Burnt toast? Spare ribs? Why the dirtiest food is the most delicious | Jay Rayner

Fine dining is all very well, but sometimes there’s nothing like burnt toast or those lurid chicken-shop spare ribs

Being a pervert carries with it risks, the most acute of which is exposure. Deviating from the norm is fine, unless everyone finds out. The only way to face this challenge is to be open; to be out and proud about exactly who and what you are. That is what I intend to do, right here and right now. I found the strength to do so after a consultation with my family or, to be more exact, some mocking from my eldest son. He looked at what I was having for breakfast one day, shook his head and said: “If only people knew” For a moment I was afraid. What if people did find out? What then? Would my reputation be in tatters? Which was when I concluded that I had to be myself, that if I was honest and open, nobody could hold anything over me.

So here it is: I adore burnt toast. I don’t mean slightly darker than the way you like your toast. I mean black. Best of all is still hot black toast with a smear of butter (the cheap spreadable kind) that fizzes into the holes on contact and then a bit of Marmite to dance with the acrid carbon notes. Sure, I don’t need toast to be burnt. I can enjoy other sorts of toast. But I very much like it that way. It makes me happy.

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