So the Isle of Man Government are asking for the public to vote for a new ‘Manx National Dish’, the ol trad fave of ‘Spud n Herring’ has fallen by the wayside, for one simply cannot catch a herring in Manx waters… Bummer!
When the news hit the inbox here at Gef HQ, we were a little confused about the terminology used within; you see the press releases states they’re on the lookout for a ‘dish’, but as far as we can see, the website merely lists a few different ingredients; Queenies, Manx Loaghtan, Manx Beef, Kippers… Maybe it’s a technical error?!?!
Other countries around the world usually choose a dish made up of multiple ingredients; the National Dish of the UK is Chicken Tikka Masala, Mauritius favours Octopus Curry and Peruvians love Ceviche.
Here’s what Wikipedia have to say about a national dish;
“A national dish is a culinary dish that is strongly associated with a particular country.
It is a staple food, made from a selection of locally available foodstuffs that can be prepared in a distinctive way.
It is served as a festive culinary tradition that forms part of a cultural heritage.
National dishes are part of a nation’s identity and self-image.”
With all of the above in mind, we came up with a list of ‘dishes’ that we feel ‘best represent’ the Isle of Man.
Queenies & Bacon
Plenty of brilliant local restaurants have this on the menu, The Little Fish classic is always a hit, Manxies already identify it as being a Manx dish. By Christ, we even had a whole damn festival dedicated to the delicacy!
Don’t forget to squeeze the lemon on top though!
The Alpine’s Salt Beef Bagel
A big bad a$$ beast of a situation, with its own cult following. The Alpine’s most famous menu item features; Manx beef, homemade pickles and horseradish mayo, all served in between a tasty Noa Bakehouse bagel… Actually, thinking about it, the bagel could probably qualify on it’s own merit.
L’experience’s French Manx Onion Soup
We know it says ‘French’ in the title, but we’ll let that slide, because who in the history of the world ever has been to L’experience and not had French onion soup?!
L’experience is a Manx institution, now owned by husband and wife team Michael and Belinda, the restaurant was established way back when, by local celeb Tony Quirk who recently returned to our screens to endorse the ‘Manx National Dish’ campaign…
We know it’s pudding, but on a bad day we’d gladly eat six of these for breakfast, lunch and dinner…DELISH image cred to Trip Advisor.
The Abbey’s Crab Claws
If you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting the Abbey’s crab claws, then get yourself a table booked IMMEDIATELY and get them in you… Local crab in a delicious chilli, garlic and rosemary broth *picks up phone*
Noa Bakehouse Sourdough
We ate a whole Noa Bakehouse baguette after a night out once, we didn’t even put butter on it…
Kipper bap in Peel
Secret Pizza Co.’s The Big Cheese Pizza
These guys are Manx produce head cheerleaders. They deserve a seat at the ‘best dish table’ to recognise their unwavering dedication to sourcing Manx ingredients for their recipes.
Their ‘Big Cheese Pizza’ is pretty much 100% Manx; a trio of Isle of Man Creamery cheeses, with a Manx vintage cheddar pesto, on a base made from Laxey Mills flour and fresh Manx water, straight from the tap yessir!
Oh, and if you want to add any of their four cured meats to your pizza… They’re all f*****g Manx too!
Yup, using all local ingredients sure is something that should be celebrated and definitely not forgotten. Listen to Tom and Kylie from Secret Pizza Co. wax all lyrical about their love of the Isle of Man and why they only use Manx when they can in this uber patriotic video below…
We’re not quite sure how this MANX TO THE MAX classic escaped the list. After all, the Isle of Man is home to the ‘World Bonnag Championships’, which have been around for way longer than bake off.
Here’s our pal Baby Toddler Foods recreating the local classic using all Manx ingredients.
In honour of the Annual World Bonnag Championship taking place in Dalby tonight, we thought we'd show you how to make an award-winning Bonnag, with 100% Manx ingredients…#BringinBonnagBackFeaturing Laxey Flour | Isle of Man Creamery 🍰🎂🇮🇲
Posted by Gef The Mongoose on Friday, 23 February 2018
and last, but by no means least…
Chips, Cheese & Gravy
CC&G isn’t listed as an option on the Government voting form?! Despite it being listed as the Island’s dish on Wikipedia, and generally being known as everyone’s favourite, it just hasn’t made the cut.
Not only is it (in our humble opinion) everyone’s fave food on the Island, there was overwhelming support and success for the Island’s first ever national ‘Chips, Cheese & Gravy Day’ (which took place on the last Monday of January this year).
All island chippies were involved too, local ingredients were used and some even sold out of cheese halfway through the night! Surely that’s enough testament for our Island’s love affair with CCG, and our pal Wagner’s!
News of our new National ‘Chips, Cheese & Gravy’ Day has spread like wildfire. Even A list celebrities are struggling to contain their excitement…
Posted by Gef The Mongoose on Sunday, 28 January 2018
Manxies from all round the world participated.
All in all, the Gef organised day was a rip roaring hit, not just locally but across in the UK too. We hit the BBC One Facebook page and BBC news, getting 1.5 MILLION video views alone online…
There are calls for a national day for chips, cheese and gravy on the Isle of Man. (That's our version of Poutine, Canada).
Posted by BBC on Wednesday, 31 January 2018
And students at UCLAN university even though the day should become a national dish across the British Isles… Imagine that?!
We even got our ‘super passionate about all things Manx’ (see above) bestie’s The Secret Pizza Co. to put Chips, Cheese and effing Gravy on a pizza!!
Whatever your thoughts on CC&G, you can’t deny the fact that the dish brought the Island together for a day, the deep sense of national pride and protection of our beloved CC&G was clear for the world to see. We united against Canada, as they tried to rain of our parade, claiming “It’s POUTINE”
By the end of they day we’d settled the debate with some priceless Manx wit…
So, there you have it. If we’ve inspired you to stand up and have your say, then my son you shall have it!
Hit the link below, head on over to the official DEFA voting page and tell the government all about your favourite dish!
*heads straight to OTHER and enters CHIPS, CHEESE & GRAVY*
Slaynt vie, bea veayn, beeal fliugh as baase ayns Mannin!