Selby Cuisine

Blue Cheese and Seed Scones

Blue Cheese and Seed SconesIngredients

225g Self Raising Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
50g Mixed Seeds, plus extra for sprinkling on top
80g Blue Cheese (can substitute for Cheddar)
50ml Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil
125ml Semi-Skimmed Milk

Preheat oven to 220C
Place all dry ingredients except the extra seeds into a bowl and mix together
Mix in the wet ingredients
Divide into 8 balls and place onto a greased baking tray.
Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle over the extra seeds.
Bake for 12 minutes or until golden.
Serve warm with butter

Food Fears

Irrational Food FearsA recent Cornell University in the US study examines the origins of food fears, and possible remedies. It’s a survey of 1,008 mothers asking about foods they avoid and why. Food fears and aversion are quite common and presently often exaggerated by social media. Humans have an inherent emotion of disgust, which is likely to have been an adaptation to help avoid contaminated or spoiled food. In our modern society this reflex can be tricky, because we do not always have control over the chain of events that leads to food on our plates. Other people grow the food, transport it, process it, and perhaps even cook it. Modern food technology can also involve many scary sounding substances and unusual processes. As the saying goes, you may not want to know how the sausage is made, as long as the end result makes a good breakfast.

This leads to a second reason for modern food fears – we are living in an age of increasing transparency, partly brought about by the dramatic increase in access to information on the internet. Ultimately this is a good thing – people are seeing how the sausage is made, which makes it more difficult to hide shady practices. This introduces a new problem, however. If you’re going to inspect the process of making sausage, then you need to know something about sausage-making. In other words – people are obtaining a great deal of information about food, food ingredients, and manufacturing processes, which is a good thing. However, much of this information is coming from dubious sources – non-professional or academic sources that have not been peer reviewed in any meaningful way and may have ulterior agendas, ideological biases or mischief and/or malice to peddle.

Further, it is not easy to understand any complex science, including chemistry and food science, which includes medical studies on ingredient safety. Some diet companies have essentially made a career out of provoking irrational fear of ingredients with unsavoury sources and with scary-sounding, long chemical names. Neither of these factors have anything to do with actual food safety, but they make it easy to scare the non-expert. Specifically this includes so-called “chemophobia” – which is the fear of chemicals. The problem with this provoked chemophobic approach is that everything is chemicals. As the banana graphic above demonstrates, the formal chemical names even for everyday food molecules are long and unfamiliar to non-chemists. The end result is that many people use short-cuts or heuristics to determine what food they trust and what food to avoid. One heuristic is the “natural” false dichotomy – if something seems natural it is healthful, and if it seems synthetic it should be avoided. This heuristic rapidly breaks down on two main counts. The first is that there is no good operational definition of “natural.” All food is altered by humans or processed in some way. Where do you draw the line? The second is that something occurring in nature is no guarantee of safety. Many things in nature will harm or even kill you given half a chance. Many plants and animals have evolved toxins specifically to harm anything that tries to eat it. Yet another heuristic is to avoid anything about which anyone expresses fear or concern. This tactic is to essentially err on the side of caution in response to any expression of risk regarding a food. This strategy obviously occurs along a spectrum, but even a moderate degree of the precautionary principle can put a great deal of power in the hands of internet fearmongerers. The fearmongering heuristic is also related to another one, which is to separate foods into “good” foods and “bad” foods. Bad foods are to be avoided all the time, in any amounts. This derives partly for a desire for simplicity and control – boiling all the complexity of diet and nutrition down to a simple list of naughty and nice. The reality is that the health effects of eating most food are all about proportions. Most things are fine in moderation.

Let’s get back to the recent survey – they found that food fears were associated with wanting others to know about your food choices and deriving food information from the internet rather than TV or other sources. One might conclude from this that the internet drives food fears, which would seem to be a reasonable conclusion. However, there are too many potential confounding factors to make any statements about cause and effect. The survey also found that mothers with food fears were not more willing to pay more for food without the scary ingredient than mothers with less food fears. This again is difficult to interpret. One potentially encouraging result of the survey is that the effects of food fears were mitigated by providing information about the food. This would suggest that attempts to educate the public about the real nature and scientific evidence regarding a demonized food could reduce irrational fears. The limitation of the survey was that the results were only assessed immediately, so it’s difficult to tell if there was any real long-term effect.

So in conclusion

Irrational and faddish food fears now seem to be part of the culture, worsened by the immense flow of information over the internet, most of which is unvetted. This results in some people avoiding perfectly harmless ingredients based on unfounded fearmongering. As we have seen, this can also lead to pressure being placed on food manufacturers to eliminate the harmless ingredients (and their benefits) just to avoid the effects of a fearmongering campaign. Furthermore, irrational fearmongering about food provides unintentional cover for ingredients that should be limited or avoided. This results from two factors. The first is simply burying the useful information under piles of misinformation. The second is replacing a science-based assessment of reliable information about the real risks vs benefits of food ingredients.

Internet food warriors are promoting an unscientific approach to food safety, based upon the naturalistic fallacy, chemophobia, the demonization of foods, retailers, manufacturers and ingredients, and a misapplication of the precautionary principle.


Olives & Grill - Selby - Reviewed by Helena Simpson

Olives & Grill - Selby - Reviewed by Helena Simpson“Went to the new Turkish restaurant in Selby last night, (Olives & Grill) it was a very mixed experience, but all in all a pretty good one.

I started with falafel with hummus ad cacik (pronounced jajik, apparently, thank you lovely waitress who's name I missed), the falafel were delightful and the hummus, some of the nicest I have had. Phil had garlic bread that he thought was a little dry, but this was remedied by nicking my hummus and cacik!! The bread had a lovely open crumb, was crisp outside and delicately soft within. The main event was also quite mixed. My choice was Pirzola which was marinated char grilled lamb chops (5 of) they were cut quite thinly and were cooked to perfection, still tender pink inside, and just a hint of char on the outer, served with simple salad and bulgur rice which I totally loved, more flavourful than cous cous and a nice change to rice, my main dish was definitely one I would pick again. Phil's again, was a little disappointing. His choice was Gambas fajitas, they were overcooked and very few and far between, and I'm not convinced that even if left to grow they were ever going to make it to king prawn status, I know that king prawns do shrink when cooked, but I've cooked plenty to know that they don't shrink that much.

Two points that I was a sad about was the wine and the coffee. We ordered a bottle of French merlot, really not good. Merlot that I have always enjoyed has been full, smooth, and most certainly quaffable, but this was sharp, acrid, and not a pleasure to drink, shame as a really nice Merlot, which is easy drinking by any standards, would have perfectly complimented my lamb chop mountain!!! I think that next time I would maybe have beer(yeah me drinking beer, go figure!!!) I was let down that I couldn't have a 'proper' Turkish coffee, although they do sell espresso, I really was looking forward to a cup of nerve tingling, caffeine saturated coffee, but alas it was not to be. All in all I think the low points are far outweighed by the good. The staff were very sweet, very nice girls that were doing a good job, as were the cooks, given that they only opened this week, there are bound to be teething problems. Will I go back?? Yeah, for sure I will, someone has to keep nagging until they get some Turkish coffee on the go!!! I would urge anybody who loves Turkish/Mediterranean food to give them a fair try. I would give them 7/10, which I don't think is bad for a new restaurant. The bill was £45 near as damit, If anybody from the restaurant reads this PLEASE, do Turkish coffee.....especially in the afternoon, with some fab little Turkish pastries!!”

Olives & Grill
71-73 Gowthorpe, Selby,
North Yorkshire
Tel. 01757 428100


The Kings Head - Barmby on the Marsh, Howden

The Kings Head - Barmby on the MarshThe Kings Head is a very old traditional village pub, full of character, dating back to the early 1800's. A former winner of 'Pub of the north' in the 1970's, it was purchased in a fairly run-down state by the Smith family in March 2008. Closed for nine weeks it has been fully refurbished and has maintained its oldie - worlde character and warm feel, which continues through the new extension at the rear. The whole building has disabled access and includes a disabled toilet facility.

The management team are twin Brother and Sister, Tim and Katy, assisted by their older brother, Darren. Both of the brothers, who are fully trained chefs themselves, assist in the new fully equiped kitchen at busy times. All of this family team have many years experience in the catering and hospitality industry for both in-house and outside functions. We are a family-run establishment who care about all of our customers, supplying great food, homemade and locally sourced, served by friendly staff in a pleasant and comfortable environment.

The restaurant...

Accommodating up to 26 people, this room has a cosy intimate feel to it. Customers can enjoy romantic meals for two, friendly meals for four/six or small gatherings for up to twelve people.

The Kings Head
Barmby on the Marsh,
Howden, East Yorkshire, DN14 7HT,

Tel: 01757 630705

Monk Fryston Hall - A hidden Gem

Monk Fryston Hall - A ReviewSome things are best not planned.

Last Wednesday we both had a day off work by chance. Diane has Wednesdays off to compensate for her ten hour Saturdays and I had an appointment with the optician which they had to rebook. So the little eating army were at school and we had an unplanned day to ourselves. I could have fished my tools out of the shed and sorted the annoying utility room door out but just as a casual thought I suggested we jump in the car and take a road trip as our daughter and her fiends call it. No great persuasion was required...

Having parked up in York and wandered round the shops and sections of the wall we both fancied some lunch. Diane thought it would be nice to eat outdoors. Easier said than done in York and after trying several places we decided the chances would be better out of town. It was only half eleven when we left so the day was still young. We drove back through a series of country lanes and eventually came to Cawood. This looked promising. Looks can be deceiving, both pubs we found were closed. So mobile phone at the ready and not wanting to be beaten it was time to try the Trip Advisor App. That came installed on my phone.

Monk Fryston Hall? I vaguely knew there was a hotel in Monk Fryston, I'd noticed the signs on the odd occasion I'd driven through the village, but neither of us had every thought of it as a place you might be able to just drop in for lunch. We couldn't have been more wrong. As we drove up the drive the hall was impressive although to be fair my impression was tainted by the daunting possible expense. I didn't need to have worried. The lady at reception was warm and friendly and there was a relaxed atmosphere about the place. We asked if it was possible to have lunch outside and without more-ado we were seated on a wide patio overlooking beautiful gardens. There were several other couples nearby eating and the food looked great.

So our meals.

As we were due home within a couple of hours and the eating army would be back from school we decided to just have main courses. Diane picked Pan fried Sea-bass fillets and I went for Duo of Helmsley Pork. Our meals arrived quite quickly as there were a large party of older people dining inside and both dishes looked incredible. Everything was cooked to perfection presented with style and tasted wonderful. The belly pork fell apart and was succulent and just wonderful. Diane's sea-bass had a crisp skin and a satisfying hint of lemon. The vegetables which are often an afterthought in some restaurants were tasty and looked great. At just short of £25 including drinks I had to check the bill. I was expecting at least £40.

Monk Fryston hall, we will be back.


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