Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/19/spag_bol/

Average Brit scoffs 2,960 spag bols

Lifetime tally of UK 'staple'

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 19th March 2007 13:31 GMT

The average Brit will work his or her way through 2,960 portions of spaghetti bolognese in a lifetime - "the equivalent of a plateful every day for more than eight years", as the Evening Standard puts it.

A study by the makers of Loyd Grossman Sauces also revealed that we'll scoff our way through 2,264 doses of sausage and mash, 2,089 hauls of fish and chips, 1,567 platters of chilli con carne and 871 hits of chicken tikka masala.

Fair enough, you might say, but the study shows that so lacking are we in culinary inspiration that the average family "survived on just four staple dishes" and six million households subsist on spag bol "twice a week or more". It apparently gets worse the older you get, too, with those in their forties and fifties "most likely to be creatures of habit", as opposed to go-ahead 25 to 34-year-olds who show most va-va-voom in the kitchen.

TV chef Grossman blamed Brits' "hectic lifestyles" for the lamentable monotony of our diets. He explained: "Despite the recent explosion in the number of food shows on TV, it seems that a combination of time pressure and fear of failure is limiting our culinary repertoire, particularly on weekdays."

Grossman advised: "The best way to start expanding one's culinary repertoire is to add new or different ingredients to familiar dishes. For example, if you're going to cook a chicken breast, wrap it in pancetta and add rosemary for extra flavour. It's a simple way to give the dish a distinctive twist."

The effects of Grossman's counsel were immediately evident at Vulture Central. One hack is as I write dousing his traditional lunchtime doner kebab and chips in Loyd Grossman sea cucumber and jojoba essence exotic Thai stir-fry sauce. "Yeah, it gives it a distictive twist," he reports. "Wanna bite?" ®