Photo of
March 20, 2009

As everyone bunkers down against the economic chill, sales of childhood comfort food are booming. Bisto Gravy, Birds Eye Custard and Fray Bentos pies are among the heritage brands reported to be flying off the shelves. Arctic Rolls are back in the shops, Wispa bars are back in production and even Woolies’ pick ‘n’ mix is due to be resurrected as Click ‘n’ Mix by Shop Direct Group, the brand’s new owners. It seems that as we face up to an uncertain future, we are reassuring ourselves by scoffing the food we ate when we were children and life seemed a lot simpler.

Restaurants aren’t immune to the trend and there is a move away from exotic ingredients and fro frou cooking techniques towards more familiar, homely dishes. Recently installed in their new Merchant City address, Glasgow’s Arisaig are selling cod fish fingers with baked beans and chips while Blas have stovies made with lamb mince and pork sausage on the menu. At Capitol, the ultimate childhood tea of macaroni cheese is proving popular while at Sloan’s they are doing good business with a menu that includes Scotch pie, beans and chips.

In Edinburgh, sausage and mash are the retro rising stars at the Golf Tavern while steak, ale and mushroom pie stands out in the home comfort section of the Living Room’s menu.

It can only be a matter of time before disco makes a comeback. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to nip out and buy some Brut.