The Spit Roast

Every so often you see a sign by the side of the road here in Perth: ” Spit Roast –  Call xxx…for your next function “. I have always assumed that a spit roast was some form of jolly medieval feasting fare – with jesters dancing about and knights and maidens calling out ” Forsooth” and suchlike. A harmless amusement.

Imagine my horror when I discovered that it was a real thing that caterers do to provide food for weddings and corporate affairs – and that they expect you to eat whatever has been revolving for the last four hours and like it. The sight of the trailer that they use as a cooking facility has stayed with me for a long time. I think it was designed by Stephen King…

I do not say that they are poisoners…unless they serve fish in French sauce. In which case they are poissoniers. But that is merely playing eeny , meeny, miney, mot… The food is not dangerous in the same way that unexploded mines or live electrical cables are. It can be eaten. And therein lies the problem.

It cannot be eaten neatly. No matter whether they serve it up on a bun or on a paper plate, you can be sure that great deal of it will slide down the front of your clothing. The separate ingredients are both chewy and crumbly and tend to leap out at you whenever you attempt a bite. You may have worn your best suit or party frock for the occasion, but henceforth it will never be No.1 rig again – the gravy will assure that.

I am also sure that the spring lamb that is supplied through spit roasts has often seen many springs, and the beef has been herded on many trails before reaching the party stage. You may not have your No.1 rig on, but you’d better have your No.1 teeth in.

In the words of H.L. Mencken: ” Spit roast? I prefer gravy…”


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