Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Guilty Pleasures No6 - Greggs the Bakery

People moan about the homogenisation of the high street and I’m often one of them. However I’m happy to make an exception for the Geordie bakery Greggs. After all I was weaned on their pastries.

Perhaps one day every other high street shop will sell low priced baked goods?

South Shields - Nobles Amusements also has a Greggs out back.....
 Perhaps one day all airports will provide the opportunity to pick up a pasty before check in?

Newcastle International Airport
Newcastle is a utopian paradise for lovers of the bargain baked-good. You can’t walk 200 metres in without stumbling across a branch of Greggs.

Greggs peddles junk food at stupidly cheap prices. However for some reason they don’t (yet) have the evil connotations of McDonalds or KFC. Perhaps it’s because they’re British and they mostly sell sandwiches instead of fried goods? In reality there’s very little difference between the Geordie Giant and their close relatives the American Fast Food Multinational. A Gregg’s chicken club baguette has 680 calories and 27 g of fat. In comparison the Big Mac has 490 calories and 24 g of fat and the KFC fillet burger has 460 calories and 18g of fat.

In spite of the obscenely calorific nature of some of Gregg’s food, people across the country still flock there for lunch on a daily basis.  Why? Is it the Geordie smile? Or is it down to the fact they’re cheap and tasty? There are very few lunch places where you can have a 3 course meal (in the loosest sense of the term) for around £2.50.

My dream guilty pleasure 3 course meal would be as follows:

Starter / Amouse Bouche / Appetiser – Sausage roll. Crisp pastry enrobes uniformly textured, well seasoned mechanically recovered meat. What’s not to like?

Main / Entree – Cheese Savoury Stottie – Cheese savoury is the holy grail of sandwich fillings. A heady combination of orange cheese, onion and carrot blended with the finest creamy mayonnaise and sharpest salad cream money can buy. Cheese savoury is perfect on the national bread of Geordieland – The Stottie. Stottie cake is a soft, dense, doughy bread with a slightly chewy exterior. I’ve never seen it outside the North East but if anyone in Greggs is reading this article I think they should roll it out as soon as possible to the rest of the UK. In fact there should be some form of retrospective compensation for people who have been denied stotties in their lives up until now. Until stotties travel south I’ll begrudgingly make do with a Cheese savoury sub.

Dessert – Caramel Custard Donut – An almost bread like donut unevenly filled with smooth vanilla custard. The caramel glaze finishes off this perfect of patisserie items. Krispy Kreme can retreat back to the USA as far as I’m concerned.

One day we’ll see branches of Greggs on the streets of Mumbai and Beijing and they’ll be featuring the stottie on the Great British Bakeoff. You read it here first...... 

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