Fish, Chips and the Nongery of Heston

The Spiritual Home of Fish and Chips.

I don’t think this would grate quite so much in my memories if I hadn’t been eating so many chips lately.

Part of this has been a new found appreciation of local chain Lord of the Fries. Turns out everything on their menu is either vegetarian or vegan, including their dangerously convincing soy nuggets. The other part is that for whatever reason, at this end of the scramble for rent scale, chips are omnipresent.


The Spiritual Home of Fish and Chips.

This is what Heston Blumenthal dubbed Brighton.

You know. Arguably the vegan capital of the UK.


I think what has always offended me most about Heston is that he always seems to think he’s a lot smarter than he is.

Like when he thought it was the height of humour to feed Germaine Greer ox testicles. I still remember the look on her face. Her smile was the sort of expression that is the last thing a prey animal sees. I’m no huge fan of Greer herself, but the guffaws of the clueless white guy spoke of a confidence that was utterly at odds with any sane response to the reality of the situation.

So naturally, such a man would dub Brighton the Spiritual Home of Fish and Chips. Because a place could have a rich and widely celebrated culture. And Heston will believe whole heartedly believe he has cut to the heart of it with something as inspired and revolutionary as an Oasis album.

It imbues my palm with a terrible sense of gravity in its quest for my face.

But I think that Heston, henceforth King of the Nongs, is really just a symptom of a wider trend.

We’re post scarcity, and it has interacted with our scarcity to conditioned brains and rather fusked everything up.

Every really enduring trend in traditional food has been born out of scarcity. Beans pretending to be meat in Mexico. Thailand’s fiery sources to transform low grade ingredients. Hell, Haggis is a lauded symbol of making the best of a really grim situation.

But now we have plenty of food. Its no cheaper to eat plant food than it is to eat piles of dead animal muscle, and even poorer folks manage that most days.

And our culinary culture is defined by a bunch of nongs pouring liquid nitrogen on perfectly good food. Or in the case of the King Nong himself, by making wild declarations about food that are blatantly out of step with reality.

And the part of the world that is not post scarcity watches on. After all, we let the Nongs on TV.