Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sardine Surprise

It's Day 4 of my National Zero Waste Week visit to foodie heaven Saints Cafe, and today's "pot luck" lunch revealed another great use for ciabatta, this time served with sardine fillets, which were broken up and combined with a zingy tomato and pepper salsa.

So again, I can confirm that this was totally delicious and is indeed a fabulous way of serving sardines, a fish that so rarely gets on my menu at home that I can count the number of times I've cooked it on one finger!

And what you see to the right is a strawberry and melon lassi, made from the over-ripe fruit that I mentioned yesterday and blended with yoghurt and milk and a dash of lime juice.

I arrived at Saints unusually early this morning and the cafe was packed, so I squeezed myself onto the larger table where I was accompanied by a whole range of  regular customers including a man with a laptop at the other end of the table.

Being a nosey old bird with a penchant for talking to strangers, my line of questioning soon revealed that the man with the laptop, aka Will Bryant, happened to work for professional catering equipment company AKRO who supply a whole range of goods to independent eateries as well as larger organisations including hospitals, school and colleges.

Will is the company's International Sales Manager and we soon got onto the subject of waste and what particularly interested me from the conversation was the extent of "disposable items" that are sold within the sector that are actually made from recycled materials that have reached the end of their life due to their lower grade. I'd never come across AKRO before so took a look at its website and although my heart lies in reusable, it's good to see a mainstream company that serves a disposable-hungry catering sector with greener alternatives.

AKRO also works closely with the Carbon Trust, and caterers who wish to upgrade their ovens to a more fuel-efficient model are encouraged to apply for a carbon loan, where the monthly interest can be easily paid from the fuel savings brought by the new technology.

So as well as enjoying another imaginative and delicious lunch today, I've also come away with more food for thought about what goes on behind the scenes at our nation's eateries.  It's just a shame that Will from AKRO was as elusive to the camera as cafe owner Engin has been this week.

But guess what, I finally managed to grab a quick snapshot of Engin he was hot-stepping it away from the camera.   Better luck next time eh!


National Zero Waste Week is an awareness campaign organised by My Zero Waste.  For more information visit


Karin said...

Tomato and pepper salsa sounds good, but I'm not a fan of sardines. I'm sure it would work with other fish like mackerel, though.

I presume all this 'waste' food has never been on anyone's plate, though. We went to a pub on Sunday that served such big portions than hardly any of us could finish what was on our plates. We shared the starter bread for 3 between 5 and still left some and my son and I left quite a few chips even though hubby helped us both out, his dinner being the only one on the small side. My parents have small appetites anyway, so they left some of their dinner. I only hope they had a bucket for pigswill.

We all enjoyed what we ate, though. Needless to say we didn't have dessert.

Thiruppathy Raja said...

Looks amazing!!!! /I look forward to your feedback /thanks for this man it was very helpful.

used Catering Equipment

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Karin - sardines aren't normally my kind of thing either but presented this way, they were really delicious. And don't worry, none of the food is plate waste, nor are the ingredients "dodgy" in any way, just things that have moved from their "first purpose" to secondary purpose ingredients, if you get my drift LOL. That pub you went to sounds like a food waste nightmare. It's amazing how many places there are that serve bulk food thinking it represents "value" to the customer. Thanks for dropping in this week...and keeping me company online. No doubt another good meal coming up today. x

Thank you Thiruppathy Raja - The cafe is fab ;0)


Hello Karin

I believe that the feeding of swill to pigs was banned in 2001/2002 following the foot and mouth outbreak.

Anaerobic Digestion (AD)however is alive and well.

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