When I was a boy in the Fifties we had a lot of bread and dripping. We called it Bread and Scrape. On high days and holidays for a special treat we had dripping on toast. No, that’s a joke. I’m not going to be like the Yorkshiremen in that Monty Python sketch and say I lived in a cardboard box or a hole in the ground.
But we didn’t have central heating and our mum scraped the ice off the inside of the windows on cold winter’s mornings so we needed the fat to shiver ourselves warm. You ate a lot more fat then but didn’t put on weight. That’s why there are so many lardarses today; they eat the wrong kind of fat and sit in front of the telly all day in warm rooms.
I have never lost my love for dripping and always save it after a roast. You can still buy it at some butchers and along with the Bee Stings at Lily’s Pork Stores in Hillsborough but the best is made yourself. Turkey dripping on toast is my Boxing Day (and several days after) breakfast. This weekend the family came round and we had roast chicken. Whatever fats and juices didn’t go in the gravy went in the dripping pot.
I’ve just had some toast and dripping and analysed what I was eating and how it felt. I like to spread the dripping fat on first then cover it with bits of jelly, not pressed into the toast. Then it is liberally sprinkled with freshly ground pepper and sea salt. In the old days it was just cooking salt and ground pepper but my tastes have gone lah-de-dah since.
First comes the crunch of the warm toast against your teeth, followed by the squidginess of the jelly which brushes your gums before melting on your tongue. Now comes that wonderful mouthfeel of fat suffusing your tastebuds, the savouriness of salt and the spiciness of pepper. All this in a single mouthful of toast and dripping.
Isn’t food grand?