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National Curry Week

It's a big week for curry

This is the 5pm Takeaway blog so it may not be a surprise to learn that we don’t think anyone should ever need an excuse to order a curry.

In fact, as far as we are concerned, you’d better have a pretty good excuse not to order a curry whenever the munchies strike.

Poppadom towers

Just in case you do need a little bit of persuasion to start browsing for a bhuna, National Curry Week starts today.

All around the country, curry lovers and Indian restaurants are getting together to raise money for charity by building poppadom towers and speed-eating poppadoms.

There is even a curry poem competition. Last year’s winner opened with the following lines:

‘Curry, you’re close to my heart!

Well, let’s hope you’re not too close to my heart

But you know what I mean, you play a special part.’

Have you ever read anything so beautiful?

Eat curry every night

We intend to celebrate the week by eating curry every night of the week. Although we do reserve the right to be unfaithful with a pizza should the mood strike us.

Apparently, Indian food is packed with health-promoting ingredients so we expect to be in tip top physical form after our curry marathon.

It is said that turmeric can help reduce inflammation of the joints while curcumin may help prevent Alzheimer’s.

Cinnamon has been found to reduce triglycerides, bad cholesterol, and sugar in the blood, thus helping those with high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.

Healthy curry

We make no claims for the health-giving properties of curry but we do wish that someone would come up with a beer that helped you lose weight.

That way, there would be no need to nip down the gym. A couple of pints and a quick chicken Madras would be all a man needed to stay healthy into old age and beyond.



News from the far fringes of fast food

Waiter, there is a beard in my soup. Pic from Incredibeard

Being of the beardy persuasion ourselves, the 5pm Takeaway blog felt very jealous when we learned of Mr Incredibeard.

Not only can the San Franciscan use his beard to eat noodles from, he can also sculpt it into a fast food holder.

The 5pm Takeway blog beard is a poor specimen and has never managed to hold more than a few crumbs of cheese so we are rather in awe of Mr Incredibeard’s efforts.

More eco-friendly than bagging your takeaway order. Pic from Incredibeard

Man Vs Food: man wins

The 5pm Takeaway blog is always happy to hear good news from its heroes so we were well chuffed to learn via Foodbeast that Adam Richman of Man Vs Food fame has lost a whopping 60lbs.

Mr Richman filmed his last episode of the food challenge show earlier this year. We are not quite sure how it happened but apparently the weight just fell off once he stopped eating burgers weighing 6lbs.

The body sure works in mysterious ways.

Shhh! People eating!

Finally, the 5pm Takeaway blog was tickled to learn of the silent dinners held at Eat restaurant in Brooklyn.

The idea is that guests don’t talk to anyone else and mobile phones are banned. The restaurant had its first silent dinner earlier this month and it sold out.

Apparently, the owner got the idea after staying in a Buddhist monastery where meals were taken in silence.

The 5pm Takeaway blog has a similar experience at home every night that Downton Abbey is on. We all sit there watching in silence while scoffing a takeaway curry. The first person to speak has to go and do a tea run.



Try before you die

Fish 'n' chips: deserve to be eaten much more than once in a lifetime.

Kitchen appliance people Kenwood have come up with a Food Lovers Bucket List. It consists of 50 grub-related experiences to try before you die.

The 5pm Takeaway blog has managed seventeen out of 50 which seems rather poor.

The bucket list has been compiled by top scran monsters such as the TV chef Simon Rimmer, critic Giles Coren and writer William Sitwell.

Sushi in Tokyo

The list is a colourful one which veers between the exotic – eat sushi at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market – and the everyday – bake a chocolate cake with your kids.

Some of the suggestions will seem to be more or less exotic depending on where you live. Number 49 is to toast a haggis with whisky.

Fairly commonplace in Scotland but less so elsewhere.

Shipwreck

Number thirteen is catching and cooking a mackerel on a beach. The last time that this 5pm Takeaway blogger tried to catch a mackerel, it involved a Canadian canoe being dashed against rocks and a mad scramble to dry land. Put me off mackerel for a while.

Get your forage on

Catching your own fish is not the only Ray Mears-style suggestion. The list also recommends going blackberry picking and foraging for wild strawberries.

We liked number two in the list: drink posh plonk with a takeaway. We’re not convinced by the idea of having red wine with a curry but we did like the suggestion that we should all drink fizz with fish and chips at least once.

Number 45 is eating fish ‘n’ chips. Combine it with a quick trip to the supermarket for a bottle of bubbles and bingo! Two down, only 48 to go.



Pizza topped with what?

The 5pm Takeaway blog is a bit confused when it comes to pizza toppings.

On the one hand, crowning a pizza with pineapple seems like an abomination and an affront to all that is good in the world.

On the other hand, we’re not purists about it. Unlike a Neapolitan pizza chef, our worst nightmare is not a pizza topped with anything more than sugo, mozzarella and basil leaves.

We’re cool about inventively topped pizza. For example, the new menu at Edinburgh’s Sygn bar features a pizza topped with pulled lamb, peas, sweet onions and Parmesan.

It sounds unconventional but we would sure like to scoff it.

In a recent Guardian article, Tony Naylor is amazed at the existence of doner kebab pizza but concedes that if you like pizza and like doner kebabs then putting the two together isn’t mankind’s greatest leap.

Freaky pizza

As ever, the 5pm Takeaway blog can rely on the Asian market to come up with the sort of pizza toppings which seem absolutely extraordinary to anyone brought up on Scottish chip shop pizza.

Step forward the shrimp and potato pizza with a cookie crust made by South Korea’s Mr Pizza. To be fair, the pizza crust seems to be savoury rather than sweet although it does come with a blueberry dipping sauce.

The Italian restaurants on 5pm Takeaway cover most bases. For example, Di Maggio’s Theatreland has a good range of Italian American pizza such as the Loaded Pepperoni.

Tikka pizza

At Rinaldo’s on Kingfauns Drive in Glasgow, they like to blend two great takeaway staples, Indian and pizza, to create the  tikka special pizza which is topped with chicken tikka.

On Argyle Street, Firebird also gets pretty freaky with its pizza toppings. Fancy a wild boar calzone?

Another strong contender in the curious but tempting topping stakes are the SoHo restaurants on Miller Street in Glasgow city centre and in Jordanhill.

Hoisin duck pizza

As well as a hoisin duck pizza, they look a little closer to home for inspiration and deliver a Flaming Scotsman topped with haggis, tomato sauce, mozzarella and spicy jalepeños.

All of the above Glasgow takeaways are available on 5pm Takeaway.



Hey, takeaway world! What’s happening?

The cronut, or rather the Greggsnut, has landed in the UK

The 5pm Takeaway is well aware that the Labour Party is battling to the death with the unions. We know that the USA and Russia are squaring up plus we might be heading for a housing crash.

But it’s OK. All of this pales into insignificance when measured against the ground-breaking news that Greggs has started selling their own version of the cronut.

A cross between a doughnut and a croissant, known by some as the cupcake killer, the cronut has taken America by storm.

Cronut-mania

Now available in Greggs, cronut-mania looks set to sweep the UK. Hailing the arrival of the Greggsnut, a spokesman said that ‘it was the most exciting launch since the sausage roll’.

The original cronut was made by New York baker Dominique Ansel and sells for £3.20. The Greggs version is a more affordable £1.

Unfortunately for Scottish cronutters (see what I did there?), it is only available in selected London shops until the end of September.

Ten Commandments of Italian Cooking

Over in Italy, the Academia Barilla, an Italian food academy, has launched the Ten Commandments of Italian Cooking.

Some of it, such as Caesar salad is not Italian, makes perfect sense. Other commandments are rather prissy. ‘Thou shalt not sip a cappuccino during your meal’ is one of the latter.

‘You can ask for a cappuccino at the end of a meal,’ sniffs the commandment, ‘just know that most Italians don’t.’ So there.

Frankly, here at the 5pm Takeaway blog, you can drink your cappuccino any time you like. Although we stand by the Academia’s assertion that the marriage of ketchup and pasta is plain wrong.



Lunch rut? The solution is here

The pizzaburger: what happens a daddy burger loves a mummy pizza very much

Regular readers of the 5pm Takeaway blog will be well aware that fast food companies are relentless in their quest to develop new and sometimes weird products with which to tempt customers.

Fry that soup

In the last few days, we have learned that KFC in Japan is to introduce deep-fried soup to their stores while in the US Boston’s: The Gourmet Pizza chain has started selling a burger in a pizza.

That’s right, the pizzaburger. It is a beef patty which is covered in tomato sauce and cheese before being baked in pizza dough.

At least some effort has gone into the pizzaburger. We have also found out that the American Burger King has introduced a new line called the French Fry Burger. As the name suggests, it’s a burger with fries in it.

Burger buttie?

Rumours that the British version will be called the Burger Buttie couldn’t be confirmed before we posted this.

The $64,000 question is ‘Do we want all this variety?’

A survey released by snack sellers the Wonderful Pistachio found that most people in the UK are very set in their ways, at least when it comes to lunch.

50% chance of a dull lunch

Apparently one in eight of us eats the same thing for lunch every day while 50% of think that our lunches are dull.

In descending order, the most popular lunches are a ham sandwich followed by a cheese and then a chicken sandwich. The humble egg sandwich and vegetable soup are in joint fourth place with tomato soup in fifth.

The 5pm Takeaway blog has seldom said no to a ham sarnie but eating one every day would be a drag.

Of course, if you wanted an exciting alternative to an al desko egg sandwich, then a 5pm Takeaway is just a click away.



Rubbing salt ‘n’ sauce in the wound

If World War III starts, what do you think the trigger might be? NATO bombing Syria? North Korea threatening to launch a nuke at the USA? China having fisticuffs with Russia?

Well, the 5pm Takeaway blog has another suggestion. Perhaps it will all boil down to what colour sauce you like to put on your chips.

The spark that started it

Edinburgh’s Evening News today dedicated 1100 words to a story about a man who became very upset when an Edinburgh chip shop tried to charge him 25p for a sachet of tomato ketchup.

The man, a long-term Edinburgh resident but originally from Glasgow, took exception to his local chippie charging for ketchup but not charging for salt ‘n’ sauce – a delicacy which is often held up as the preferred condiment of Edinburgh.

The Evening News reports the man as saying: ‘I couldn’t believe it. Every chip shop I know gives ketchup free of charge. A condiment is a condiment.

‘You can’t offer one customer brown sauce for nothing and then charge another for tomato sauce.

‘I said I thought it was racist that if you come from Edinburgh you can get brown sauce free but people from elsewhere, who like ketchup, have to pay. They just said it’s what they do.’

Condiment discrimination

The ketchup-loving customer seems to feel that he is the victim of some sort of discrimination.

It’s a typical bank holiday, silly season story and the Evening News have had some fun with it.

They have asked a couple of lawyers for their opinion of the case and the owner of the chippie is probably glad of all the free publicity.

If Glasgow’s Evening Times doesn’t come up with an equally daft story tomorrow then they will have missed a trick.

Salt ‘n’ sauce ban

It would not be a huge surprise to the 5pm Takeaway blog if Glasgow’s chippies announced a blanket ban on salt ‘n’ sauce as retaliation.

How long will it be before Glasgow is declared a salt ‘n’ sauce-free zone with roadblocks set up to stop the stuff from being smuggled into the city?

Ex-pat Edinburghers living in Glasgow will be forced to get their fix on the black market.

Storm in a chip paper

The entire thing is a storm in a chip paper but it does emphasise a more serious point: food defines who you are and offering a man salt ‘n’ sauce when he wants ketchup can be dangerous.



All aboard the pizza express

 

Pizza: tastes best on the 5.50 train from Port Talbot to Manchester

The 5pm Takeaway blog loves a daring delivery story. In the past, we have regaled you with tales of sushi delivered by private jets and pizza being delivered to the International Space Station.

The latest to float our boat is the story of the Pizza Hut branch which delivered to a customer on a train as it made a brief scheduled stop at Newport station.

First class service

A week or so ago, Lucie Mathieson was on route from Port Talbot in South Wales to Manchester. The journey takes over four hours and there was no buffet on the train. Unfortunately, Lucie had also forgotten to pack any grub.

Feeling peckish while on the train , she had the bright idea of phoning pizza joints to see if they would deliver to a station on route.

Ms Mathieson unsuccessfully tried to persuade two Newport pizza firms to deliver to her train before the manager at the Newport Pizza Hut accepted the challenge.

Fast track pizza

Despite the fact that there was only a 50 second window of opportunity to deliver the order, Joe, the Pizza Hut delivery guy, managed to meet with Ms Mathieson on the platform where he handed over her order of one deep pan pepperoni and one thin crust chicken and mushroom.

Here at the 5pm Takeaway blog, we don’t care if it turns out to be a manufactured PR stunt. Lucie, it was a smart idea. Joe, we salute your timing.

2-4-1 Glasgow pizza

Incidentally, if this story has got you thinking about pizza then check out our Big Deal with Glasgow’s NY Slice .

The full terms and conditions will be listed when the Big Deal goes live tomorrow (Thu 22nd August). Essentially, it’s a two for one offer on any large pizza from their New York pizza pie selection.

It’s a great deal but, before you ask, no, they won’t deliver to your train as it stops in Glasgow.



Would sir care to see the water menu?

Berg bottled water: only $20

The 5pm Takeaway blog enjoyed a chuckle at the latest menu monstrosity to come out of Los Angeles.

Going quite some way to explain why some people call the town La La Land, a Los Angeles restaurant today launched its 45 page water menu.

Coming in longer than many a restaurant’s wine list, the water menu at Ray’s and Stark Bar, part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, offers premium bottled waters from around the world.

Costing from $8 to $20 a bottle, the list has waters from Wales to Hawaii. The most expensive is the Canadian water Berg which is harvested from glaciers in western Greenland.

Water tasting notes

Each bottle has its own tasting notes and a sliding scale detailing how smooth, complex, sweet and salty it is. According to Martin Riese, the water sommelier at the restaurant, terroir affects water just as it does wine.

There is no denying that different bottled waters have different flavours just as the tap water in different British regions tastes different.

Whether or not anyone needs a choice of twenty different waters to drink with their meal is another matter.

Water for £50 a litre

While the 5pm Takeaway blog does like laughing at some of the more absurd dietary habits of our American cousins, in this case, the joke is on the Brits.

Claridge’s in London offered diners a water tasting menu way back in 2007. Originally, their water tasting list numbered some thirty different waters priced at up to £50 a litre.

Interestingly, since the financial crisis struck in 2007, Claridge’s has scaled back its watery ambitions. Its wine list now has a rather more manageable four choices.

 



The Neo-Burger

 

The 5pm Takeaway blog sometimes has to make hard editorial decisions about what to cover in each blog post.

Is the rising popularity of cro-nuts more important than the Chinese man who tried to smuggle his pet tortoise through airport security in hamburger?

Tricky, hmm?

This time around there was no such dilemma.

When it comes to takeaway food, there is only one story in town this week: the lab-grown burger.

Covered by just about every news source in the world, this was the week in which a food scientist at a Dutch university unveiled a beef burger which he had grown from stem cells in a laboratory.

Google burger

The project was partially bankrolled by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

The idea behind the ‘Google burger’ is that it uses less resources to make lab-grown meat than to rear livestock using more conventional methods.

Its backers hope that could help fight global food shortages.

Juicy texture

Two people who tried the finished burger reckoned that it tasted of meat but remarked that it wasn’t juicy enough. Apparently, the scientists have found it difficult to cultivate the fat cells which would give the burger more of a juicy texture.

Responses to the news have ranged from animal rights groups welcoming it with open arms to others wheeling out charges of Franken-foods.

Dr Post, the scientist behind the project, thinks that meat grown in labs will be on the supermarket shelves within the next two decades.

If the thought of eating such a thing disturbs you then you can probably quit worrying. The current cost of each lab-grown burger is around £250,000 so it’s not the sort of product which is likely to find itself in the food chain by accident.

Order takeaway online

Of course, you don’t need a quarter of a million quid to enjoy a mighty fine conventional burger -just click on  5pm Takeaway for easy online browsing and ordering from takeaways in your area.