Ok, maybe ‘The King of Foods’ might be a slight exaggeration, but they are rather wonderful aren’t they? If you agree with me then huzzah! Let’s start a jacket potato revolution! If you don’t agree with me, then read on. And if you don’t want to read on, then we really can’t be friends anymore.
So moving on from the rather serious business of my last post, now we’re in more light-hearted, whimsical territory. Not that the humble jacket potato shouldn’t be taken seriously. Do you know, I recently found out that a potato contains more potassium than a banana? And having a healthy amount of potassium in your diet can keep your heart and muscles healthy and help prevent strokes. So next time you’re tempted to pour scorn on the poor potato because of all that ‘carbs are evil’ nonsense, think about the good it can do.
You might want to use that helpful fact as an excuse to eat more chips. It’s up to you, but I suspect the increase in chip consumption could well cancel out all the tender love and care you think you might be showing to your heart. So why not go with what is, in my opinion, one the tastiest and healthiest of potato options – crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, the Jacket Potato (and yes, it does deserve to be in capitals) should be an essential part of your family’s diet.
So what’s so great about it? Firstly, it’s easy. The only thing you have to remember is to put aside an hour for it to cook. So as long as you get the oven on when you come home from the school run, you’re sorted.
Of course, we’re not talking eating just a plain potato here. The beauty of them is that you add as little or as much as you like (as long as you put on plenty of butter first). A baked potato with grated cheese evokes many a school dinner memory for me, but these days, I like to use cheese that tastes of something other than rubber and have a salad on the side. Other popular toppings include cheese and beans, cheese and coleslaw, cheese and prawn cocktails, cheese and tuna mayonnaise…are you sensing a theme here by any chance? Including cheese is by no means obligatory, but I very much recommend it.
A Jacket Potato is also a food for all seasons. I have many nostalgic recollections of sitting in a country pub garden with my family – the sun setting and a potato piled high with goodness in front of me. Or to warm yourself up on a wintry evening such as the ones we’re starting to experience right now, heat up some left over bolognaise, chilli or curry that’s been sitting in the fridge and spoon in onto your piping hot potato.
But the very best thing about them – the skins. I really don’t understand people who eat all of the insides and leave the delicious jackets – those are the best bits! Unfortunately, my own children fall into this category. One day, I shall convert them to the ways of the potato skins. But until then, I shall continue to eat all their leftovers religiously. Picky eaters do have some benefits after all.