Thursday, November 17, 2005


Very few people know about my clandestine and rarely fulfilled decadent indulgence. This is not an indulgence that is little known for reasons of me being secretive about it, more that it is one that I tend to only indulge in the privacy of my own home, and so is not often brought into the public gaze. It is also closely affiliated with my home country and a luxury which I have not previously been able to pursue elsewhere. That is until now.

Because of this momentous event I have decided to go public, to come out and share with the world my sybaritic debauchery.

I am talking, of course, about pickled onions. Real pickled onions, not those small ones that people sometimes put in martinis. No - big fat ones dripping with vinegar and as acidic as the world's most sarcastic person. You bite into them with that satisfying crunch and let the sting of the vinegar and the brute force of the onion take the skin off your tongue. It is a beautiful and sensual moment.

But it's a rarely enjoyed moment, because for reasons only known to the rest of the world, the pickled onion has not travelled well, and like the digestive biscuit, appears on foreign shores only in odd, dusty little shops run by British expats who are sure that if they import enough tea bags they will make a tidy profit.

Well, for the first time, I have made some. And, I'm happy to report that they are everything I expected and more. Crisp like a February morning, sharp like a hypodermic, acid like a field of tripping people. And I suspect they will only get better with time. I had to leave them to fully infuse for six whole weeks after making them, and then I left them for one whole more week just because I was scared they would be no good and I'd be disppointed. But they are good. Damned good. The remaining jars I may keep as some kind of special occasion reward to myself, and see if they get even more potent. I am happy.

Now if I could just brew up a decent pint of Marston's Pedigree, the world would be a wonderful place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Andy, I never tried a pickle onion but you CAN get "digestive biscuits" at least here in Cluj.

Check around some of the smaller food stores as often they have a weird variety of "biscuits", including some of the more British variety.

Can't promise it's the BRAND you're used to at home, but it's pretty close.

Now I wish I could find me some peanut butter :)