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#3 Table Talk by Wednesday's Domaine


Three weeks in and we’re beginning to find our feet - this attempt to capture, share and rejoice in the curious quirks of our dinner table conversations has sparked all manner of debates, not least whether peanut butter and gherkins are ever an acceptable combination or if adding a spoonful of tomato ketchup to a fruity yogurt is a good idea…

At Wednesday’s Domaine, we believe in creating a world where friends and family can meet, eat and drink inclusively on any night of the week, so please do share this with your nearest and dearest and we’ll just pull up another seat at the table to make them feel welcome. Equally, you can always reach me directly by hitting reply to this email.

Store Cupboard Staples

Week one saw us cover the inimitable, the unparalleled TABASCO. Whilst undoubtedly one of the greatest Store Cupboard Staples in culinary history, it could be argued that its inclusion was somewhat unoriginal (eh?!).

Assuming that is the case, the question then becomes - which other items that live in my cupboard are simultaneously incredibly versatile and unbelievably useful? I’m going out on a limb here, but I think there is one standout contender and that is… wait for it… crispy fried onions.

If these don't already have a place in your home, sort that out ASAP
If these don't already have a place in your home, sort that out ASAP

I can already hear you guffawing and spitting your soup all over your laptop, but bear with me. If you’re someone who privately loves putting crisps in a sandwich but would never publicly admit to it, then a) shame on you for not celebrating that and b) crispy fried onions offer you a veneer of respectability and sophistication.

Rarely sold in packets of more than 250G, they are undoubtedly one of the most potent and versatile items in your armoury.

Sometimes spotted coating sushi rolls, they can turn the most standard of midweek salads into epicurean occasion, transform a humble sandwich into something worthy of Max Halley’s affections and even supplant your homemade croutons when next slurping down a warming bowl of soup.

Someone please tell me if you disagree, otherwise, I implore you to make full use of the mighty crispy fried onions.

Who Knew That Was The Story Behind...?!

Consistency is key, as the saying goes, and given our focus last week, it would be remiss to introduce this new segment with anything other than the history of the humble sandwich.

Supposedly first popularised by John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, in 1762 when a gambling problem and an unwillingness to leave the card table pushed him to request something that he could eat with his hands, sandwiches have existed in various guises for over two millennia.

"To toast, or not to toast, that is the question.""To toast, or not to toast, that is the question."

Whilst records suggest that Hillel the Elder, a Jerusalem-based rabbi, implored others to eat bitter herbs encased within matzo bread during Passover back around 100BC, it wasn’t until the 1920s and the advent of commercial bread slicing in Missouri that the dough really began to rise. Although sales were initially hampered by bakers’ uncertainty as to the public’s willingness to accept pre-sliced bread, we now consume over four billion sandwiches a year here in Blighty alone (almost 60 each every year!), with this bloke having eaten his fair share.
That’s sandwiches covered, so which foods do you think have a fascinating history? What should we explore next?

What We’re Listening To

For many, cooking marks the end of the working day and a transition into the evening. Music is central to the experience of unwinding and for those who enjoyed Umdali by Sibusile Xaba, Bongeziwe Mabandla’s album, Mangaliso, serves up similarly uplifting musical brilliance.

Make some space (and probably bring a spare shirt)Make some space (and probably bring a spare shirt)

For those looking to change gears with something a little different, this unbeatable Northern Soul playlist provides the ultimate midweek tonic, underscoring how much of the music made popular in the 90s / 00s owes its origins - lyrically, stylistically and through an immeasurable number of samples - to tunes first produced in the 60s.

Thanks for reading, see you next week for more.


PS. Don’t want to wait a whole week for our next edition? Check us out on Instagram (@wednesdaysdomaine) for your daily tipple.

More where that came from...