I, along with my AFB co-founder Gary From Leeds, have spent the last two summers purveying my wares at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. One thing I noticed up there was that performers go to great lengths to get their shows reviewed, and are often disappointed (to say the least) with the outcome. In the scrum to get reviews, the possibility that a review may turn out to be less than favourable can go unacknowledged.
I am reminded of this as I write the present review. For yesterday a friend texted me, suggesting that I review malt loaf. “Go on”, she said, “make your Sunday spectacular.”
I feel very bad as I write this, because a lot of thought and feeling clearly went into this request that I review a foodstuff evidently so dear to my friend’s heart. So it is with a very heavy heart that I declare that malt loaf is, well, a bit crap.
A multitude of factors combine to render this the case: its heaviness, its stickiness, its occupation of a strange hinterland between sweet and savoury (it tastes sweet, but people eat it with butter. I mean, WTF, right?). My main beef with it, however, is twofold. I shall address each of the folds in turn:
(1) It is made primarily of raisins. Nothing good has ever come from a raisin.
(2) It is DECEPTIVE. And this for a further two reasons:
(a) As per (1), it tastes of raisins, whereas the title dictates that it should taste of malt. Malt is delicious; raisins are not. If I wanted a raisin loaf I’d buy something called Raisin Loaf (which I won’t).
(b) It looks downright delicious, like a big block of sticky loveliness. But it tastes of sodding raisins. Thus there is a deceptive disconnect between appearance and reality.
A possible problem with my argument is that it is premised on the assumptions that raisins are bad. Surely, one might claim, this assumption can be questioned. And I answer: no it can’t. If you’re going to defer to AFB as the arbiter of taste and decency, as my friend was doing when she sent me her food review request, then you’d better be prepared for the judgement, regardless of whether or not it confirms your prejudices.
AFB has spoken. Deal with it.
Malt Loaf: 3/10.