Weekend on a Plate

The weekend digested: insect snacks arrive in supermarkets and Britain’s storage squeeze

The news, reviews and trends from November 17-18, including a taste test of all the supermarkets' Christmas ranges.

19 November 2018
NPDrestaurant openingsupermarkets

Food news

Storage squeeze

The UK may not have enough food warehousing space to cope with demand. Fears of a no-deal Brexit have retailers and manufacturers stockpiling wares, from frozen peas to butter, but storage is already running out, according to the Guardian.

 

Supermarket bites into insect eating

Sainsbury’s has become the first big UK retailer to stock insects on its shelves, reports the Guardian. From today, 250 stores across the country will sell roast crickets, with a bag of around 50 going for £1.50.

School lunches losing nutrition

Rising food costs have led some schools to abandon hot lunches as well as to reduce the nutrition of meals. Fresh fruit and veg prices haves risen 20% in the last year for one caterer, according to the Soil Association, resulting in schools switching out fresh fruit, salmon and yoghurts for custard puddings, biscuits and cheaper cuts of meat. “The association spoke to 20 catering companies and all reported rising costs and negative effects on quality,” writes the Times.

 

Black Friday blues

With Black Friday on the horizon, the Guardian takes a dim view of hopes that it will help the ailing high street, with shoppers in their 20s making most of their purchases online.

 

Colman’s to stay in Britain

Concerns that Colman’s would move production to continental Europe seem to have been allayed with the announcement that the mustard brand will build a new mustard mill in Norfolk, reports the Telegraph. The Unilever-owned business previously closed its Carrow Works site, leading to fears that British jobs would be lost.

High street winner

Crickhowell in Wales has been named the UK's best high street and provides a pattern for how to revitalise shopping in towns, writes the Guardian.

 

Food trends

All the Christmas ranges ranked

The Observer asks Monica Galetti, Zoe Adjonyoh and Claire Ptak to dissect the supermarket Christmas ranges, from mince pies to cheeses to chocolates. Asda’s mature cheddar and winter chutney crisps, Waitrose’s rose and lemon Turkish delight, Fortnum’s Christmas cake and The Collection mince pies from M&S all rank highly, while Aldi’s Specially Selected chocolate bauble cake and the Heston from Waitrose chocolate and sour cherry crumble mince pies both get a thumbs down.

Food interviews

Jason Atherton, chef

The man behind Pollen Street Social reveals his love for KitchenAid appliances and the £70,000 Marrone stove that is the centrepiece of his kitchen to the Sunday Times.

 

Food reviews

Wok Inn Seaside Noodle Bar, Blackpool FY1 1RA

Describing itself as “a cross between a Budapest ruin bar and a Penang hawker centre,” Jay Rayner devours Cantonese spare ribs and pork gyoza alongside more unusual eats like the salt and chilli duck tongues. The menu “wanders Asia, like a backpacker on the run,” journeying from Malaysian beef rendang to Thai massaman curry.

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