry I’ll start again.

I had my first Falafel at Glasto 1989, that sort of food was that prevalent then, and the food area at the festival was about 3rd of the size it is now. The stalls still at the festival and I would try to tell you where it is but I get confused. It sold falafel and coffee with whiskey, veggie stuff.
Falafel are basically deep fried hummus, being that hummus is delish, deep frying it doubles your pleasure. Falafels are also pretend health food a sort of kebab that safe to eat. I do love the fact you often get hummus on falafels so you’ve got fried hummus with hummus on top, it’s like having chips with dollop of mash on the top.

Here’s a plea to falafel venders on the correct way to pack a pita!
Toast pita and split
Smear of sauce in side pita
Small bed of salad
Add falafel the more the merrier
Layer sauce/and salad on top.

Usually the falafel go on top and what happens one squeeze and brer falafel does a perfect triple salko into the mud cue grumpy fat bloke in stupid hat and British Sea Power t-shirt.

Welsh Oggie Company
Oggie are Cambrian pasties. The origin of your pasties is lost in midst of time, too annoy those silly Cornish Nationalist I believe they were invented in Devon. Oh and I like with peas and carrot too!
Anyway the oggies are huge they sell them cut in half for lightweights. Think of them as you one stop all day meal delish.

Pies of Peace
There has been an explosion of pasty and pies shops at Glasto, I think there’s even a Gregg’s (hurrah!) you can get Ginster’s (hard G or soft?) and similar and there also foody pie companies on the way to the main stage. I am conflicted on aspirational pies, partly because I shouldn’t really eat anymore ever again but also I’m not sure they know how to make normal proper pies before striking out with their fancy Danisms. They are bit like those cheeses you see with apricot and blue berries on the side. It’s always chorizo and goats cheese or rabbit mayo and mango chutney. Basically I think the balti pie was far enough can we perhaps leave the experiments to the veggies, that is unless someone wants to put black pudding in a pie more which later.

Garlic Baguette (mushroom ?) Company all day breakfast baguette.
A thing of beauty is pleasure for ever (well tea time). Basically this is a Full English in half a French stick with and here’s the killer USP beans over the top. Like mangoes it probably best eaten in shower but with care and the use of shirt sleeve one can enjoy Britain’s true world beating dish, which not is only tasty but will fill you up for the rest of the day.

The Best festival food I ever had!
Well, without getting too poncy it was a black pudding sandwich at a Pixies concert in Madrid. It was simple, a big fresh hot black pudding (morcilla) on good bread. The pudding was so juicy I don’t think it had any sauce delish! English pudding just as good so how about a pudding stall maybe from Bury or Barnsley where else!

What not to eat?

Does anyone really like those noodles they sell at festivals, the one that come in chip trays, the noodles are the chow mein flat style ones, smeared with Soya sauce and possibly some dilute black bean gunk. Mixed in there will be 2 bits of onion, a mushroom and possible a bit of green pepper. Perched precariously on the top (see falafel rage) will be a tempura either a “veggy” or “prawn” usually with some synthetic chilly jam sauce on the top. We’ve all seen Katherine Tates views on veggy tempura and these are just that badly” battered veg” usually a damp bit of carrot maybe some limp broccoli. The prawn won’t be fresh from some Cornish fishing smack, so I tend avoid them. So not the best example of Chinese street food. They do have long queues though so what do I know.

Sea food: I love a bit of fish, one of the best meals I ever had was a plate of squid in Spanish fish market café, only the other week we pulled fresh codling from the North sea and last night I had a brace of undyed kippers for me tea. But I wouldn’t have seafood at Glastonbury (not on the first day anyway). I’m sure the sellers are perfectly fine people it’s just not worth the risk of a dodgy cockle. Save the fruits of seas for another time, you are in cow field a few miles from Cheddar gorge that sounds like the right place for a well done cheese burger doesn’t it.

Generic burger vans: You shouldn’t but the smell of the onions drags you in. The bacon butties aren’t too bad. They also specialise in selling 3 damp chips in a pointy cone (sorry for the redundant adjective there) for £3.50. The price for burger has gone up to close to price of high street burger joints. If you can fight the smell of onion or the waft of donuts you’ll find loads of nicer things.

What to drink at the Glastonbury.
I’m not the sort of socialist who equates descent coffee or tea with capitalism. A decent mug in morning is the only way forward. There’s loads of coffee stalls all over the site.

I was reading about a Californian festival the other day and apparently in a similar way to football grounds you can’t drink in view of the bands! So let’s get this right several thousand people have stand listening to The Tedious Tepid Silly Peppers sober! What total nonsense partly when you think how smashed most rock starts are or have been for the crowd to a sober as Methodist funeral is madness

Thankfully this being England half the flooding at Glasto is from people spilt pints.
The bars are all over the sites and run by volunteers so be nice to bar staff.
Apart from the one near the acoustic stage they tend to be dominated by

Budbloodyweiser. Deep breath,.
Why Budweiser USA are scum.
Firtsly bud isn’t very nice it’s bland, anaemic rice wine not beer (yep they don’t push it that much but basically bud is a very runny fermented risotto).
From their inception they have stolen other peoples brand names and beer styles and then used their wealth and lawyers to see off any complaints (for the full skinny on scum bud why not get a copy “Three sheets to the wind” by Britain’s leading beer writer, if you bring your copy along to Glasto he may sign it for you (he’ll be the cheery type wearing a Spiritualise t shirt hanging on to an over excited Welsh women to the left of the sound desk at the other stage)

So what good beer do they sell? Usually a British bitter Wherry’s(?) which is alright but not great personally I often stick with Carlsberg, I quite like Danes.

Which brings us to the cider bus or don’t sip out of the green cup!

The West Country is famous for it’s scrumpy, which is responsible amongst other things for that bloke who shouts at the traffic as you drive through Glastonbury town Centre. Lacking the finesse of the finest French ciders scrumpy is characterful and strong, the stuff from the Cider bus and its Green cups is a singular pleasure in fact the beverage you should most weary of is their Perry (pear cider) it’s responsible for all the semi clad 6th formers rolling around in the mud wearing fairy wings. It’s a angel faced killer of drink lovely and palatable, sweet without the bitter aftertaste of your usual scrumpy (I’m sure the vendors would recommend savouring it) unfortunate it’s strong you’ve been in the sun it’s Saturday night, your in the zone and the next thing you know you arranging to form a salsa band with some scally you met on a straw bale. You have been warned.

As for other intoxicants all I would say is you’ll be waking up in tent, which even compared to a your average student flat isn’t the best place to recover from the effects of some cheap whiz so think on and let’s be safe out there


John said...

I like those noodles sorry.

You've forgotten the Real Ale bar by the acoustic stage at Glastonbury - six or more properly kept real ales; a real treat.

Also the Brothers Cider van - I'm not a cider connoiseur, but lots of people seem to prefer Brothers' 9% ABV "festival strength cider" to the Cider Bus's fare. It's brewed in Shepton Mallett.

BLTP said...

That's the wonder of Glastonbury, something for everyone, I did say they had long queues. Good tip on the booze front I think it's shame you can only get good real ale in acoustic area. Have a good time.

Clair said...

That's the first post I've read anywhere that's literally made me salivate. Mmmmmorcilla...

BLTP said...

It was a very good sandwich, I hear Bury market might the place to go in the UK for such dark delights.