Anyway, enough about those other places, for now we are in Saltburn. You might think the signature dish around here is fish and chips. And it’s certainly unquestionably true that the
North Yorkshire coastline is the source of the best fish
and chips in the whole world. But there’s another dish which is the local
speciality: the parmo. The parmo is more Teesside than Yorkshire, and Saltburn
straddles both places: look right from the pier and you see the rolling cliff
top fields and wooded hills of picture perfect North Yorkshire. Look left
and the industrial glories of Teesside – the steel works at Redcar, big ships
queuing up to go into Teesport– fill
While tourists, seeking
Yorkshire’s old fashioned seaside delights, opt for fish and
chips, the locals eat parmos.
‘What’s a parmo?’ I hear you ask. Well, clearly you’re not from round here. Neither is TLOML and he has asked the same question many times. Mainly because there’s so much talk of parmos. TLOML’s swim club buddies keep asking him when he’s going to try one. Every pub and most restaurants have a ‘parmo night’, when all the specials are parmos. Chicken parmos, pork parmos, mushroom parmos, and so on.
Allow me to put you out of your misery. A parmo is a piece of meat (or mushroom mush), bashed about and flattened a bit, breaded and fried. Sounds a bit like those chicken escalopes you see in greasy spoons in
doesn’t it? (Is that London’s signature dish? No, it can’t be. Teesside claims
it). But what makes it more than just an escalope, what elevates it into a
parmo, is that it is then topped with béchamel sauce and grated parmesan. And chips.
Boom! Heart attack! They are served in Styrofoam boxes to drunks up and down London Linthorpe Road
every Saturday night. And to civilised people in Saltburn pubs on parmo nights.
TLOML tried his first parmo at the weekend – under the expert guidance of my brother-in-law, who knows a first rate pub chef who makes a good one (no reformed chicken, or cheddar instead of parmesan, for him).
|TLOML with his parmo|
His verdict? He liked it. But he didn’t see it catching on outside Teesside. I'm not so sure. Despite its healthy image and all those fro-yo shops, LA is also home to Roscoes, which served quite possibly the least healthy meal I’ve ever eaten (half a fried chicken, waffles, and so much salt I was thirsty for two days afterwards). I wonder if we might open up a parmo shop on our return, and show those Californians what they're missing.
|I could see this having an exotic appeal on Santa Monica Boulevard|