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National Barbecue Week

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The barbecuing experience is a long-standing fond joke in our family. When my brother and I were kids, nothing would stop our Dad from wheeling out the barbecue; not snow, not rain, nothing.

I remember one particular Saturday when the family was all huddled around the picnic table, shivering and soaking, while the rain poured down and our Dad flipped burgers with one hand and held an umbrella with the other.

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This week we see the celebration of National Barbecue Week, which was first launched in 1997. Back then, there were 9 million barbecue occasions, and this grew to over 135 million in 2018. All hail the British barbie!

As with most things, people are divided on what kind of barbecue provides the best tasting food; gas, wood or charcoal.

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While gas is cleaner and faster, the majority of barbecue aficionados will tell you that cooking over gas fails to bring out the smoky flavours that cooking with wood or charcoal provides.

The reason for this is due to a chemical called lignin which is present in wood. When heat is applied, this chemical breaks down into something called guaiacol which provides the smoky flavor. Guaiacol is also present in charcoal.

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Barbecues seem to have become more sophisticated since I was a kid; the days when a barbie consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, and the height of refinement was foil-wrapped corn-on-the cob.

These days, a typical barbecue is likely to present spicy chicken skewers, beer-braised short ribs and lamb and rosemary koftas. Nor is the barbecue as limited to meats as it used to be. With the increase in popularity of vegetarianism, you are just as likely to see black bean burgers, jerk grilled eggplant and cauliflower steaks.

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And now I’m starving, and these barbecue photoshoots we have done for our clients are making the cravings worse… I’m off for a chicken skewer!

For more information about National Barbecue Week, please visit https://nationalbbqweek.co.uk

Happy grilling!

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Written by Kate Davies, Full Steam Pictures Media Manager

British Sandwich Week

We Brits do have a tendency to celebrate the most bizarre things, and even go as far as attributing commemoration days and weeks to them.

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Here are some of my personal favourites:

  • January 16th - Appreciate a Dragon Day

  • February 5th - National Shower With a Friend Day

  • May 14th - National Dance Like a Chicken Day

  • September 16th - Collect Rocks Day

  • November 4th - Common Sense Day

  • December 16th - Chocolate Covered Anything Day

Given my enjoyment of all things ridiculous, imagine my delight when I found out that this week is British Sandwich Week! What could be more fundamentally British than celebrating one of the most versatile English creations; the humble sarnie?

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According to history, an 18th century aristocrat, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, asked his valet to bring him some meat between two slices of bread. His contemporaries beheld his creation and started asking for ‘the same as Sandwich’. Brilliant.

The great thing about the sarnie is that anything slapped between two slices of bread can be termed a sandwich, and the only limit to what you can create is your imagination… and possibly physics.

Interesting Facts:

  • In 2018, the most popular sandwich filling was bacon, which knocked chicken off the top spot it had held for a number of years.

  • As a nation, we spend £3 billion annually on sandwiches.

You can find out more about British Sandwich Week by visiting www.britishsandwichweek.com

We hope you have enjoyed these mouthwatering pictures of some of the sandwich photoshoots we have done for our clients.

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Written by Kate Davies, Full Steam Pictures Media Manager.