Thursday, July 20, 2006

Beans and Bacon


We had lovely home-grown broadbeans for dinner tonight, with bacon naturally. And a jacket spud and garlic mushrooms...mmmmn food fit for an Englishman!

Why fit for an Englishman? Because G.K. Chesterton said so, "Unless you give him bacon, You mustn't give him beans."
Since you were unfamiliar with the quote, Zeb, this post is for you.

The Englishman
by G.K.Chesterton


St George he was for England,
And before he killed the dragon
He drank a pint of English ale
Out of an English flagon.
For though he fast right readily
In hair-shirt or in mail,
It isn't safe to give him cakes
Unless you give him ale.

St George he was for England,
And right gallantly set free
The lady left for dragon's meat
And tied up to a tree;
But since he stood for England
And knew what England means,
Unless you give him bacon
You mustn't give him beans.

St George he is for England,
And shall wear the shield he wore
When we go out in armour
With battle-cross before.
But though he is jolly company
And very pleased to dine,
It isn't safe to give him nuts
Unless you give him wine.

Cracking stuff, eh?

Following on from Finn's comment on this post, I suppose it's easy to think garlic un-English. Here's why, picture via Tommy English.


So I'm transferring this from the comments to the main post:

Shakespeare thought garlic so commonplace that he has Bottom say, "And, most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlick, for we are to utter sweet breath" (Midsummer Night's Dream, Act IV, Scene 2).

Going back further to the Middle Ages, Chaucer was at it too "Wel loved he garlek, oynons, and eek lekes, And for to drynken strong wyn reed as blood."(Prologue, The Canterbury Tales).

Mind you garlic's always been considered vulgar...perhaps that's it. The rest of the world thinks we're too posh for garlic...

10 Comments:

Blogger flyingfinn said...

Garlic mushrooms doesn't sound very english to me.

Fri Jul 21, 12:30:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger Gavin Corder said...

I dunno about that Finn, I'd say it was VERY English.

Shakespeare thought garlic so commonplace that he has Bottom say, "And, most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlick, for we are to utter sweet breath" (Midsummer Night's Dream, Act IV, Scene 2).

Going back further to the Middle Ages, Chaucer was at it too "Wel loved he garlek, oynons, and eek lekes, And for to drynken strong wyn reed as blood."(Prologue, The Canterbury Tales).

Fri Jul 21, 09:13:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger Merlin said...

Geoff and Will were undoubtedly familar with garlek but then so were the folks of India back in the 2nd Century who considered the plant to have aphrodisiac qualities.

Have they ever kissed a frenchman -oooola la

Fri Jul 21, 01:46:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Span Ows said...

Great poem...and nice picture, I'll post a picture of the bandeja de Paisa soon after my sojourn in Venezuela (2ยช patria) :-)

hmmmmgarlic...

hmmmmNOT garlic breath!...nothing a bit of parsley won't cure....it's not that they smell because they eat too much garlic, it's because they don't wash!

Sun Jul 23, 03:47:00 PM GMT+1  
Anonymous Sarnia said...

I love garlic and I love Chaucer.

How's the gout, Gavin?

Tue Jul 25, 04:19:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Gavin Corder said...

It's NOT GOUT! I was puffy, that's all.

Mutters: Bloody Channel Islanders!

Tue Jul 25, 04:39:00 PM GMT+1  
Anonymous Sarnia said...

Heh, heh, heh.

I'm not a real Channel Islander - just happen to live here. I'm a Sarf London girl really.

OK - how's the dropsy then.

Tue Jul 25, 06:57:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Six Years Late said...

MMMMM, beans and bacon. We had butternut squash and bacon salad last night with the first runner bean pickings.

Wed Jul 26, 01:07:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger kats said...

ello, ello

Sat Jul 29, 06:15:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Lightning said...

The bacon is great, but I hate galic, leave it to the French

Sun Jul 30, 12:59:00 PM GMT+1  

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