Nadiya’s British Food Adventure review: smoked haddock and cheesy scones with the nation’s darling | Television & radio

Two women are racing strange, ungainly vehicles across a barren, brown land. They drive in a semi-reclining position with their legs wide apart. Some kind of birthing chariot, maybe? In their path, green phalluses have pierced the sandy soil and point skywards. The women – one became well known on British television in 2015, the other is a farmer – have razor-sharp knives. When they pass over a protrusion, they reach down and slice it off near the base, emasculating the land. Later, they will eat them – the imperfect, bent ones. The good ones will go to market.

Speculative fiction? Some kind of matriarchal future in which men have become redundant and are only useful as a source of food, income and sport? Actually, asparagus farming in Oxfordshire. And Nadiya’s British Food Adventure (BBC2).

Nadiya Hussain, Bake Off winner and darling of the nation, has her own show. She is touring the country, starting with the home counties. Finding out, trying out, having a go, knocking up a little something for the people she meets along the way.

So, after harvesting the asparagus, she does an alfresco veggie stir-fry with Indian five-spice (but there are six!) for Imogen, the asparagus lady, and her family. She makes some cheesy scones, because she was Britain’s baking champion, and learns from a former firefighter called Turan how to smoke a piece of haddock in a cardboard box. Why would you do that? I can see that if you had caught the haddock, it would be nice to smoke it yourself as well. But if you are buying the fish, why not just get the smoked one lying beside it on the fishmonger’s slab? Maybe I’m missing something …

Anyway, it’s one of those shows. Nadiya is fantastic – lovely, a bit squawky, as competitive behind the wheel (even if the top speed of an asparagus harvest buggy is 3mph) as she was in the GBBO tent. It’s all very refreshing – and reflective of diverse Britain, of course. English asparagus, Indian five-spice, Bangladeshi…

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