Monday, March 28, 2022

About the ploughperson's lunch

A pub on Dartmoor has provoked what people are still intent on describing as “a Twitter storm” by labelling a plate of bread and cheese as a “ploughperson’s lunch”. It’s a reference to the people of any gender who till and tend the land in that lovely chunk of Devon but it has inevitably attracted the ire of the gammon massive. “Sorry guys, won’t be visiting a ‘woke’ pub for my lunch. Yes, there are lots of women farmers today and I salute them, but stop changing the past.” 

But what past? What we used to call a ploughman’s may have had its roots in the distant, bucolic past but The Ploughman’s Lunch as a pub staple only goes back as far as the 1950s when the Cheese Bureau sought a way to encourage consumption of their just-off-ration product. That said, since Brexit seems to have been a project of prosthetic nostalgia, luring us back to a decade that nobody remembers because it never happened, maybe that’s entirely appropriate.

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