List love: starchy carbohydrates

Is it just us, or have you too on occasion turned your dinner party conversation to a debate on what the best carb is? Of course, it’s a bit of a two-pronged debate encompassing not only what the best carb is, but also what defines best – is it versatility, taste, widespread usage?

Whatever you might decide, here are my top five carbs and some thoughts you might want to consider next time the topic arises – do you agree, or do you have your own favourite to add to the list?

5. Bread

Warm bread, fresh out of the oven is hard to beat – especially once you’ve slathered on a multitude of fillings, spreads, or even just good old pure salted butter. But let’s be honest here; the stuff has no place at dinner other than to fill you up and prevent you from finishing your main course. And at breakfast and lunch, it’s simply a carrier for real taste and flavour, the overshadowed sidekick of the real deal.

4. Rice

You can’t have sushi without rice. Or risotto. Or paella. Or rice porridge, or even rice pudding  (if that’s what takes your fancy, but you really should have graduated onto solids by the time you’re one). And what would the two and a half billion Chinese and Indians eat to keep up their productivity, thereby ensuring the rest of the world benefits from good quality fakes and disposable fashion?

3. Pasta

There’s got to be a reason why pasta is the consumed meal type at home in the UK, and no doubt in many other countries outside of Italy as well. Just take a look around at the proliferation of Italian restaurants in every westernised culture, and you’ll soon see why spaghetti bolognaise and lasagna feature in almost every cooks repertoire. Delicious, quick, and able to be matched with a host of flavours, pasta really is all it’s cracked up to be.

2. Potatoes

Mashed, baked, fried, chipped, crisped, daupinoised, BBQ’d, sautéed, hash browned, curried – this versatile gem even has a toy based on its humble form, Mr Potato Head. Plus the Irish have such great accents, and they love the stuff. Enough said.

1. Noodles

Noodles maketh the meal! I’m sure Shakespeare once declared after another tasty dinner, wolfed down between rehearsals at the Globe and sleeping with women dressed as men. These bad boys come in thick, thin, flat, curly, rice, egg, brown, white, yellow, dried, ambient, fresh, chilled. They can be fried, steamed, boiled, served dry, in sauce or with soup. You can even wrap them up in spring rolls, or deep fry them into a handy bowl shape in which to serve things in. And in almost every case, the noodles are an integral part of the meal, not just a flavour carrier or side. Convinced?

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9 thoughts on “List love: starchy carbohydrates

      • True, but that does mean no more sandwiches (or just eating the filling out of them at work meetings, feigning “wheat intolerance”?). And no soldiers for your eggs??

      • Noodles are definitely my top carb, but bread would probably be close behind rice to be honest – it would be difficult to give up crusty bread slathered with butter, chewy rye or pumpernickel, and filled baguettes….oh yum!

  1. I think it all depends which country you are from. I couldn’t live without potatoes. And you forgot to mention the joy of carb on carb action, my favourite being the fired potato sandwich, closely followed by potato pizza then pasta Genovese (pasta with potato!) Noodles would be the last on my list…

  2. Definitely not convinced on this one! Noodles are my lowest ranking carb… rarely consumed and easily done without. My life, however, would not be complete without rice or pasta…

    And then there’s good old bread. Which, here in Froggyland, has an identity all of its own. It is not a carb that is chosen to accompany a main dish, but an entirely separate being that accompanies EVERY meal, regardless of which other carb is being used. It’s main purpose seems to be to soak up sauce… my boyfriend’s biggest complaint when we go to an Asian restaurant is that there is so much sauce and no bread… he even wants to eat bread with a plate full of rice or a bowl full of noodles! Whilst my penchant for bread does not yet mirror these French extremes, life just wouldn’t be the same without a trip down to the local boulangerie for a warm, crusty baguette straight out of the oven!

  3. Pingback: Baking bread | sheepless.net

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