A Few Kisses Ago

It seems like only a few kisses ago that it was Saint Valentine's Day, yet here we are again. You'd better prepare your lips for the onslaught. How to keep things spicy? Why not spread some Gentleman's Relish when spreading your love on Valentine's Day? Man's heart might be deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, but the way to his old ticker is most certainly through the stomach. And if he curls his face at the thought of Gentleman's Relish on hot toast soldiers for a Valentine's breakfast, well, it might be time for love to change to kindliness. Love bade him unacceptable.

Kibosh plughole?
You know, in romance it's always the small things that make the difference in the end. Major traumas and catastrophes you can pull through together, but not closing drawers fully or folding towels incorrectly and it gnaws away at you ... apparently. Try the Gentleman's Relish Test at breakfast, and if noses are turned up and the whole kibosh goes plughole you still have the day free.
Seditiously fogeyish
Gentleman's Relish is available from supermarkets in plastic pots, but you'll want a ceramic pot like the black one above. Sometimes you see ceramic pots with limited designs like the 'Land, Sea and Air' collection below. They're available from The Harvest Garden Florists for Valentine's Day dispatch with a fresh flower bouquet. I don't think it can get more seditiously fogeyish than a pot of Gentleman's Relish with a steam train on the front. And delivered in the post, by gad! We should give thanks that such things are still possible.

The savoury course returns
Gentleman's Relish or Patum Peperium is an anchovy paste produced in Leigh, Lancashire in great secrecy. The recipe was originally formulated by John Osborn — not the playwright — in 1828. Gentleman's Relish was a useful accompaniment to the 'savoury course' — typically a male-only course sandwiched between puds and coffee — which was an essential part of a traditional several-course dinner menu until fairly recently. Let's resurrect it.

For your savoury course, Mrs Beeton can help, as always. Try her recipe for Scotch Woodcock from The Book of Household Management (free copy). Use Gentleman's Relish for the anchovy paste.


INGREDIENTS.— A few slices of hot buttered toast; allow 1 anchovy to each slice. For the sauce,—1/4 pint of cream, the yolks of 3 eggs.

Mode.—Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs; beat the former, stir to them the cream, and bring the sauce to the boiling-point, but do not allow it to boil, or it will curdle. Have ready some hot buttered toast, spread with anchovies pounded to a paste; pour a little of the hot sauce on the top, and serve very hot and very quickly.

Time.—5 minutes to make the sauce hot.

Sufficient.—Allow 1/2 slice to each person. Seasonable at any time.

This charming Englishman
In the confessional song below, Sophia Loren reveals how her 'mind goes tinglish' when she thinks of Englishmen. (I wonder how she copes with closing drawers and folding towels?) This reminds us of the most important thing on Valentine's Day — you can win anyone over with charm.

Add some Gentleman's Relish and it's a fait accompli.


  1. Thanks for this Tweedy. I've not heard of it, but it is available on Amazon. How does it compare to Marmite on the salty scale? I will be placing an order today along with some mushroom ketchup and pickled walnuts.


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