You know the drill; you’re plonked on the sofa with the takeaway menu on your lap and you’ve almost got your order down to a tee. You turn to your partner and ask how many poppadoms to add to which they reply: ‘Don’t bother – the curry house always chucks them in for free’.
But what if they didn’t? That was one possible reality in Scotland after government north of the border proposed banning the free added extras this week in a bid to curb obesity. That would be an end to gratis poppadoms and prawn crackers, but the powers that be quickly came to their senses.
The SNP proposed the idea as part of a bid to end “the nation’s damaging relationship with junk food”, but is it really the crispy treats that are the problem? If you’re already tucking into a calorie-laden curry, then is a poppadom really going to tip the scales?
You could call this the sugar tax of the takeaway world, with legislation designed to help save us from ourselves. But if the poppadoms didn’t come free, most people would probably tack them to the end of their order anyway.
The problem with the likes of poppadoms and prawn crackers is that we don’t know when to stop. Well after a meal is finished, these crunchy treats linger and it’s very tempting to polish them off throughout the evening.
With little high quality nutrition, these sides are deep-fried making them a source of large quantities of fat. If you have ever seen one before it’s cooked, then you will understand how much oil they absorb to reach their eventual volume.
For many though, poppadoms and prawn crackers are a vital part of the whole takeaway experience and shouldn’t be left out. Surely it’s the attitude to takeaways in general that needs to be addressed and not the helpless poppadom.
While some people have become accustomed to relying on the local curry shop or Chinese when they can’t be bothered to cook, others realise such meals should be a rare treat. Going all out with poppadoms, chutneys and pickles isn’t that bad if it’s only done once in a blue moon.
The Scottish government seems to have backed off with its nanny state fussiness for now, but it has restricted access to unhealthy food in the past. This being the home and birthplace of the nutrient-rich delicacy that is the deep-fried Mars Bar…
If the proposal is revisited and eventually passed, then how long is it before the rest of the UK follows suit?