THE FAT Panel has recently published the findings of a survey to discover Whitby residents’ favourite meals, with surprising results.
Fish and chips, the tourists’ favourite, was left languishing in fourth place behind lasagne, steak and chips and the winning dish of Sunday roast with all the trimmings.
Over 32 per cent of residents claimed a traditional roast dinner was their meal of choice and John Morley, owner of Cross Butts Stable restaurant, is not surprised.
He said: “We do lots of different meals but the roast dinner is always extremely popular so I would agree with the poll.
“A Sunday roast is massive for families as it’s traditional and I think it’s something we all reflect on.
“We all like to think of our mum and grandma when we are having it and a roast dinner shows a respect for our heritage.
Mr Morley added that, at a time where the farming community is struggling, the dish represents a solidarity in the local community.
He added: “The farmers are having such a tough time that it’s good to be able to support them.
“People realise that they’re looking after their own.”
None of the top ten dishes were vegetarian, a fact that surprised Deb Gillanders of First Season health food shop on St Anne’s Lane, as Whitby has strong vegetarian roots dating back to the Civil War.
On Carlin Sunday, one week prior to Palm Sunday, carlin peas would be eaten to commemorate a time when they were the only thing standing between besieged residents and starvation.
However, Mrs Gillanders said that such food should not only be a last resort: “I think vegetarians and vegans are very quiet about their delicious diets.
“The thing is people do not realise that whether you need to eat them or not, an awful lot of our options are really tasty, so just give them a go.
“It’s not just a lot of old lentils.”
With the other top ten meals suggesting residents are all-too-keen to dodge a salad whenever possible, Fat Panel expert and nutritionist, Sarah Schenker, says people need to watch what they eat: “We need to be careful not to eat meals high in saturated fat too often.
“Being aware of what’s in the food we buy, using sensible cooking methods, such as grilling, and opting for common sense swaps like spread instead of butter will all have a positive effect on the amount of saturated fat we eat.”
The survey also showed that cooking from scratch is not popular, with only 37 per cent of Whitby residents managing it 3-4 times a week.
Instead takeaways are the preference, with 31 per cent of people eating a takeaway at least once a week.
Mr Morley added that, rather than an unhealthy option, roast dinners actually encourages a varied healthy diet: “It’s amazing to see parents introducing their children to the wide range of vegetables we have on offer, and the children then happily tuck in.”
The Fat Panel is an independent group that provides objective information about the important dietary role and benefits of oils and fats.
By educating the public about fat facts they hope to improve the diets and general health of the nation.