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Put breakfast to the acid test

17 April, 2020 — By John Gulliver

A CERTAIN number of readers showed interest in my butter bean stew that I published last week as a form of “quarantine” cooking.

So, here goes – in true harlequin fashion – an insight into my daily breakfast which may not be for the less hardy.

It came about, in fact it crept up on me, because, I think, I spent a month or so once working on a commune near Beijing picking turnips.

The daily regime began at 5am when we all rose, attended to our ablutions in the fields, did a couple of hours of picking turnips and then retired for breakfast – a plate of pickled turnips.

I suppose I acquired a taste for vinegary food ever since so my breakfast comprises of a fresh tomato, finely sliced, with spring onions, two garlic cloves, perhaps a pickled cucumber, and all doused in olive oil and vinegar of the apple cider kind.

First thing in the morning it produces a pleasant shock to the system.

In other times I used to enjoy a Chinese spirit called Mao Tai, a little like vodka, and that is what my breakfast reminds me of.

Maybe I am not hankering after the commune but yearning for the vodka?

I could add that vinegar, which, apparently contains bacteria, has been part of the staple diet of Asian cultures for thousands of years, so it has been well tested by time.


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