June 25 2010
I’ve only been on a diet once in my life: at school, when I was 15 years old. It lasted about a day and a half, as long as it took me to put a rye crispbread into my mouth. Just one morsel of that parched, mouldy-tasting stuff and I couldn’t get to the chip shop fast enough. Even now, 30 years later, when I hear the word “crispbread” I still get a mental image of miserable-looking schoolgirls huddled over moribund brown oblongs, piled high with cottage cheese with chives and pineapple.
So when I was walking through Selfridges’ food hall with my mother recently and the seemingly oxymoronic words “delicious crispbreads” caught my eye, I was more firmly resolved than before to get to the Salt Beef Bar. I’ve always given food-hall food demonstrations and promotions a wide berth, but my mother was peckish and the queue at the Salt Beef Bar was endless.
Thus, it came as something as a surprise to learn that a crispbread experience can be as good the second time as it was dire the first. More specifically, the Peter’s Yard crispbreads that are hand-made to a traditional Swedish recipe using sourdough and a slow fermentation process resulting in an irresistibly crispy texture and subtle yet delicious flavour.
These crispbreads were utterly moreish, especially when topped with sweet and savoury toppings. And they came in such fetching silvery cylindrical containers that I bought one to take as a gift to a dinner party that night. Crispbreads to a dinner party? The host loved them.