Travel and Food – Food and Journalism
Why write a blog when you are a staff newspaper writer, which is a job that gives you ample opportunity to sound-off? That’s what I’ve been asking myself ever since blogs came into this baffling new world – but I think I have an answer.
If you are going to prattle on about something everyday and non-specific – but at the same time all-embracing and universal – then you need some kind of special channel of communication. Travel and food both fit this description, although I am lucky enough to have my travel articles printed in the paper my big interest in food seems to escape my daily writing duties.
For some reason, I don’t get around to writing about food enough – even though it’s one of my favourite things to do. I could and should do more food related articles.
There are millions of people who think about food a great deal of the time – which, I guess, is why there are so many blogs dedicated to the subject. Most seem to be about eating out, or about new recipes, and so on…
But as a roving journalist for a daily newspaper I am in a rather privileged position – I get to meet all sorts of folk who, in some way or another, have a relationship with food.
As an ordinary member of the public you might be daunted, for example, to walk over to a busy trawlerman landing his catch – but being a journalist somehow gives you a licence to be nosey.
You can say: “Hi, I’m a journalist for the Western Morning News – what’s this weird fish in the corner of the box?”
I’ve never met a fisherman who has objected to this – indeed most seem to welcome the interest. In my own case I like to imagine they think: “This bloke is just doing his job – he’s paid to be interested in what other people do.”
It doesn’t matter that I’m not a specialist food editor. What matters to me as a general feature writer is that I am paid to rove about the place, and paid to ask questions about interesting things.
My own interest in food – and especially my own interest in the gleaning of fabulous food – allows me to sometimes be in strange out of the way places, taking time to explore my favourite subject.
There are times when the job will find me in some obscure harbour, where I meet the aforementioned trawlerman just home from the Atlantic. A t other times it will be way up on some remote moorland talking to sheep farmer about a rare indigenous breed. There are meetings with traditional butchers in old market towns, cider-makers in lonely parts of the Levels, seaweed pickers on empty rocky coasts…
Last week i spent a morning at a remote brewery in the Blackdown Hills and was made hugely welcome by the wonderful McCaig family
And then there are my own discoveries – a glade filled with chanterelles, a tree bent with cherries, a hedge groaning with blackberries…
Lastly there’s my own cooking. I’ve been making my own dishes since I was a teenager still at school – so that’s 40 years of messing about with cuts and joints, purees and fools, pots and pans and all manner of gizmos both useful and ripe for the next car boot sale.
In my blog I would like to share not only the many travels that I’m fortunate enough to enjoy, but some of the food and drink too. I hope there will be an interest…