What is your favourite food? Your absolute favourite. The one you’d have request for your last meal. The food you’d choose if, as a result of some unlikely and disastrous gastric surgery your Doctor said you had to eat for the rest of your life? When push doesn’t so much come to shove as jizz in its face? When someone is indeed holding you down, with a gun to your head and screaming ‘tell me your favourite… just fucking tell me!’ You know - that kind of favourite food?
My favourite food is unquestionably sandwiches. I love sandwiches. I love cold sandwiches, bread sandwiches, sandwiches in rolls, toasted sandwiches, open sandwiches, pre-packaged sandwiches, crusts on, crusts off, white, brown, wholemeal, multigrain, sough dough, Turkish, club and baguette. I love picnic sandwiches, 24-hour garage sandwiches, buffet sandwiches and even limp working lunch sarnies with repetitive fillings and a dearth of pescatarian options. In France I was mocked daily for being an English ignoramus who cut his mopping up bread in half and filled it with fancy fare from my plate. I didn’t care. I love sandwiches.
As a sandwich lover, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is some kind of heaven for random food groups lovingly served up between two pieces of bread-related product. Whilst it’s hard to argue with the iconic Gregg’s Cheese and Onion Pastie as the north east food of choice, they are sadly only available at Gregg’s and so based on availability alone, the sandwich reigns supreme.
Before Prêt-a-Manger came along and baguette-ified everything, sandwiches in Newcastle were generally served in Stotties – flat, round bread buns unlike any other bread bun on Earth. Their size and shape make them highly conducive to stuffing with huge amounts of filling with minimum spillage. Amongst my pre-vegetarian Stottie favourites were chicken and sweetcorn; ham and pease pudding; chips and chilli sauce; tuna salad and egg and bacon rolls.
However, there is one sandwich filling that stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s cheesy, it’s tangy, it’s crunchy, it’s very orange. It is Cheese Savoury and this is how you make it…
You Will Need:
- 250g of mature cheddar cheese
- A red onion
- 1 medium sized carrot
- Ranch dressing or Creamy Mayonnaise
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 box of tissues
- 1 pair of googly stick on eyes (optional)
Step 1: Grate cheese into a bowl. All of it. Use a proper grater - one that you can lose skin on; you need your cheese chunky.
Step 2: Grate the onion. Use tissues as required until eyesight returns. (Mint Custard endorses the 'Limited Edition' Wall-E tissues, still available from a well known purveyor of paper hankies who clearly overestimated how popular the movie would be amongst tissue users). Chuck grated onion in the bowl with cheese.
Step 3: Grate carrot. To make this more entertaining I applied googly eyes to the carrot. Whilst grating I made noises like Robert Shaw as he slid down the deck into the mouth of Jaws. This is optional. Place grated carrot in bowl. This is not optional.
Step 5: season your cheese, carrot and onion with salt and pepper. I'd go less salt than pepper.
Step 7: I know what you're thinking; he ate it already and then did a sick. Not so. Mix the contents of the bowl and you too will have a fresh batch of tasty luminous orange vomit-impersonating cheese savoury. Yum!
Step 8: the Serving Suggestion. For nostalgia's sake I have tried to replicate the joys of a Gregg's Cheese Savoury Salad sandwich. Sadly we have no Stotties in Melbourne so naturally I have resorted to cheap innuendo and plumped for a lovely pair of baps.
So there you have it - tangy, tasty Cheese Savoury. Stick it in the fridge and it should stand you in good stead for a few days. The 250g worth of cheese I pimped lasted all week, including another bap, two toasties (with fresh tomato) and a veggie burger. Fromagic.
Look for other tasty English Cooking recipes elsewhere on Mint Custard.