If you aren’t from the UK and aren’t familiar with Bonfire night then let me explain, because it all might sound pretty weird.
A brief history of bonfire night…
Back in 1605 a chap called Guy Fawkes planned to kill the King by blowing up the Houses of Parliament. It all came down to religion, Catholics vs Protestants. Guy Fawkes placed gunpowder under the houses of parliament, and he was unfortunately rumbled. In celebration, we plant a dummy of Fawkes on top of a bonfire and set it alight, along with fireworks. It’s all incredibly unusual, but also very British.
So now back to the point of this story. One of the other traditions that comes with bonfire night is toffee apples. Fruit mixed with other sugary items has always been popular. Who doesn’t love strawberries dipped in chocolate? I can even cope with banoffee. But I draw the line with toffee apples. This concoction was created in the early 1900s and has been eaten ever since on the 5th of November by children across the country. What is it exactly? An apple on a stick dipped in candied sugar and dried, brittle enough to break your teeth, and if that doesn’t do it then the inhumane amounts of sugar will surely rot them away. Kids don’t even enjoy the best part of it, the apple. They usually lick/pick off the sugar and throw the fruit away, it’s abominable.
It doesn’t just stop there though, now companies and supermarkets have taken it to another level and caked apples in all sorts of products, chocolate, marshmallows, popping candy and basically anything that will stick to sugar. But what’s the problem with this? Well there isn’t any problem if you love toffee apples and you don’t mind a few extra fillings. But why can’t we just appreciate the apple without having to drench it in processed products? My issue is that this method of cooking (if you can call it that) completely takes away everything an apple has to offer and that’s just such a shame.
Need a soup containing apple?
Find it in this Apple, Fennel and Beetroot soup recipe here!
For the love of the lovely apple
At this time of year in the UK, we’ve just been through a plentiful harvest of various types of apple. There are so many things you can do to accentuate the flavour, taste and texture of apples. Add them to a crumble, squeeze fresh apple juice or simply just eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away. Is there anything better than getting your teeth into a crisp, cold apple? I don’t think so. The beauty of them is that they come in so many different varieties, they don’t need to be tarnished in such a way that there is simply nothing left of the original flavour.
So here is my plea to you this November. Instead of reaching to the supermarket shelves for that sugar coated, low quality apple. Choose a fresh apple instead. Enjoy it on its own, or in a dish and enjoy the brilliant flavours and texture it has to offer. Just don’t dip it in sugar.