FEATURE: DJ Format & Abdominal – Bunch Of Fives | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Ahead of their show at Cluny on Saturday 6th May, we caught up with DJ Format and abdominal to find out five differences between British and Canadian Food.

Best food option when you’re drunk.
Abdominal:  Gotta go with poutine for this one (also probably Canada’s most famous food, with maple syrup a close second). For those unfamiliar, poutine is comprised of fries (or chips as you Brits say), cheese curds, and gravy. The idea is, the hot gravy melts the curds, thus creating a gooey, cheesy, greasy mess (poutine literally means “mess” in Québécois French), perfect for closing out a booze-soaked evening. Of course these days, the world being what it is, there are all sorts of wacky variations available for the kids, such as pulled pork poutine, butter chicken poutine, etc., but in my grumpy old dinosaur opinion you gotta keep it traditional and just stick with the OG three ingredient version (why mess with perfection?).

DJ Format:  Well, I’m one of those rare Brits who doesn’t eat kababs (whether drunk or sober), so my vote would have just gone to good old British chips. But having experienced several types of poutine at a Montreal food festival last year, I know that our regular chips can’t compete with that…so I’ll admit defeat. The weirdest drunken food I’ve ever experienced was in Macedonia. My man DJ Goce took me way out of town after a late night gig to a gypsy spot where they served ‘bread in bread’. It was basically a big bread roll fried and placed inside another bread roll, then that was fried again, and then placed inside another bread roll. So it was 3 lots of bread roll all fried up together/inside each other. It probably sounds terrible but it was absolutely incredible! I still have a picture of it on my phone which I usually have to show to people to better explain the end result.
Best crisp/chip flavour
Abs: The UK is world renowned for its crisps; both the overall quality and the unique flavours available. And as a frequent visitor to the UK, I have to concede that this reputation is indeed well-deserved. However, the one crisp (or chip as we call them here in Canuckland) flavour that Canada has contributed to the world just so happens to be one of the greatest of all time: KETCHUP! Now, for those who have tragically not yet had the pleasure of sampling the complex culinary marvel that is the ketchup chip, all I can say is, don’t knock it ’til you try it!
Format: Pickled Onion Monster Munch? Bacon Wheat Crunchies? Scampi Fries? Smith’s Square Crisps? I don’t even like onions, but there’s something about those picked onion Monster Munch that just can’t be beaten. My dad worked as a salesman/delivery driver for a crisp company for 30+ years so I grew up surrounded by crisps! He originally started out working for Murphy’s Crisps in the late ’70s, but the company kept getting bought out by bigger companies every few years. At one point in the ’80s it was Smith’s Crisps and ended up as Walkers in the ’90s, so believe me when I say I’ve tried pretty much every crisp flavour out there. I don’t care if Canada has finally offered up one decent crisp flavour, the UK is taking this one hands down!
Coffee or Tea?
Format: I don’t drink coffee and I find it baffling how some people can’t function without it. Hanging out in over-priced coffee shops has now become a way of life and it’s totally lost on me as a tea drinker. Coffee might be winning the day-to-day battle against tea but what did Abdominal bring back to Canada as gifts for his family after our last tour?…good old British tea.
Abs:  Being that Canada is a former British colony, vestiges of British culture do still abound, but in the category of hot, caffeinated bevvies, I’d have to say overall we Canucks have long since crossed over to the coffee-drinking camp. One only has to look at the sheer number of Tim Hortons franchises (possibly our most revered institution) that permeate this land, to know that Canada is truly a nation of java-drinkers! And in response to my colleague DJ Format’s final point, why did I bring back gifts of tea after our last UK tour?…no good coffee available.
List all the elements of a ‘traditional breakfast’.
Format: Toast, baked beans, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, (with optional tomato, mushrooms, black pudding). I believe our breakfasts are basically the same, but ours is better because we include baked beans which are the cornerstone of any fried breakfast. I think Scotland traditionally offer haggis and Ireland use soda bread, but I’m pretty sure neither of them include baked beans as standard, so the ‘Full English’ surely wins this round.
Abs: The problem with Format’s logic here is the faulty assumption that the inclusion of baked beans with breakfast is somehow a good thing, when clearly any sane human with even moderately functioning taste buds can quickly identify this as #fakenews. Here in Canada, we’ve streamlined breakfast down to strictly the essential/delicious elements, namely: eggs, bacon, homefries, and toast.
Best snack option.
Abs:  It’d be treasonous for me to respond with anything other than Timbits™ for this one. Timbits were invented by and are available at Tim Hortons (please refer to question #3), or ‘Timmies’ as most Canadians affectionately refer to the chain, and are, quite simply, doughnut holes. They’re available individually or by the dozen, come in most of the same flavours that doughnuts do (duh!), and are FRIGGIN’ DELICIOUS!
Format:  Chocolate bars. We surely have the best selection of chocolate bars here in the UK. We’ve somehow excelled in the sheer variety of chocolate bars available, whilst being famous for bland food in our restaurants. We knew our restaurants were 25 years behind most of the rest of the world, so we just accepted it and concentrated on mastering chocolate bars and crisps!

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