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Pub Grub Died Alongside Plain English

Last night had a pre-Christmas business review and in keeping with the festive season we adjourned from the office to the pub. Once we had put the commercial world to rights our attention turned to the menu. Firstly let me place the menu in context. Without revealing our precise location and opening ourselves up to the weird world of internet stalkers, we were in a country pub in a small Hampshire village. We were not dinning in a Michelin starred West End restaurant, we were not even in revelling in the smart bistros of upmarket Winchester. Think small village, small pub.

Imagine therefore my surprise when amongst the starters there is a culinary delight of seafood pastries in a sauce gribiche. Now I am not AA Gill nor do I aspire to be remotely like him or any of his pretentious, foodie chums. I have travelled widely and consequently have eaten my way through a fair few exotic menus – “exotic” by deed of their location. However, it was only until I extended my global food quest to the local pub that I chanced upon sauce gribiche. Had sauce gribiche been a long-lost, Olde Hampshire recipe then I would have accepted that it was rightly placed but it is not. The vague (and broadly incorrect) explanation from the waiter did not satisfy my curiosity so on my return home I looked up said sauce which according to the internet is:

Attributed to early Roman times, this sauce, was made as a condiment or dressing for salad greens, fish, poultry, and eggs. Very similar to tartare sauce, Gribiche is made with shallots, parsley, cornichons, capers, eggs, oil, vinegar, and seasonings. However, other ingredients are often added such as chives, other herbs and prepared mustard. A key difference between Sauce Gribiche and tartare sauce is that the oil, vinegar and seasonings are not emulsified (fully blended) into the Sauce Gribiche as they are with tartare sauce.

AA and his chums are tut, tutting at my gross ignorance at this point but my point is that when I go into a Hampshire pub I am not looking for Roman times, semi-emulsified sauces. The reality was that the sauce itself was broadly similar to coarsely chopped parsley sauce which I would have found a quite acceptable description.

In a similar vein, my daughter, recently moaned at me for being boring, or more accurately in a boring profession. All her friends’ fathers are doctors or farmers or policemen. Seemingly, providing digital hearing aids at competitive prices online is not quite on the same coolness scale. Why couldn’t I change what they were called? I humoured her and asked for suggestions to replace hearing aids, hearing or even HearingDirect? She had done her research as on Wikipedia hearing aids are referred to as electroacoustic devices. Could I work as an electroacoustic device provider for

No. I do not subscribe to re-labelling parsley sauce and I am proud that sells hearing aids, amplified phones and other useful accessories. My daughter, AA Gill and all those in favour of bamboozling others with ostentatious displays of their incredible worldly knowledge will have to put up with my plain English.

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Image By flickr/ leunix under CC license

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