UK

NAAFI Tea for Tough Guys Sold to Soft Civvies!

NAAFI Break tea, the only thing keeping the British Army’s front line troops fighting fit (a thinly veiled reference to the controversy surrounding their sub-standard kit), is to be sold to civvies. That’s right, civilians or regular non-serving members of the British public, can now get their laughing gear around it. It’s the first time in their history that the NAAFI has released one of its own brands to the general public.

NAAFI tea
NAAFI tea. It’ll put hairs on your chest!

The reason I decided that this news blog-worthy was twofold. Firstly, and most importantly, it will raise funds for Help for Heroes, the charity which helps injured service personnel and secondly, I grew up on the stuff. You can learn more about Help for Heroes by visiting their site and you can make a donation now by clicking on the h4h image.

help for heroes logo
Click to make a donation now!

NAAFI, the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute, supplies British military personnel throughout the world, with a ‘taste of home’. From a tent within spitting distance of the front line to the plush supermarkets and leisure facilities found on British military garrisons, NAAFI offer all the usual comforts of home such as British bread, biscuits and newspapers, British fish & chips and a traditional British pint. These days the British squaddie can even buy tax-free cars!

NAAFI Break tea has been served to British Forces since 1921 and is said to differ from the average cuppa due to its “premium quality blend that gives a rich, strong taste and a real military flavour”. Now I can’t tell you what that ‘real military flavour’ is precisely, because it has been a while since my last cup but I certainly remember it being full-bodied and not for the faint-hearted. I remember being gently woken by Sgt. Owen and the NCO’s serving us morning tea with a generous measure of Navy Rum to the sound of the regimental band playing Reveille on the square; a festive traditional treat to Parachute Regiment recruits, if my memory serves correct and in stark contrast to the usual screaming and bed tipping which passed for a wake up call on any other day. I would seriously like to reacquaint myself with it if only for nostalgia’s sake – the tea, not the wake-up calls.

NAAFI Break is being sold in branches of the Spar supermarket chain in the UK and 50p from each sale goes to Help for Heroes.

As Long as we Beat the English we Don’t Care

It wasn’t that long ago that the British peoples were spilling each others blood on the battlefield and even though we now coexist under one united banner, (blame the Act of Union) not a great deal has changed . These days Twickenham, Croke Park, Murrayfield and The Millenium Stadium are our battlefields where lines are drawn and blood frequently spilt. But as serious as a rugby union international is, there is nothing but humorous banter between supporters.

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6 Nations Rugby 2010

Well bugger me if Setanta aren’t airing the IRB 6 Nations Championship this season! That subscription can consider itself well and truly canceled. Fortunately, ESPN is showing the Northern Hemisphere’s premier rugby showcase. Unfortunately, one is required to buy a new HD set-top box and subscribe to the new HD channels which will set you back another $20 a month. Looks like the kid’s Cartoon Network has been canceled…..at least for next couple of months.

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The Whinging Welshman

While this all encompassing, if inaccurate label causes no offense to me, it does to some. This is especially so when preceded by ‘whinging’ or ‘bloody’ and whilst the precise etymology eludes me, it is worth noting that even the Australians are unsure of exactly where or how the word ‘Pom’ originated.

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World’s Most Expensive Sandwich?

The BBC report today that Chef McDonald (no relation to Ronald) of the Selfridges department store restaurant, has come up with the world’s most expensive gourmet sarnie, a snip at £85!

The McDonald Sandwich, as it is to be known, is filled with Wagyu beef, fresh lobe foie gras, black truffle mayonnaise, brie de meaux, rocket, red pepper and mustard confit and English plum tomatoes, all delicately stacked between 24 hour fermented sour-dough bread. A rather rich beef club sandwich you might think and you’d certainly need a bob or two to be able to afford one but the ingredients are not simply your average supermarket faire.

Not so expensive sandwich
An expensive sarnie

The Wagyu beef, also known as Kobe-style beef, comes from a Japanese breed of cattle famed for it’s marbling characteristics and tenderness but more so for being reared on beer and grain and receiving regular massages with Sake. Incidentally, Australia, known to have the best Kobe beef outside of Japan, export their produce back to Japan as well as US, Europe and the Middle East.

 

 

All said and done, £85 ($182 AUD) is somewhat obscene and decadent but believe it or not The McDonald is still not the most expensive sandwich in the world. No, that dubious honour goes to the ‘von Essen Platinum Club Sandwich’ costing £100 ($214 AUD).

Expensive sandwich
An even more expensive sarnie!

The most expensive club sandwich boasts ingredients of Iberico ham, poulet de Bresse, white truffles, quail eggs, semi-dried Italian tomatoes and 24-hour fermented sour dough bread, and weighs in at 530 grams, that’s over half a kilo? “…for a bloody ham sarnie?” I hear you protest. Well, in fairness, the extremely rare ham is air-cured for nearly 30 months and comes from a black-footed pig. Ah, it all becomes clear now.

The Earl of Sandwich would be turning in his grave!