Valentine’s Day may be over, but love is still in the air at Fed Up & Drunk HQ…
Move over Brangelina – you’re nothing but a flash in the pan compared to these long-term lovebirds. You too, Speidi – you could learn a thing or two from these steadfast sweethearts. When it comes to the food world, there are some famous couples that will simply never split up. Romeo and Juliet, eat your heart out!
Fish & Chips
Perhaps Britain’s most famous food couple, these two have been paired together since the 1800s. The first ever British chip shop was at Oldham’s Tommyfield Market (die-hard fried food fanatics can even visit this spot today and Instagram pictures of themselves posing with the blue plaque should they so desire!) However, no one is overly sure when or where the fish and chip trades combined; the first recorded fish and chip shops were opened in both London and Mossley in the early 1860s. Whatever the source, Britain without a doubt owes the creator an eternal debt of gratitude for bringing us this beloved seaside staple.
Meat & (Two) Veg
Though admittedly technically a threesome (steady on) this is a relationship that just couldn’t be left out of the list. All innuendo aside, there’s no denying the love affair Brits have had with the classic meat and two veg. It has long been the stereotype for our run-of-the-mill evening meal, and the phrase ‘meat-and-two-veg man’ has over time become a common descriptor for the average Joe. There is even evidence that our ancient cousins the Neanderthals enjoyed a healthy serving of veggies with their reindeer meat!
Tea & Toast
For many of us, there is perhaps nothing more comforting than a steaming cup of tea and a slice of warm, buttery toast. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the invention of toast is credited to the English, with one visitor to our fair isles suggesting that the toasted bread was necessary to allow the butter to melt in our cold climate. Seems a somewhat roundabout solution to me, but we can’t argue with the delicious results! The union of tea and toast can be credited to the Duchess of Bedford in 1840; feeling a little peckish one afternoon, she requested that her servants bring her a pot of tea and some toast fingers, and thus the first notion of afternoon tea was born. Ladies who lunch, rejoice!
Strawberries & Cream
This refreshing twosome has long been associated with the Great British Summer. Traditionally only available in the hotter months, strawberries were a luxury treat and a customary snack around the tennis courts of Wimbledon – still continued today, of course. This romance actually dates back as far as the Tudor times; namely to Henry VIII’s regular visits to Hampton Court. After producing colossal feasts featuring anything up to 44 different varieties of meat, a daring chef suggested straight-up strawberries and cream for dessert to give the poor kitchen staff a well-earned rest. At that time, dairy was considered ‘peasant food’, so this was a risky move, but fortunately for the chef (and us!) this treat went down a storm with the hot-tempered king.
Spaghetti & Meatballs
A well-known pairing from overseas, although perhaps not from where you might expect! The origins of this favourite dish have been the topic of some controversy in recent times; while indisputably traditional Italian fare, it has been suggested that it was in fact created in America by early Italian immigrants to the country. Regardless of its origin, endless variations can be found worldwide (I hear Swedish meatballs and noodles make for an excellent combination). Or for the lazy, there is always the tried-and-tested canned Heinz route!
Of course, there are those among us who shun these delightful couplings, in favour of their own unorthodox combinations. I’ll never forget watching my brother as a young lad, as he enjoyed his somewhat disturbing favourite snack of bananas dipped in sand. We are seeing more and more new and unusual combinations appearing on the wider market, too – though personally I can’t quite get on board with the chilli and chocolate trend, and what is this chocolate Philadelphia thing all about?! But whatever your feelings on love and marriage, even the most cynical among us could not deny that when it comes to food, there are some matches truly made in heaven.