Fat Lads Guide to Life Up North
Up North, or up Norf if you’re a Southerner.
Flat caps, Whippets, working down the pit, clog boots, mucky fat and onions for tea. You’ll be pleased to know we’ve moved on since then, up North. But here’s a bit more about some proper food, for the Southerners who are reading this.
What is Mucky Fat? Sounds horrible to say the least, but it’s just another name for dripping. Most of the time it’s beef dripping, but sometimes pork is used. I have to admit, as a kid the idea of eating this stuff made my stomach turn. First time I actually tried it properly, was a Sunday lunchtime in an Ex-Servicemans Club with my dad, I’d had a few pints and as I hadn’t eaten since the evening before I was peckish. Suddenly the bar staff appeared bringing out 3 big platters of what looked like open sandwiches. A few drinkers got up and helped themselves to the food, so I followed on.
What was on the trays was simple fayre of chunky bread, smeared with mucky fat, a salt seller and a dish with onions soaked in vinegar.The bloke in front of me picked up 2 big pieces of this bread, sprinkled the salt on and then added a spoonful of the raw onions to each piece. He then walked off back to where he was sitting and sat down to enjoy his food. ‘Sod this, I’m bloody hungry ’ I thought, so I dived in myself. Onto my plate, 2 pieces of the covered bread, then a shake of the salt pot and a big spoonful of onions. At least my dad would finish it off if I didn’t like it – waste not, want not etc, another Yorkshire tradition.
I sat down at the table, my dad had just been to the bar, so I had a fresh pint of Sam Smiths hand-pulled ale in front of me. If I took the first small bite and didn’t like it, at least I knew I had a full pint to wash away the taste. I did it, I took a small, delicate nibble off the edge of the bread, got the texture of the rough bread and the smooth dripping on the top. My other hand had my pint of ale at the ready, firmly clasped just in case……
Hey, it was okay, the taste wasn’t unpleasant at all. I took another bite, this one bigger and chewed on this one, savouring the mix of the Dripping and the onion. After I’d swallowed that, I cleansed my mouth with a swig of beer and tucked into the next mouthful of food.
Now don’t get me wrong, this stuff isn’t a healthy diet option, it’s not something you’d eat every day. If you are a little particular about what you eat, then this might not be the top of your list of foods to try. If you understand how dripping is made, you’ll see where the nickname Mucky Fat comes from, thanks to the colouring of the stuff in the dish when it’s made.
Another ever-popular nibble is black pudding. Now we’re not talking about the plastic stuff bought in the supermarket, this has to be proper stuff. Best places for this are the traditional butcher’s shops. Family run butchers who produce their own products always have the best black pudding, dripping, stand pies etc.
According to some health enthusiasts, black pudding can even be classed as a ‘superfood. To make it, the blood (usually from pigs) is mixed with fat and oatmeal, before being packed into the casing. It’s then boiled, fried or grilled for those following the health warnings on the packaging but if you’re real FLS then it’s eaten straight from the fridge with some cracked black pepper, Sarsons malt vinegar and then a couple of slices of bread and butter, a good Saturday night tea.
Right enough of this, all this food talk has made me peckish. best to get my flat cap on and take Whippet out for a walk.
Last update on 2022-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API