It’s Not About Sexy Cyclists, It’s About Giant Pasties

I was going to blog about sexy cyclists. Cyclists? They’re all Lycra and testosterone with worrying whiffs of inadvisable drug use, aren’t they? Nothing sexy here. The whole sorry Lance Armstrong story has completely ruined pro cycling for me. I’m sure that a knight of the realm like Sir Bradley is as clean as a new whistle that hasn’t been left lying around in a drug den so that’s okay.

The notion is that more successful athletes are more attractive. The study used official headshots from the 2012 Tour de France. Participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of the riders. It’s probably just as well that they used photographs taken at the start of the Tour. Photos taken at the end of sweaty, knackered and broken men may not have been attractive to anyone at all. The quickest 10% of riders were assessed as 25% more attractive than the slowest 10%. I read the original paper but I’m not very good at sums and science so it all went over my head a bit.

But I’m not going to blog about that. Well no more than I already have. I have a confession to make; a guilty, terrible, awful, shameful secret to share.

I like Ginster’s pasties.

I feel better for saying it. I certainly feel better for saying it than I do for eating them but there is something about them. They’re the ultimate sober drunk food. The ultimate drunk food is of course the doner kebab. They were almost a nightly staple in the bad old days. I suppose if you had a small one, ate all the salady stuff and left some of the meaty stuff (you can’t really call shredded cabbage and onion “salad” or the doner “meat” – it’s animal product, certainly), then it’s almost a balanced diet but the fat content has to be gigundous. (I’m a blogger. You don’t expect me to do real research, do you?) A sober drunk food is one that you eat when you’re sober but which would definitely taste much better when you’re a bit pissed.

Anyway, I like Ginster’s pasties. They provide me with an occasional, inadvisable treat when nuked in the microwave and eaten accompanied with some baked beans. One of life’s more unexpected taste sensations. Lunch, in fact, when you really can’t be arsed and the day can’t possibly get much worse anyway.

And now you can buy Large Ones. I’m horrified. The standard one is calorific enough. 566 kcal per pasty, over 20% of the recommended daily amount for a man. There is quite a lot of salt in there too and over a third of the RDA of fat for even a fat bloke. Especially for a fat bloke. I can’t imagine many women eating a Ginster’s pasty either. I suppose they might. It’s quite a gender-specific food, I think.

Their website claims that the larger one is no more calorific. I smell shenanigans. That might just be the seasoning or the neeps. It’s 25% larger so there has to be some difference between the two of them. Even as an occasional foodstuff it’s not brilliant.

Portion control is a tough thing to master. It’s even harder when manufacturers are increasing the sizes of all the bad – and fun – stuff. There are king-sized Mars bars. There are double Mars bars. There are grab bags of crisps “meant for sharing.” I’m certain that Penguin biscuits and Wagon Wheels have shrunk but nothing else has. Apples and bananas are still the same size and don’t have huge marketing campaigns behind them. Mars sponsors the Football Association. So does McDonalds. English Apples and Pears has an app. They probably run their entire operation on what Mars spends on corporate social responsibility.

I’d love to see ads for apples in the same slots as Mars and McDonalds. It won’t happen, sadly. And I’ve wandered off point again. I don’t think I really had one tonight. I just wanted to have a rant about crap food and big marketing budgets and great big fuck off pasties.

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