About to slide into a Sunday night slumber, reclining in the bath I had been dreaming of since getting up this morning I turned to AA Gills food review in the Style Section of The Sunday Times.
The House of Bruar on the A9 was his destination and it seems he liked what he ate.I have no issue with that. What I do have issue with is the ignorant and blatant assassination of the Scots as a nation in terms of what we eat and how we eat it. This man left Scotland a long long time ago and that is where his reality lies. In the past.
I haven’t heard so many generalisations since I read the reviews for AA Gills first book ‘Sap Rising’ – in a nutshell ‘a load of shite’.
Insisting in swapping any real facts of the food us Scots buy, prepare and eat these days he makes the old cliched pops at the food.
‘Why Caledonian catering is not merely as bad as it is, but as bad as it can willfully manage, is a mystery. But still Scots eat more pitifully, poorly and suicidally than anybody else in the world who has a choice.’
AA Gill claims to be a Scot which presumably is why he speaks his own culinary Gaelic. Namely a language that died long ago, an extinct, if not endangered vocabulary of pies, and pasties, deep fried Mars Bars and fried eggs, and ‘those shrunken menopausal pies with their withered gum of pale pasty and the nameless, scatological gore of their dank fillings’. When was the last time he wrapped his Harley Street straightened and whitened teeth and overpink gums into a Scotch Pie? 1978? It is harder to find a pie packed with rubbery nodules these days than one that is moist, meaty, unctious whether it’s made of beef, lamb or venison. But that wouldn’t make such pithy copy.
AA Gill is a brilliant wordsmith but to dip into our culture and country so seldom and yet feel he is qualified to spew forth with any authority whatsoever is typical of his ego, the size of Peru.
So he deigned to pop into House Of Bruar no doubt on his way to some roaring open fired mansion in the country to congregate with Tweed wearing, marble mouthed, Southern dwellers catered by a professional chef to kill animals and cock a snook at the locals and Scotland in general. Out of your Ivory Tower Gill, away from your rarified life and into the real world I challenge you to lay down your prejudice and see Scotland the way it is not the way you remember it.
Whatever abuse Mr Gills gut suffered as a child has prevented him from opening his hooded eyes to the fact that Scotland, the Scotland of his nightmares and distant past is long dead, along with our record of having the highest rate of heart disease in the world.
Give me 48 hours I’ll change your mind.