As the Great British Summer begins to murmur with patches of non-greyness, we grab the picnic blanket to ponder one of life’s big questions. Have supermarkets ruined the picnic with bland food made with low animal welfare standards and excessive amounts of packaging?
We like hummus so much in the UK that a shortage earlier this year nearly sent the nation into a tailspin. When supermarkets do have it on their shelves they have a lot to answer for when it comes to standards. The average shelf stuff packs a huge punch of salt and calories but lacks subtlety in taste. Make your own hummus with our recipe and you’ll never want to turn back to the shop variety.
Pre-cooked cocktail sausages
These porky little parcels hide a litany of sins and are high in saturated fat. Most supermarket brands have a 61% pork content made with meat from the EU where welfare standards can be much lower. The remainder is made up of flour and spices. Bypass the generic factory-farmed sausages for some amazing British charcuterie.
There’s only one thing worse than having to “fold” a supermarket baguette into a bag as your stagger to the park, and that is having to eat the thing. In France every bakery in the country turns out a baguette which is crunchy, chewy and delicious. Here the racket is processed white flour turned around in minimal time using commercial yeast and flour treating agents. These baguettes are often made in in mega bakeries before being frozen and cooked in store. Try sourdough made with just 3 ingredients (flour, water and salt) and 3 days’ worth of time.
A British picnic is not complete without a Scotch egg. But they’re rather big to eat in one sitting aren’t they? Supermarkets cottoned onto this fact and made the classic bites-sized and… horrific.. by spawning the “mini scotch egg” (at least they dare not call them such). With just 40% pork and 12% egg, it’s more a marvel of food engineering than anything. How do they get the squidgy eggy stuff inside the porky casing? We’re not thinking too hard about this. We prefer to go off piste from the Scotch original with this falafel duck Scotch egg recipe.
Supermarkets love the big wine brands. These mass-produced wines are often high in sulphites and even sugar which will hit you after an afternoon in the sun. Try some of our organic wines for an afternoon you’ll want to remember.
Plastic not fantastic
It may be convenient to pile supermarket food into the park, but the plastic aftermath can be mountainous. Many councils struggle to keep up with the litter problem created by picnickers on sunny weekends. Making and packing your own food is tastier, more fun and reduces the waste plastic from pre-packaged items. Dig out your underused picnic basket or put it all in an ice box. Go forward and picnic.
Read how to have a waste-free picnic on our blog post.