Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

This Side of the Pond

 

February 18, 2021



There is scandal afoot in my homeland. For reasons best known to their mutual marketing teams, two British purveyors of breakfast foods are trying to promote a disastrous combination of flavors.

Before you, in your enviable innocence, will be able to process the true evil of this campaign, I’ll need to explain the two ingredients involved. The first is a breakfast cereal called Weetabix™.

I’m told it’s available on these shores but, while it’s the most popular cereal in Britain, it doesn’t even break the top 20 for Americans, so you’ve probably never tried it. I’m not sure I blame you, it’s the sort of breakfast choice only a proper adult would make, and that adult would need to have never been introduced to a coco puff.

It’s akin to a giant version of a shredded wheat. Hard as a rock and defiantly beige, each palm-sized biscuit must be covered with milk to transform it into something that won’t break your teeth.

It’s a breakfast choice that couldn’t possibly find a way to look or taste more boring, but is somehow still a satisfying way to pass a mealtime. It tastes much better than it has any right to so, even if you think you don’t like Weetabix, the truth is that you probably do.

The second ingredient is Heinz Beanz®, which you will understandably believe you are more familiar with. However, the baked beans enjoyed by the Brits are very different to the ones you know.

American baked beans are cooked with bacon molasses and brown sugar to create a sweet and thick sauce. British beans do not include meat and instead have a thinner tomato sauce that includes celery, carrots and Worcestershire sauce.

The concept is similar, but they taste very different. Apparently, when they were first exported to the UK around the turn of the twentieth century, they were too sweet for the British tastebud, so the sugary ingredients were slowly phased out.

The British version of baked beans is allegedly the one most commonly used outside the United States today. In my homeland, we love to use them as part of a full English or Irish breakfast, which also includes ingredients such as fried bacon, sausages and eggs.

The British also have an abiding love for eating beans on toast and we don’t care whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner when we do (this fact is about to become important). It’s thought that this dish became popular during World War II, when it was a cheap and easy way to add protein to a meal.

We love both Weetabix and baked beans, but nobody has ever before thought of putting the two things together – and for very good reason. Not, however, a reason that Weetabix was made aware of before they published a suggestion last week:

“Why should bread have all the fun, when there’s Weetabix? Serving up Heinz Beans on bix for breakfast with a twist,” they said alongside a photograph of two breakfast biscuits smothered in hot baked beans, breaking every known rule of decorum.

The reaction across the internet was instant and overwhelming. West Yorkshire Police cautioned citizens that, “Even though this is criminal, please don’t ring us to report it,” while the National Health Service suggested it should come with a health warning.

“Our volunteers are prepared to brave all sorts of windy conditions,” said the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. “But not this.”

Israel’s official Twitter account quipped that this was “Finally something that all Middle-Eastern countries can agree on. Just no.” Security agency GCHQ commented that, “We found… no intelligence.”

Krispy Kreme asked if anyone would like a gravy-filled donut, seeing as all the food rules were being thrown out the window. KFC responded to that horrifying concept with, “Alexa, how do I delete someone else’s tweet?”

Supermarket chain Tesco called the Weetabix-bean idea an “illegal combination in the bagging area,” while the Member of Parliament who represents the home of the Weetabix factory raised the topic in the House of Commons. His peers were willing to debate the idea for a few minutes but, no doubt fearing the wrath of their constituents, none would go on the record as calling it an enticing idea.

Even the U.S. Embassy in London got in on the fun, commenting that this was not the collaboration they were hoping for. The British embassy hit back that it was a, “Strong opinion from the nation that makes tea in a microwave” (which, yes, is something the Brits consider a criminal act.)

Weetabix have claimed since the uproar began that the campaign was only supposed to be a bit of “light relief.” Personally, I believe this exactly the sort of thing someone would say when they’ve been caught doing something terrible but don’t want to admit they thought it would be fine.

It also doesn’t factor in the sheer horror my countrymen were subjected to. The truth is clear: they are monsters, and ought to apologize. The global community can only handle one food combo debate at a time, and we’re not done arguing over pineapple pizza.

 
 

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