Lucy Vickery

Fan fare

In Competition No. 2912 you were invited to submit a tribute in verse to a once-popular foodstuff that has fallen out of favour.

Bill Greenwell’s entry (Spangles!) brought to mind childhood pleasures, as did Sid Field’s (Creamola) and Jayne Osborn’s (Angel Delight). But I still shudder at the memory of spam fritters, and Alan Millard’s attempt to make them sound appealing fell on stony ground:

More fit to nibble than to gnaw
But no less tasty, cooked or raw

Both Brian Allgar and Dorothy Pope mourned the passing of Fuller’s Walnut Cake, and Richard McCarthy submitted a rousing tribute to mutton in the style of Swinburne. All three deserve a commendation as do David Silverman, Philip Machin, Alanna Blake, Sylvia Fairley and Barbara Smoker.

The prize-winners, printed below, are rewarded with £30 apiece. This week’s bonus fiver belongs to Basil Ransome-Davies.

We shook our fists at Hitler when the Nazi bombers came
Like an airborne twentieth-century armada
To blast some of our cities to a hell of smoke and flame,
But we had a secret weapon in our larder.
It was a taste sensation. Churchill couldn’t get enough.
He wolfed it down with gourmandising passion.
Their Majesties announced that, though
they both adored the stuff,
They properly observed their wartime ration.
You could slice it like salami; you could stuff it in a roll;
You could fry it as a batter-coated rissole;
You could fill a pie-crust with it; there was so much to extol
In a meatloaf that was free of bone and gristle.
Our thanks for it went to the Yanks — yes,
good old Uncle Sam
Supplied the food that lifted hearts in Blighty.
Let’s hear it for the breakfast/dinner/tea of champions — Spam,
So versatile, and pink as auntie’s nightie.
Basil Ransome-Davies
I sing the joys of bloater paste
On dripping rounds of buttered toast.
Let not a morsel go to waste
For you’re the spread I love the most.

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