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If we go to Bangkok I like to find time to eat the steak and kidney pie at the Huntsman pub in the Landmark hotel. I don’t miss many things from the UK but this is one treat I don’t make for myself at home. Except it is not a steak and kidney pie, it is a steak, kidney and mushroom pie, the mushrooms taking up valuable space that could be otherwise filled by steak, or kidney.
I don’t like mushrooms and I don’t care who knows it. But if you mention that to anyone, friends or not, I get a look as if I just said I like to bugger porcupines. ‘Mushrooms', the baying crowd will chorus, 'but why, they don’t taste of anything? What's wrong with you?'
Now apart from their waste of space in the aforementioned pie it is possible to just remove them. I can choose to flick them at the bartender or make a small mushroom mountain on my plate. “Mai chawp het” I tell the waitress (I don’t like mushrooms) as she takes my fungal statement away, giving me a look as if I just exposed myself to her. I just don't like their taste (and they do taste of something - akin to the musty pocket of the smoking jacket of your pedophile uncle).
They are starting to infiltrate everywhere. On a flight from Shenzhen to Taipei all food options offered contained mushrooms; perhaps not so serious on a 2 hour flight. But they are ubiquitous: at breakfasts; scrambled egg (with mushrooms), at lunch (cod with mushroom risotto) and at dinner (soup of the day, cream of mushroom). And in these instances they are hellish to remove, requiring surgical facilities that are rare to find in chain hotels. Another flight on Singapore Air had all four meals featuring mushrooms and only one allowed me to more easily remove them and flick them into the laptop bag of the person in front of me; (to avoid the disdainful look of the stewardess).
Has that grubby urchin Jamie Oliver featured mushrooms in some
I am not trying to abolish mushrooms, I appreciate there are some people out there without my discriminating palate. Sometimes I cook with them (mushroom souffles with gruyere cheese for example), I just don't eat them. If I find them lurking in my tom yum soup I can pass them to Ploy. But when they become ever present it is time to cry out – to stop this fungal takeover. Time for my steak and kidney pie to be just that, sans puffball.
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