I’ve used this platform to speak out about issues before. I feel it is best to be open. Bottling things up never helps anyone, especially when it comes to sensitive subjects. My friends and family read this blog and some of the things they read probably come as a surprise to them. But what do you do? Put out a press release? Send out individual text messages explaining yourself to people? That takes too much effort. The line between a blog and a dear diary becomes increasingly blurred at times. Admissions are good though, they are the first step. Five words, I can already feel the weight lifting from my shoulders as I anticipate ending this paragraph by writing them. I am a pastry fiend.
What did you think I was going to say? The trouble is, with time in lockdown to think, and a series of tips on Interrailing that you are reading now, I have been able to ruminate on every aspect of my travelling past. Right down to the tiny, delicious, flaky crumbs.
Where does pastry fit in to a tip about train travel? Right at the heart of the train trips actually. At this point I have to go all Great British Bake Off. The early series, where Mel or Sue went off to discover something about baked goods. No Noel Fielding in sight.
Unlike the Bake Off this isn’t about what you can do for your pastry, it is about what your pastry can do for you. In the name of a scientific test, we shall assume that we are going on an eight hour train journey. The train departs at eight AM, arriving at four PM. Maths as well as science. Some trains offer drinks and snacks on board but not all. The fare on offer can also be of variable quality, so it is important to come prepared. Interrail Tip 4: Bring your own food.
If you have to be on the train at eight, you need to be at the station earlier. Breakfast has probably not happened. It needs to happen on the train. You also need to consider lunch. Even parked on my rump I can’t survive for eight hours sans sustenance. Enter the fabulous, flaky world of pastry.
Pastry is infinitely transportable when compared to let’s say, a sandwich. It looks nicer for sure but isn’t as precious about how you carry it. A slightly squashed apple turnover has less airs and graces than a chicken club. It will also cope better out of refrigeration. At this point I should probably insert a caveat that foods you eat are your own responsibility. Don’t sue me if you follow my advice here and end up with the two bob bits because you ate a steak bake cold half a day after you purchased it.
Potential clanger avoided, it is time to look at well, a clanger as inspiration. A clanger is a pastry containing a savoury filling at one end and sweet at the other. Designed to be a full meal for workers whenever they were invented. Before television. That’s as far as my research in to the subject goes. Plus point two of pastry. Versatility. I didn’t come across any clangers while Interrailing. Not in the baked goods sense at least. Most long train journeys I came equipped with the same set up. A bottle of water (remember to hydrate campers), two sweet pastries and a savoury pastry. One sweet pastry for breakfast. The other as pudding after the savoury pastry at lunch time. What a time to be alive.
Admission time. I didn’t even consider eating healthily while on the train. For that purpose I will just suggest that it is impossible to do. Plus, we’ve all been on a train where someone has cracked open some kind of salad with a funky dressing that has stunk the place out. Don’t be that person, please.
And so we have my ode to pastry. While there are other food types available, the Pilsbury Doughboy is paying me commission to push his product. Quote FREERANGEBEN at the checkout if you don’t believe me. But if you can’t be good, be smart and make sure you pack yourself food and drink for every train journey.
Disclaimer. No photographs used in this post feature pastry. It simply doesn’t exist without being eaten for long enough to be photographed when in my presence.