Wednesday, 9 January 2008


Today's word is "νταλίκα", which means "Juggernaut". It came from a report in To Vima about an overturned lorry which caused traffic chaos in Thessaloniki. I like this word, because it reminds me of "Dalek".

Trouble is, I know bugger all about trucks. Or Daleks.

There used to be a radio programme here called "Just a Minute". For all I know, it may still be going. There were 3 or 4 contestants, and the idea was that they had to talk for a minute on a subject without hesitation, repetition or deviation. If they did any of these things, another contestant could challenge them, and he or she would then get to talk for the remainder of the minute, unless they were also challenged. The winner was the person talking when the minute was over.

So this is my attempt to write about Juggernaut. It'll take me longer than a minute, and although you can if you wish read this without hesitation, I can promise that there will probably be repetition, and definitely deviation.

When I think about lorries, two things come to mind. The first is the film "Convoy", starring Kris Kristofferson and some woman. I must have watched this film about 100 times when I was in my teens - it was a favourite of my parents for some reason, particularly my father, who liked that kind of American "culture".

It was basically a car chase style film with lorries and CBs. They moan about text-message English these days, but it is far more comprehensible than "Breaker, Breaker 1-9, got a bear in a plain brown wrapper, 10-4".

The other thing that comes to mind is hedgehog sandwiches. In the 80's in the UK there was a satirical programme called "Not the Nine O'Clock News", which used to be broadcast at 9pm on our state broadcaster's second TV channel (BBC2), whilst the main 9 O'Clock News bulletin was on BBC1.

They had a sketch that was a song called "We Like Trucking", where they all played the parts of unpleasant lorry drivers. One of the things they did was to put stickers on their doors every time they ran over hedgehogs.

The next week the programme started with an apology, saying they had had complaints from animal lovers about the squashed hedgehogs. They made this apology whilst eating hedgehog sandwiches, and loads of the sketches from then on included people doing the same.

Eventually an enterprising snack company started selling hedgehog flavoured crisps ( = "potato chips" in the US). However, the factory was so smelly that they were forced by local residents to close it in the end.

According to Wiki, hedgehogs were eaten in Ancient Egypt, and were encased in clay and baked, so that when the clay was removed the spikes went with it. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any recipes or pictures. I know you'll be disappointed. I'm sure that hedgehog pate would be ideal on Holy Toast.


Jean Knee said...

well, I finally get to be first.

are hedgehogs and porcupines the same thing?

We had a CB radio in our house growing up. It was soo boring listening to truckers. But that convoy song was cool.

Jean Knee said...

I bet there is a hedgehog recipe in the joy og cooking...I'll go see

Jean Knee said...

I meant of

Jean Knee said...

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Special report: what's wrong with our food?

What's wrong with our food archived articles

Bat or badger? It's the roadkill recipe book

· Virtues of free meat with no additives extolled
· Retired civil servant admits to tasting labrador

Steven Morris
Tuesday January 31, 2006
The Guardian

For most, a squashed hedgehog or flattened badger lying on the side of the road is a tragic sight - for Arthur Boyt it is an opportunity for a free, tasty and nutritious meal. Mr Boyt has spent the last 50 years scraping carcasses from the side of the road and chucking them, together with a few herbs and spices, into his cooking pot.
The retired civil servant has sampled the delights of weasel, rat and cat. His most unusual meal was a greater horseshoe bat, which he reckons is not dissimilar in taste to grey squirrel, if the comparison helps. Fox tends to repeat on him. He has tucked into labrador, nibbled at otter and could not resist trying porcupine when he came across a spiky corpse while on holiday in Canada.

Article continues



Yesterday Mr Boyt (favourite snack: badger sandwich) announced he is ready to share the secrets of his curious culinary success with a wider audience and is writing a roadkill recipe book.
He has also been approached by Gordon Ramsay's people and may cook with the celebrity chef later this year.

Mr Boyt, 66, from north Cornwall, insisted the creatures were not a health threat if properly butchered and cooked. He said: "It's good meat for free and I know nobody has been messing with it and feeding it with hormones. By writing a book I hope to show people it's perfectly normal and healthy to eat."

Mr Boyt first tasted the pleasures of roadkill as a 13-year-old when he found a pheasant on the road, took it home and asked his mother to cook it. Later he used to cycle to his sister's house and pick up dead hares along the way for dinner. His argument is that people don't turn up their nose at an apple which falls out of a tree - so why should they recoil at the idea of meat which they chance upon?

He said: "If the animal has been dead a while and has gone green the taste is a bit bland, but if you cook them thoroughly, you can still eat it. I've been doing it all my life and never been ill once."

Mr Boyt has no regrets about eating the labrador, which he emphasises was without a collar when he found it. "There was nothing on it to show who its owner was even though it was in good condition, so I took it home and ate it. It was just like a nice piece of lamb."

Good enough to eat

Hedgehog spaghetti carbonara (serves four)

500g spaghetti, 30ml olive oil, 250g lean hedgehog, 1 medium onion (chopped), 125ml water, 60ml dry white wine, 4 eggs, 60ml double cream, 100g grated parmesan cheese · chop hedgehog into small chunks

· beat eggs and cream together in a bowl. Add half the parmesan cheese

· put pasta in boiling water

· put onions and hedgehog chunks in pan with olive oil on medium heat until onions are almost clear

· add wine and reduce heat

· drain pasta when cooked, combine it with egg, cream and cheese mix

· add meat, onions and wine without draining fat and mix thoroughly

· garnish with remaining parmesan. Serve immediately

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Chris said...

First, I am an expert on Daleks as I am a huge fan of Dr. Who. They terrify me :)

And as an owner of a hedgehog (once upon a ended up a hedgehog popcycle..Long story) I am privy to certain recipes:
Chocolate Hedgehog

Coconut Ice & Hedgehog


Chris said...

Jean!! You beat me to the recipes.


I'm thinking Brian didn't try very hard to find any ;-)

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

That's wonderful!

You have definitely got to become a celebrity chef. I want to see you on TV cooking hedgehog spaghetti carbonara...

Chris said...

Couldn't resist this article with Roast HedgeHog.


Roasted Meats (Hedgehog)

According to medieval experts: "Hedgehog should have its throat cut, be singed and gutted, then trussed like a pullet, then pressed in a towel until very dry; and then roast it and eat with cameline sauce, or in pastry with wild duck sauce. Note that if the hedgehog refuses to unroll, put it in hot water." This is, however, a dish based on traditional methods of cooking meat going back to prehistoric times.


2–2.5kg joint of meat (or leg of lamb)

Sufficient long grass to cover the meat


Season the meat. Wrap it in long grass, first lengthways and then tying more grass crossways to secure the green wrapping in place. Prepare your barbecue and place a large pot filled with water on it. Cook the meat for about two hours. Once the meat has cooked, remove the grass then place the meat back in the barbecue to sear. Then carve and serve. (Nettle pudding can be boiled in the same pot and served as an accompaniment.)

Brian o Vretanos said...


You're right - I didn't try very hard at all...

But then, I don't cook. For some reason you can't get hedgehog in tins or ready meals, or even sliced.

Brian o Vretanos said...

Blimey! How many hedgehogs would you need to get 2kg of meat?

Brian o Vretanos said...

I want to see some pictures...

Chris said...

Hmm. Seeing I suck at math..seriously..I have no idea how much meat that is. But I suppose you could over feed it similar to the way one overfeeds a turkey for Thanksgiving.

As for pictures, I can't help you. My husband frowns upon my sharing of those. ;-)

Chris said...

Okay, 2kg of meat = 4.4 lbs of meat.

The average hedgehog weighs 9 - 19 ounces (255 - 540 grams).

So you would need approx. 10 hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs cost about $160 are looking at a meal costing about $1,600.

Hope they taste damn good. ROFL.

Brian o Vretanos said...


Thanks for the breakdown. If people's pet hedgehogs start mysteriously disappearing, we'll know why - just look for someone who's wandering around collecting long grass and nettles. ;-)

Actually, I suppose the thing to do in the long run is to buy two and breed them...

Dan said...

Funny but I just had a long detour comming into work due to an overturned truck, I hope he didn't run over a hedgehog.

Jean Knee said...

Go back and get that hedgehog, Dan. there's a good road kill recipe, mmmmm

like most people, I have an interesting (to me) road kill story

Chris said...

Actually, My sister used to breed them (that's where I got the popcycle one) and its pretty decent money. They are pretty cute. In a prickly sorta way.

Brian o Vretanos said...


I hope the lorry wasn't full of hedgehogs.

Jean Knee:

You'll have to tell us this story. I'm sure it will be interesting to us as well.


Small with a shortish life span is good for business, I expect ;-)

Bee said...

Holy Mary of Toast!!! That's what I get for being on baby duty! I'm now comment number 19!! 19!!!

Bee said...

I don't know anything about hedgehogs or trucks other than they like to put those naked women silhouettes on their mud splash thingies.

Bee said...

The trucks not the hedge hogs.

Brian o Vretanos said...

Maybe they should put female hedgehog silouettes on instead - might increase their hit rate ;-)

Twit from PETA said...

every animal life is just as valuable as a human life, well unless you're cold blooded muslim

Bee said...

Does anybody remember BJ and the Bear? He was a hot truck driver. I don't think he ate hedgehogs.

Jean Knee said...

yes I remember him, now thanks a lot. was he hawt? I can't remember