Beetroot is a dime a dozen in Poland. I have a soft spot for it since it is something of an under dog veggie in this country. It’s cheap, humble grub which you don’t present to big wigs. And if you really want to insult someone, you call them a burak (beetroot), the byword for uncouth.
Anyway, always on a lookout for new ways to use beetroot, David Lebovitz’s Moist Chocolate Beet-Cake post caught my attention pronto. In the prelude to the recipe, he put forward that a good yarn can inspire you test out a recipe (in DL’s words: “The most interesting dishes, the ones that make me want to pull out my mixing bowls, have a story behind them or offer a glimpse into another culture.”) As I was about to add the root veg to my shopping list, I reached the part where DL disclosed that this particular recipe was adapted from Nigel Slater.
That. Stopped. Me. Cold. (Pardon me, I’ve always wanted to test out the visual effects of inserting a dot after every word in a sentence.)
Just as a warm, sincere story inspires you to hit the kitchen, a stinky tale can put you off a recipe. Or the writer. Nigel Slater’s Toast, which I failed to finish, did that to me. I didn’t want to know about his incontinent aunt but I carried on reading. However, when he betrayed his father’s privacy, I dumped the book. Slater is already an established writer. Did he have to stoop to shock tactics just to churn out an extra paragraph? But it looks like I’m in the minority. Toast is now a movie. And Slater was recently in Poland to promote the film.
I still don’t know if I’ll make this chocolate-beet cake. I’ll first need to shake the image of Slater off the recipe.
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