Thanks to a European ban on food-coloring agents that may cause hyperactivity in children, some of the most beloved British dishes may be meeting their demise. The Guardian’s Word of Mouth blog is particularly concerned about the loss of battenberg cake, a favorite teatime treat:
Heading the list of foodstuffs at risk of going down with the colouring-laden ship was–you guessed it–good old Captain Battenberg. Other comestibles facing extinction include mushy peas, Turkish delight and tinned strawberries. Manufacturers of marmalade, jam, marzipan and blancmange should also be worried.
Notice a pattern here? Yes, the FSA’s recommendations are beginning to look like an all-out assault on the British way of life.
I notice another pattern here: Nobody would miss any of this stuff here in the USA. I mean, who eats canned strawberries anyway? And maybe I shouldn’t knock it until I try it, but blancmange, a dessert “made from gelatinous or starchy ingredients and milk”—and food coloring, of course—sounds rather repulsive to me. Battenberg cake looks cute and all, but if American bakeries offer any heavily food-colored European confection, they’re far more likely to serve Italian tricolor cookies (a.k.a. rainbow cookies or rainbow cakes).
Personally, I’m not familiar with Turkish delight, I never got into molded marzipan, and I prefer to buy all-natural marmalade and jam. Even my go-to recipe for mushy peas doesn’t involve green food coloring.
But surely America’s got to have some artificially colored foods that would be heartbreaking to lose, if such a ban were ever passed stateside. Besides red velvet cake and M&M’s, what else would be missed?