I first started writing on a monthly basis in the early ‘noughties’ in part to help promote my business and in part to give a voice to certain rural issues. I called it ‘a letter from another country’ in part as a tribute to the late great Alistair Cook and in greater part as a way of summing up the huge gulf I felt there was between town & country in the United Kingdom and most of all in England. At the height of the Blair years there really was a sense of English rural life happening in another time & place. A sense almost of belonging to another race. A race apart, not because of its colour or its ethnicity. A race cut off by its different standards and values.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because I speak ‘well’ & , depending on your opinion, write reasonably well, that I am some sort of right-aligned toff. I do believe that this country has been poisoned by the governents of our current & previous prime Ministers, but I do not believe that the government of previous administrations was without fault.

My greatest passion, after my family, is for truly great food, in all its aspects. I think the ignorance about, & the disregard for, food is shameful.

Professor Tim Lang said:

‘If a country doesn’t sort out how it feeds its children, it doesn’t deserve to be called civilised’

Well I believe that applies not only to its children. I believe food is at the heart of so much that is great about our society, but it also at the heart of so much that is wrong with it.

Jan McCourt



3 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hear, hear! I heartily agree with Professor Lang on how we feed our children. In my view it’s not just a case of WHAT we feed them but a need to include them more and teach them the beauty of food through the ritual of dining as a family or with friends, and how to behave at the table. How are they supposed to understand how central food is to our lives when they so often eat microwaved dinners on a tray in front of the TV with no proper conversation or discussion about what’s on their plates? It’s no wonder city kids think milk comes from machines…

  2. I thoroughly agree with both Jan and epicurienne on the importance of good food for children and teaching them the ritual of dining together as a family at the table. So many children are given rubbish food in front of the t.v. because its more convenient. In England most of the places to eat out only offer chicken nuggets or fish fingers as childrens menus. I have been in France and been offered river trout, freshly made beefburgers, tasty duck leg all for childlrens menus. Why can’t we do this?

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