Today I have mostly been eating pot noodle, cous cous, delicious curried ribs (can’t remember if they were lamb or goat; either way is mmm), and some bizarre new discovery called Jamaican Irish Moss. By new, I mean obviously new to me. I’m sure it’s old news to plenty of people. It’s a drink in a tin made from something called Carrageenan ‘With Oats’. I’ve never heard of this magic George’s Marvellous Medicine ingredient. But the picture across the lower half of the label should have given me a clue. Initially I thought it just a random pattern. Now I know what Carrageenan is I see that the ‘pattern’ is actually a representative picture. Basically it’s some weird thickening agent (E407) extracted from Chondrus crispus, the red seaweed know as Irish Moss.
I shook well before opening as instructed, and opened the old-fashioned ring pull. I began to pour over ice into my glass, but... a tiny blob of greyish goo plopped out onto the ice. Not what I was expecting at all. Where is my drink? Instead I get an extremely thick sort-of pudding that dumped out of the can with each vigorous shake. The taste was not all together great yet conversely not entirely bad. It reminds me of something I can’t place... some sort of pudding perhaps. A consistency like mushed bananas and a taste like vanilla. Not as good as Nutrament, and definitely not a patch on the awesome, delicious, nutritious wonder that is Supermalt!
I never set out to be a review of drinks, and if I had I clearly haven’t done a very good job of it. That I still have to resort to words like ‘awesome’ is a sign that I have a very long way to go if I ever want to be a food critic. And I do. A job travelling the world to eat American burgers as big as my head, snail porridge at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, surströmming in Sweden, and narezushi in Japan, is a job that I would relish. Perhaps my digestive system would lodge a complaint, but my taste buds would have the deciding vote and the time of their life.
I have saved half the glass of Irish Moss in the fridge with a bit of cling film to keep the flys from swarming. When the missus gets home she can try it and see if she likes it. It’s not exactly morish so I wouldn’t imagine I’ll buy it again. Next time in an Asian, African or Continental market I’ll be picking up and trying another random drink. It’s like a hobby or something... Until then it's Yorkshire Tea .... mmmmmmmm