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Sunday 22 July 2012

Flannelled Fool – Market Economics Fail

Friday last brought one of those moments where someone made an observation they thought to be the height of wit and sophistication, but which turned out only to show them up for their ignorance and idiocy. To no surprise for anyone who looks in regularly on Zelo Street, this involved the flannelled fool Henry Cole, tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog.

I don't have to go shopping, cos I'm on telly!

As he worked himself up into a righteous froth over Poncegate, Cole grasped at any remark he could find to lash out at me, sneering “Tim Fenton shops at Aldi. Enough said”. This manifestation of snobbery only served to underline the thought that Cole has more of the folding stuff than he does common sense: the “discounters” of the supermarket world are frequented by more discerning folks then he imagines.

Enough said, but not about who he thinks

For an example, as it’s a food style known to most readers, let’s see how the Zelo Street curry is sourced (recipe and method can be seen HERE). Most of the ingredients come from Aldi: vegetable oil, yogurt, tomatoes, tomato puree, mushrooms, and the wholemeal pitta breads that make a quick to prepare and convenient meal accompaniment all come from there.

The jar of Patak’s curry paste comes from Asda. Other ingredients come from a specialist supermarket: chilli powder, chick peas (bought dried and then soaked and boiled) as well as the savoury pickles served with the end product all come from the Worldwide supermarket in Rusholme (that’s in south Manchester). Some of the cooking implements come from the Wing Fat in Manchester’s Chinatown.

Then comes the balance of the vegetable mix: onions and potatoes from Crewe Market. Why this combination of suppliers? Well, part of this is that certain ingredients are only available from certain sources, but the most part is weighing the cost and quality of offerings – the informed choice that prevails in the ideal marketplace envisaged by free marketeers everywhere.

Those would be the kinds of folks with whom Master Cole mingles on a daily basis: the ASI, IEA, CPS, TPA, PolicyExchange and the rest. Yes, the free market economics that the flannelled fool supports unquestioningly he also looks down on when someone of inconvenient view embraces them. Being a person of principle is clearly a flexible concept for him.

Or what Henry Cole is really trying to say is that, while in wholehearted support of the idea behind market economics, in reality he is an overmonied brand snob who would rather walk past Aldi and hold his nose doing so, only to then walk into M&S Simply Food or Waitrose and spray his money up the wall just to be able to show he’s one of the Yah Boo Boys set.

Thus the path of true righteous hypocrisy. Another fine mess, once more.


Anonymous said...

Tsk. You should make your curry paste from scratch. Here's how:

Take a mixture of the following: Onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chilli.

I suggest: 2 - shallots, four garlic cloves, 2 cm^3 peeled ginger root, 1 - 2 birds eye chillis, de-seeded (use fewer if seeds in), 2 - 3 soft hearts of lemongrass. Put in a blender, add a splash of water and whiz until a fine paste.

The lemon grass adds sourness and is good with curries that contain coconut, but leave out the lemongrass for curries that will have a tomato and onion based sauce.

Now, you'll spices. Sometimes people put the spices in with the wet paste; other times, they add them after the paste has fried. I tend to make the powders from scratch because a. it's cheaper and b. you make small amounts so it's always fresh. I'm going to assume that you have already powdered spices for the following mixes:

For a tomato based sauce: two tsps of cumin, one/two tspns of coriander, two tspns of garam masala. 1 tsp tumeric.And add a teaspoon of black mustard seed and / or fenugreek (methi). Possibly also think about cardomom and / or cinammon stick.

For a coconut based sauce, one tsp cumin, two tspns coriander, two tspns achar if you can get it), two tspns garam masala. Maybe some mustard seed. Maybe a cinnamon stick. You choose.

To cook: heat some corn or peanut oil, add the wet paste, stir, then add the dry spices and continue to fry (two - three minutes) until the oil starts coming out. Then add your protein or vegetable lumps, then your liquid and let it all simmer for a bit. This should be even cheaper. You can probably pick up most of the spices from Aldi. You certainly can't find them in M&S cheaply enough in the quantities you need.

Bigyeti said...

Aldi & Lidl sell quality stuff, it's only got a bad press because of commentary from people who go by the mantra "you get for what you pay for". Can I shamelessly plug my Lidl/Aldi/Netto reviews blog Scandinavian For Value?

Celia said...

Aldi owns and Mr. Cole knows nothing about anything.

Anonymous said...

At last Harry Enfield's charachter Loadsamoney has a name - Harry Cole. And in other news, Aldi's fresh bread, rolls, Dansh and doughnuts rock, way better than the big 4s.

Tim Fenton said...

I believe the tear and share Brioche is very good too, but I manage to avoid the temptation of that part of my local Aldi.

The Italian antipasti, on the other hand, are impossible to avoid. Pity they stopped doing the Funghi variant.

Shakey said...

Germans do quality shocker .Harry Cole is a fool