I could probably do with losing a couple of
pounds stone. I do not have big bones, or fat genes, I just love food. Food is ace. Right now, for example, I would sell my own mother for a bar of Whole Nut. Or to find a crisp down the back of the settee.
This love of food is due, in part, to the two-dimensional gourmet delights I was presented with as a child. It’s a universal fact that cartoon food is lovely, and is quite often better than the real thing. Therefore, a lot of my unnecessary eating was me trying to recreate the meals I’d seen and read about. That’s my argument and I’m sticking to it. I might sue the artists one day, but I’ve got stuff to do first, like the washing up.
This is by no means a definitive list of my favourite cartoon food, but it’s certainly a good start.
1. Beryl the Peril’s bangers and mash
Seriously, does this need an explanation? Why aren’t the sausages ever poking out of the mash like that in real life? Also, ignore the random phone number scribbled on the page, I have no idea whose it is. I probably just made it up so people would think I had a friend.
2. George’s sandwich
This is from the 1990 Rainbow Annual, where the three of them are crapping on about how much they like summer. One of the things George likes doing in summer is eating some of the most delicious looking sandwiches known to man. I wanted these sandwiches despite the fact that I didn’t like lettuce as a kid.
I have a theory – every cartoon sandwich contains some fictional dream filling that will taste of whatever you like best.
3. Cow pie
Oh Desperate Dan, how could you sit there and eat your dinner in front of us every week? It’s your fault I keep Pukka Pies in business now.
4. One o’clock food
This charming tableau is from Ladybird’s ‘Telling The Time’ book. It shows the grown ups having their lunch.
Oh god, I need to go raid Tesco now. This always happens when I see this picture. Look at that food. LOOK AT IT! My favourite was always a toss up between the roast dinner and the burger and chips. However, why is that guy eating burger and chips with a knife and fork? That’s not a thing.
5. Ketchup ham
Not something I’d necessarily enjoy in real life, but Mrs Barederriere’s faux ham made entirely from ketchup looks brilliant. In the Cow And Chicken episode ‘Happy Meat’, Mrs Barederriere briefly takes over the school canteen, only serving food made entirely of ketchup.
And speaking of Cow And Chicken…
6. Pork butts and taters
Imagine! Getting random meat and potatoes fired from a catapult into your mouth! What’s not to love?
Don’t try this with soup.
7. Zippy’s chocolate snowmen
Technically they were everyone’s snowmen, but Zippy being Zippy, he ate most of them. That is premium chocolate right there. Look how they practically melt out of the wrapper. Am I putting too much thought into a drawing of Zippy eating some chocolate? Whatever, it’s the reason I can never find chocolate Christmas decorations that live up to my expectations. And believe me, I try every winter. And some summers if I get lucky in the pound shop.
8. Flintstones ribs
This is just about the right amount of rib to keep me happy for ten minutes, say, while I watch the adverts.
9. Whizzer And Chips junk food
In particular, all the food Phil Fitt disapproves of.
Whenever I read a Phil Fitt strip, I always end up thinking the same thing – ‘what a twat’. For those not familiar with Phil Fitt, he’s a cartoon version of Gillian McKeith. No one likes him because he’s always nagging them to eat nothing but water.
Here he is ruining everyone’s lunch for them –
But the important thing is that everyone’s lunch looks amazing. Incidentally, if you’re wondering how the strip ends, everyone decides to murder him. Then they eat him.
One thing before I go – can anyone remember an 80s cartoon episode where there was some kind of eating contest, the good guys vs the bad guys? All I remember is that one of the bad guys folded up an entire picnic table, complete with food, and ate that, thus winning the contest. If you remember it please drop me a line in the comments, I’m going mad.