If you're the type of person who likes to burn a hole in their throat at every meal, I highly recommend Borrowdale SPAR's pickled vegetable preserve. It is an absolute gullet-scorcher. You will sob grotesquely, in part because you are effectively ripping your tastebuds off one by one, but also because of the absolutely top notch flavour, rivaled by no other condiment in existence in our, or any other, known world.

If you'd like to find out how I discovered this, read on.

I sashayed into Borrowdale SPAR one disgustingly hot afternoon seeking refuge from the heat in the frozen aisles, trying not to buy ice cream, when I realized it was lunch time. Thankfully I'm something of a vegetarian most of the time and, when it suits, a vegan, so as I gazed at the Nestlé Rolo Ice Cream in despairing love, I reminded myself that it's at times like these, when I'm likely to eat an entire 2 liter container of diabetes, that I most need to be vegan and move on to the salad section.

Which is exactly what I did, but not because I have anything that resembles willpower. No - there was a rather attractive young man several paces from me who looked like he went to crossfit and was "training for my next 10k hey" and I thought I should probably not look like I belong on My 600lb Life, so, avoiding his "I spend my mornings at Profitness, what do you do" gaze, I made an appearance at the fresh food section instead.
On display was a reasonable choice of ingenious salads: beetroot and feta (Id like to apologize to the sophisticated woman standing next to me for wretching like a nauseated cat and putting her off her food), butternut and spinach (I'm not sure which is worse - cold winter squash or the fact that it's mixed with spinach), Three Bean (ah, beans, finally something my povo mind recognizes), macaroni (eugh, I can feel the coeliac disease coming on), and the typical Greek and Garden, which, bar tomatoes, I could cope with.

So the server, with a brilliant smile and glorious nostrils, patiently dished up all the edible salad options, and then did a double take when I asked for two large spoons of the pickled vegetable preserve.
"It's hot." She says and cocks an incisively plucked eyebrow.
I glance out to the car park and agree vehemently but she shakes her head and indicates the pickled vegetables.
"It's VERY hot."
And because I come from Mozambique, land of the peri peri chicken, and nobody tells a Landrey what to do, I thought "how hot could a few shredded carrots be." So I snorted and told her to load it up anyway. She gawped, asked if I would eat it in front of her and wouldn't hand it over till I agreed.

It wasn't until I took the first (impolitely large) spoonful that I realized how very right she was and how very wrong I had been about "a few shredded carrots."

It was ugly.

Because I was sobbing and stuffing my face at the same time, like the well brought up Mozambican savage my good parents raised, unsure whether I loved it or hated it, like someone eating bacalhao for the first time, cursing and thanking the server all at once as she threw serviettes at me from a safe distance, cackling and saying "I tried to tell you!"

And, as it happened, Mr Crossfit from the ice cream aisle appeared with a look of genuine concern and said, "Do you need some vitamin water?"
"No!" I coughed, tears running down my face, "You should try the vegetable preserve."

And because puffy eyes, green snot and ugly crying are never the sort of thing that recommend food, he didn't 🤣.

But I'm here to tell you that you should, because some of the best things in life make us ugly cry, and Borrowdale SPAR's pickled vegetables preserve is one of them.

Fellow foodies, may we soon meet for shenanigans in the supermarket,

The Inscrutable Shrew


Mr. Crossfit & the Vegetable Preserve

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