Nancy Birtwhistle joined forces with charity Love Food Hate Waste to promote the use of stale bread. Image: WRAP
Foodies at a dinner party in London raved over the food they were eating at a pop-up diner, but were left eating their words when the chef revealed the main ingredient was stale bread.
Reigning Great British Bake Off champion Nancy Birtwhistle joined forces with charity Love Food Hate Waste, to dream up a menu with one requirement - each course had to contain bread which had gone stale.
The national charity cooked up the idea after its research revealed that around 24 million slices of bread are thrown away in UK households every day. They also found that almost one in five Brits have binned a forgotten loaf without even opening it.
The three-course took place at London's Borough Market. It was only after Nancy had supplied three simple courses of; a niçoise salad for starter with black olive croutons, moussaka with a breadcrumb topping for main course and a summer terrine for pudding, that they found out the bread was in fact stale.
Nancy said: "There’s an assumption with people, my family included, that stale bread means ‘gone off’ bread, fit for the bin. But in actual fact stale bread is an ingredient, and we need it for every course in the menu I cooked today."
“It wasn't until I came out of the kitchen at the end of the meal and revealed that stale bread had been used in each dish that they all gasped! But though the bread was stale, they raved about how much they enjoyed it.”
Nancy, who impressed the judges of last year’s Bake Off with her no nonsense approach to baking, has spoken frequently on the importance of being thrifty with food. She has joined forces with Love Food Hate Waste to take part in the Use Your Loaf campaign to help people to make more of their bread and reduce the 24 million slices which go to waste every day in UK households.
Donned ‘queen of consistency’ by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, her journey to being 2014’s GBBO champion even saw her blitz dough in the microwave in the race to come out top.
Diner Holly Harwood, 25, a production assistant from London, said: “I really enjoyed the meal. The terrine was my favourite. I didn’t even realise it was bread as it tasted more like cake.
“I know that stale bread is often used in cooking and it shouldn’t bother people, because when prepared properly it tastes really good.
“Maybe those who aren’t into cooking would be wary, but if they tried it they’d probably love it.
“I freeze bread a lot, but after today I’ll definitely think about other things I can use it for.”
Clare Morfin, 48, a business development director from Great Dunmow, Essex, said: “The niçoise salad was excellent; you could really taste the olives in the croutons.
“I think we’re all a bit guilty of throwing too much bread away, and with the economic climate we have in Britain right now it’s great to learn of new ways to make it go further.”
Emma Marsh of Love Food Hate Waste said: “We are a nation of bread lovers; from the classic sandwich to good old fashioned beans on toast. It is shocking to think of all that bread going to waste each year just from our homes."
“That’s why we are thrilled to be working in partnership with Nancy to help the nation ensure that our beloved bread can be used in so many ways.”
There are more tips, recipes and waste solutions at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com showcasing how we can all use our loaf.
By Lucy Purdy: email@example.com