Quinoa or just porky pies? Foodie tips to make people think you’re cultured

Picture by Simon Hulme
Picture by Simon Hulme
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A supper of rare steak, accompanied by quinoa and followed by smelly cheese and dark chocolate, all washed down with a craft ale, is the favoured menu of pretentious Yorkshire families seeking the respect of their cultured friends, a study suggests.

Nearly one in three in the county admitted to telling ‘pork pies’ about enjoying food they had never eaten, or reading books they had not opened, in order to seem more sophisticated.

They also claimed to have seen plays by Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, and perhaps a Verdi opera to impress their friends, the research by MSC Cruises found.

One in five people had fibbed about places to which they had travelled, with New Zealand, Barcelona, Australia and Rome emerging as popular destinations among people who had never been there.

More than half also said they had watched a film they had not seen, while one in five confessed to faking an interest in politics in order to impress their better educated peers.

A similar number admitted giving the impression to their family and friends that they enjoyed “cooler” music than the discs in their record collection might suggest.

Among the books thought most likely to impress were said to be War and Peace, Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird and, curiously, a children’s work, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s novel set in the segregated south of 1930s America, also appears in the list of films to have falsely claimed knowledge of, along with Taxi Driver, Citizen Kane, Chocolat and The Graduate.

Meanwhile, the shopping list from Waitrose for the socially upwardly mobile is said to include sushi, oysters, hot chillies, granola, sweetbreads and kale.

But despite the exaggeration, the average annual cultural consumption in Yorkshire involves a creditable 18 books, three visits to the theatre, 10 independent films, 30 documentaries and visits to four countries.

Antonio Paradiso of MSC Cruises, said: “We know that guests seek to visit new countries in order to broaden their horizons beyond the everyday.”