Kirsty Bosley: I've deliberated, cogitated and digested (It means I've eaten well)
Offering a well-rounded and fair food review is a task I face regularly in my role as a writer.
As a podgy person, binging myself to capacity in the name of the job is, of course, as easy as pie (with a side of vegetables slathered in butter, please).
But knowing enough about the finer details of cuisine to give an impressive account of my dinner is where I've previously fallen short. Particularly as I count some of the most knowledgeable food writers in the region among my colleagues – the pressure really has been on to write as well as they do.
What I do know, though, is what food is nice and what food isn't, and that often holds me in good stead when I'm writing up my dining experiences. By feeding (and over-feeding) myself adequately enough to keep me living and breathing these past 28 years, I've learnt enough to allow a publication-worthy account. I hope.
Though I might only have learned what an amuse-bouche was a year ago (before then I thought it was some kind of humorous personal hygiene device), I feel my food reviews are really coming along, especially with practice.
This year, I gave a less than favourable review of a terrible eatery, and they responded by calling up crying in frustration and anger that I'd talked badly about their business. Perhaps if they'd have made their own pizza from scratch instead of cooking me a frozen one from Asda across the road, it might have been a happier story. They were furious and claimed I was lying in my piece. I was equally angry, truth be told. I may not know what three precise cooking methods are used to create triple-cooked chips and I might not be able to tell you the definition of the word gustatory, but look at me, for crying out loud. Do I look like the kind of person that doesn't know pizza? A person that hasn't eaten a million pizzas in her life, from a thousand eateries?
I have, by Jove. And that includes everything in Asda's freezers. I cannot be fooled when it comes to this, and the idea they would test my knowledge of the dish was more insulting than being called a liar, by far.
My friends and I once dedicated a whole night in New York City to finding the best pizza in Manhattan. It's a long way to go for a pizza, but that's just how I feel about it – Kirsty Bosley loves pizza 4ever.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to visit the double-Michelin star hotel and restaurant Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire. It was the most splendid place I'd ever seen, given that until I was 16 I'd only ever been to West Bromwich and Rhyl.
I've since discovered that even if I'd been to a variety of hotels around the world twice a year for every year I've been alive, I would have been exceptionally lucky to find even one with half of the magic, character or style as Le Manoir. They even have a helipad, so you know it's awesome.
I didn't say such a thing when I arrived there though, I acted really cool and pretended I'd eaten Michelin star food before. The council estate kid in me screamed "HOW MUCH?!" a hundred times when reading over the menu, but the cool grown-up journalist façade remained as cool as a cucumber (mmm, cucumber), emanating the vibe of someone that has just stepped off a helicopter in Manolo Blahniks.
"What's a 'jus' Jim?" I worriedly asked my dining companion when I saw it was an element of my chosen meal.
My eating companion isn't a super foodie, and his job doesn't involved trips to fine dining eateries. In fact, in his job, he smacks people around the head with kendo sticks wrapped in barbed wire and is regularly dropped on his head though those metal chairs you can buy in Wilko. Despite being a professional wrestler, he knew what a jus was. He's classy, for a grappler.
In fact, if it wasn't for Jim, I might not have made it through the meal at all without having a mental breakdown (thanks for your help, Jim. Please don't hit me).
And so I'm brought to the point of this column. Yes, there is one, don't be horrible – I don't want to have to set Jimmy on you.
I wanted to share a very professional review that I wrote this afternoon for a delightful treat I shared with colleagues.
As I'm sure you'll see when reading it, my grasp on grandiose foodie language is definitely on the up. Just in case you need help deciphering what I'm on about, I've included reading notes. See how far I've come from reviews that include lines such as: 'I felt we'd walked into somewhere Del Boy and Boycie would take Raquel and Marlene on a double date. If my date had fallen through a bar to the ground it would have set the disastrous tone of the rest of the evening'?
AN EXQUISITE CULINARY AFFAIR BY KIRSTY BOSLEY THE EXPERT FOOD REVIEWER
I masticated a fine confection over luncheon at noontime today, the particulars of which I simply must divulge to you. (Read: I've got to tell you about this coffee cake I got from M&S at lunchtime).
The ornamentation of Juglans regia atop the sacchariferous covering had great bite. Said covering was ambrosial and nectarous. (Read: The little bits of walnuts on the sugary topping were bostin').
The buttercream interpolated between layers was velvetine and ineffable, coating the apeture of my countenance delightfully. (Read: The buttercream filling was particularly nice when I shoved it in my trap).
The decoction that had rendered my portion irriguous was amaroidal yet almost mellifluous in its palatableness. (Read: The coffee in the moist cake wasn't too bitter, which was ace).
I took particular delight in the delicate soupçons that decorated my serviette after my keen devourment of the morsel. (Read: I was happy to see crumbs after I'd finished. I licked them off my kitchen roll).
It was indubitably a culinary triumph, and I am likely to frequent the establishment from whence it came again to partake in further gourmandisation. (Read: I'm popping M&S tomorrow to get another one).