Cherish your spuds, chefs

The spud, staple stodge of our diets for centuries, seems to have become about as fashionable as an evening spent listening to Val Doonican’s greatest hits.

At least it seems that way in high-end restaurants where it seldom now appears on menus.
Which is terrible shame because the humble potato is a versatile, nutritious, filling and tasty thing.
Yet instead we’re likely to encounter barley, quinoa of various hues, spelt, bulgur wheat, cous cous and all manner of other grains as the carb offering on our plates at posh restaurants.
Now let’s make one thing clear before I’m ostracised by polite Moseley society – I like these trendy grains and cook with them frequently.
They add interesting textures and flavours to plates and can be served in beautifully stylish ways.
But they’re becoming a dining cliche and, in truth, I long for a return of the spud.
Where, for instance, can you find Jersey royals, lathered in butter, on a current menu in a posh restaurant?
Or that slow-cooked crusty-topped delight potatoes boulangère?
I can’t remember the last time I encountered dauphinoise at a serious restaurant. Or even fondant potato. Or luxurious French-style potato puree.
And I’m aghast that during a period when Nordic nosh rules at our trendy restaurants, Sweden’s hasselback potatoes make no appearance.
Come on chefs – embrace these tuberous roots once more.
Treated with skill, they add substance and flavour.

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