My latest TV find is The Supersizers Go… on the Cooking Channel, a three-year-old series in which a British pair (food critic and comedienne) spend a week at a time living the lives of different periods and gorging themselves on the contemporary dishes. It’s a fairly light conceit, and I don’t quite understand what “supersizing” has to do with it (unless you postulate, counterfactually, that in every period other than ours, people ate more than we do). But it’s entertaining, and mildly informative.
This week Giles and Sue went Victorian, and it does seem that people in Victorian days ate a lot more heavily than we do — their experience reminded me of when I moved to Atlanta in 1999, and had to adjust to a lot more fried food and meat and sweet tea than I was used to. My favorite moment was when they were served (by their cook, as a side dish, at an ordinary dinner on an ordinary evening) a plate of calf’s-ear fritters, which looked as though they’d be delicious if they had zucchini inside, but alas they didn’t. The rest of the boiled calf’s head was sitting nearby on a plate, dressed with about a pound of parsley; you can see it here.
It’s not Downton Abbey, but given the choice between this and watching Bobby Flay yelling, or Nadia G wielding her assets, I’d pick this. More on this episode here.