crumpets: required food for hurling?
I like trying out food, especially if I’ve heard of them enough to wonder what the hell they might be. Case in point: the crumpet.
Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate some things British – Monty Python, jacket potatoes (baked potatoes with toppings) and beer top on the list. Rasher sandwiches (butter, bacon & tomato – YUM) are also good and so is having tea 10 times a day. After college I spent one summer as a camp counselor and made a great friend over there named Scottie, who I had the joy of visiting later that year. His mother introduced me to one of the best-named dishes ever – ‘toad in a hole.’ While she was a proudly awful cook, they all took great joy in telling me of another fine British food – ‘spotted dick.’
But I digress.
I’d heard of the term ‘tea & crumpets’ sometime over the years, and when I saw it in my local grocery store, I had to try it. It looked interesting while in the package and kinda reminded me a of holier variant of the English muffin. I hoped this would be a bit of an adventure for my palate and hurried home.
Once home, I opened the package and found out is was weird & spongy, like a cross between a pancake and jello. I really mean spongy too – I can’ think of anything I’ve ever eaten of that texture before. I’m pretty sure if I threw it at a wall it would bounce back at least 1-2 feet.
The bottom was smooth and the top was chock full of holes. Not bothering to read up on it, I stuck two into the toaster, one for me and one for M, who was also excited by this bizarre bit of leavened protoplasm. His was to be a cheese toasty and was thus laden with – surprise – cheese. When the toaster was done, aside from being hot they seemed almost the same as before, except the bottom was a tad stiffer. I loaded mine up with butter & jam as that seemed to be the most traditional British option and we sat down to experience the culinary sensation that is the crumpet.
I would say that it tasted about as appealing as the picture above looks. M lasted one bite before he said he was full and left the rest of his for me. It was like eating a sponge, except it looked like Freddie Krueger’s cheek. It didn’t seem like food created by a human at all. I couldn’t really detect that it was any sort of baked good. It looked like some sort of leper flesh (no doubt assisted by my fine choice of strawberry jam). Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll ever eat a crumpet again, unless I happen to be hanging with Prince Charles and want to be polite, just like the peeps on the ‘Lonely Planet’ shows who eat beef testicles with a smile. I really wanted to like it, but it was just unappealing.