I am normally an easy going person, but to-day I am going to have a bit of a rant. Having received two requests for a Golden Christmas cake from my children, I set off to the supermarket to get the ingredients. What makes the Golden Christmas cake so special is the fact that the fruits are apricots and sultanas. Now I know that the supermarkets have bags and bags of lovely bright orange apricots, but they are only this colour because they are pumped full of Sulphur Dioxide. In case you did not know, Sulpher Dioxide is a toxic gas with a ‘rotten eggs’ smell which creates the same smelling ‘gas’ in humans if you know what I mean! For some people, myself included, it also causes stomach cramps and many trips to the loo, for others it can cause respiratory problems. For years I suffered after eating fruit cake and blamed the dried fruit. It was the dried fruit, but not the fruit itself, but what was in it. Yellow apricots and sultanas do not retain this bright colour without Sulphur Dioxide.
So back to my rant. Usually I quickly pass over the bright apricots and select the brown natural ones, which taste divine and have no after effects. However this year, I visited my three local major supermarkets, and not one seems to be stocking the unsulphured ones. What is going on? I thought we were winning on the reduction of noxious chemicals in our food. I eventually purchased what I needed from Holland & Barrett, full marks to them, but black marks to Asda, Tesco and Waitrose this year.