It is a generally accepted fact that roast potatoes are the vegetable in a roast dinner with the highest individual value1
. This leads to the necessity for a vegetable exchange rate when there is a paucity of spuds on the menu.
Now if there are four diners and a roast dinner is on the horizon, the well-prepared cook will ensure am equal number of roast potatoes for each person. But what happens when, through some calamity, natural or man-made, there are fifteen roasters? One person will have to make do with three, which is manifestly unfair as the other three have four. Of course, the host will wish to balance the servings by compensating the loser with other vegetables.
Precisely how much broccoli makes up for the missing roaster, or how many peas? Will an additional spoonful of cabbage make up the deficit? Does a roast parsnip equal a roast spud, or is it only 90% of the value and how do you make up the remaining 10% deficit? Then you have veggies so appalling – swede, for example – that adding it is simply heaping insult upon injury. Right thinking people would gladly give up a roaster to do without
swede. It is a vegetable so bad that it has a negative value2
With the roast potato at the top of the roast dinner chain, then, I shall assign it a value of ten. This being the case, what value can we assign to other vegetables? Time, I think, for a poll.
Before we go to the poll, however, I should point out that in this case we are simply considering vegetables and their impact upon the palate; we are not interested in their relative nutritional merits, this is entirely value assigned by taste and smell. Neither are we concerned with meat or fish and certainly not with a Yorkshire Pudding3
]1By which I mean that it is not a generally accepted fact.2I shall brook no argument t on this point: swede is vile. If you are odd enough to think otherwise, kindly keep it to yourself. This is a respectable journal
.3The Yorkshire Pudding is that rarity on the dinner plate. It trumps the roast potato. One average sized Yorkshire is worth at least two roasters and as such is an easy way of buying off potato deficits, though again, an imbalance of Yorkshires creates the same concerns one level up. A deficit of both roaster and Yorkshires is unconscionable and the cook should be shot.