Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Although it had been an open secret for a number of years, 2008 marked the point where all pretence of the Eurovision finals actually being a competition about pop songs finally came to end. We've always had Greece and Cyprus voting for each other, but now it seems the whole of the ex-USSR are voting for their Russian ex-masters en masse, while the Baltic and Balkan countries participate in a similarly synchronized love-in. But now that Eurovision is no longer about the music, we don't necessarily have to resign ourselves to the fact that it is simply a political PR exercise. In the spirit of the original competition, created in order to foster cross-cultural understanding and forge friendships with our European counterparts, perhaps only thing for it is to find another common theme. The music is rubbish, the politics are depressing, but food - now that's something everyone can agree on.
So here's a question. Can 25 food bloggers eat the cuisine of the 25 Eurovision finalists in 25 hours all within the M25? Not just find a local tapas bar or French restaurant though - really get to grips with the cultural heritage of food and the pride that ex-pats have in the cuisine of their country. That is the challenge that Andrew Webb, ex Channel 4 travelling foodie and freelance journalist, has set to the blogging community. He's asking for 25 foodies to agree to be randomly assigned a Eurovision country, then to go out into our nation's capital and see what food stories they can find. Already it seems he has persuaded the BBC to give the project some publicity from the Eurovision website, and this is looking to be a fantastic opportunity to see the best that this most multicultural of cities has to offer.
So, if you're a foodie blogger that would like to get involved before the whole thing snowballs and becomes incredibly oversubscribed, sign up here. Then, rather than sitting at home watching miserably as Team GB pick up null points and some balding cheeseball with a ponytail and white suit walks off with the winning song "Ponky Ponky Bip Bip", you could be enjoying some of the best food in the world. And possibly even doing your bit for world peace. Not bad for an evening's work.