ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peach for the stars?

'Movin' to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches...'

Someone in the office randomly started singing that the other day, and it prompted a brief discussion about who actually sang the song originally - one of those frustrating things where you know that you'll know you know it once somebody says it, but you just don't know it. If that makes sense.

I kept quiet because I was just as 'know it but don't know it' as everybody else, which is unusual for me. Usually I just pipe up with the correct answer as soon as some question about one-hit wonders or types of tree or Conservative politicians comes up.

Joe Dolce Music Theatre. The Larch. Howard Flight.


(And by 'correct answer', I mean a convincing answer, delivered confidently enough that nobody feels the need to Google it and check if it's actually correct or not, obviously.)

Mmm... Peaches
But this time the levels of confidence and conviction were lower than usual, although I placed a speculative bet in my head on the Butthole Surfers which turned out to be wrong.

At least I wasn't the person that got it confused with the Stranglers song of the same name though. Yes, I overheard that bit too. 

Anyway, peaches. Peaches, peaches, peaches. Juicy, furry, Geldofy. The sort of fruit that it's hard to find anything interesting or relevant to say about most of the time. But I'll try.

Five vaguely interesting Ben Viveur Peach Facts

  • One of my favourite childhood reads was James and the Giant Peach - the mental image of the sweet juice dripping from the walls of a tunnel hewn through peach flesh was almost arousing. In fact, it was.
  • Talking of tunnels, one of the most interesting underground stations in the world - to transport geeks like me at least - is Peachtree Center in Atlanta, which is very deep and exposes the bare rockface on the sides of the tunnel as part of the design. It's like a cave.
  • The first porn film I ever heard about was called Peaches and Cream which was doing the rounds at my school, apparently, though I never got to see it (and indeed still haven't!)
  • And who can forget Helen on Big Brother likening Bubble's arse to 'a little peach'? Actually, I think everyone has probably forgotten that by now.
  • The first drink I ever bought Mrs B-V, on our first ever date, was an Archers and Lemonade - although I do wonder sometimes if Archers has ever even seen a real peach.

I should add that I've since widened her horizons to include regular G&Ts, ciders and fruit beers, but she still likes the old Peach Schnapps once in a while and now that we have a bottle of it in our flat, it's fair game for my kitchen experiments. This is the result. Enjoy!

Oh all right, I know you're still wondering. It was the Presidents of the USA. Happy now?

Reconstituted Peaches

It's one of your five a day, honest!

Ingredients - per peach:

A peach, nice and ripe and fresh
Vanilla sugar, an heaped tablespoon
One shortbread finger, crushed into crumbs
Peach Schnapps, a decent dash
Thick cream, a substantial dollop


Pour your schnapps into the cream and stir well, then add the vanilla sugar - use your taste buds' discretion with the exact ratios but it should be sweet, alcoholic and peachy and remain thick.

Separate the peachy cream into two portions and add about half of your shortbread crumbs to one portion - this sounds more complicated than it is, but you should end up with some cream with crumbs mashed into it to make a 'cement', some crumbs without cream, and some cream without crumbs.

Cut each peach in half, and then into segments - quarters or sixths depending on the size of the peach, and spread the 'cement' on the inside faces. Yes, you should have removed the stone.

Now use your skill and dexterity and the rest of the cement to assemble the pieces back into 'whole' peaches, perhaps with an extra dollop of cream in the centre cavity where the stone once was.

Once reconstructed, you can coat the outside of the peaches with the peachy cream mixture and sprinkle the rest of the shortbread crumbs over the outside.

And that's that. Plonk them in the fridge until you're ready to eat. A perfect Summer dessert to serve when Peaches Geldof or the Presidents of the USA come round for dinner.

1 comment:

  1. Similar to a comment I made a day or so ago about strawberries - I love peaches and wouldn't dream of doing anything to them to dilute their peachiness, I just eat them. And eat them. And eat them. In fact, now I come to think of it, I love both strawberries and peaches, but am not keen on anything strawberry or peach flavoured. I am sure you can explain this!


Comments are always welcomed and encouraged, especially interesting, thought-provoking contributions and outrageous suggestions.