Yes folks, I’ve discovered something new. It’s called the ‘Fatberg’.
What’s a fatberg, I hear you ask (nay, yell) at your screen. ‘Tell me! Tell me now!’ Okay.
A fatberg is like an iceberg. Except it’s not made of very cold water. No. It’s made of fat.
‘No shit, Sherlock’ some of you less than genteel readers might be thinking. ‘And where the hell do you find a fatberg?’
In London’s sewers. Yes, that’s right; sewers. You think I’m joking? Take a look at this:
Pic from County Clean
What are you looking at? It’s a fatberg. It’s in a sewer that measures over 1 metre in diameter. It weighs 15 tonnes and is comprised of the congealed fat and baby wipes that have been shoved down the drains of residents in the affluent suburb of Kingston upon Thames. And it’s right outside my office!
To quote Gordon Hailwood, Waste Contracts Supervisor for Thames Water:
“While we’ve removed greater volumes of fat from under central London in the past, we’ve never seen a single, congealed lump of lard this big clogging our sewers before.
“Given we’ve got the biggest sewers and this is the biggest fatberg we’ve encountered, we reckon it has to be the biggest such berg in British history.
“The sewer was almost completely clogged with over 15 tonnes of fat. If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston”.
Now while this general disaster/calamity was going on right outside my office window, it got me thinking. What kind of fat-related disasters am I brewing up inside my own drains. I mean I like a good bit of fat in my culinary creations. And I don’t spend too much time thinking about what I stick down the drains.
Take ‘Chantilly Cream with Disaronno and Strawberries’ for example. It’s basically fat. And what I didn’t serve up, I may, just may, have rinsed down the plug hole. Oops.
For Chantilly Cream with Disaronno and Strawberries you will need
- 1 pot of double cream
- 6-8 ready-made meringues
- 1 punnet strawberries
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 big, big glug of disaronno (or any other liquer)
First cut up the strawberries:
Pour the cream into a large metal bowl (it helps if you cool the bowl in the fridge first; it helps the cream whip up).
Whisk with a balloon whisk until it starts to thicken:
Add the sugar and liquer and continue to whisk until you get softish peaks:
Now chunk up the meringue and add to the cream, along with most of the strawberries. Fold in to the cream:
Spoon into serving bowls and top with the remaining strawberries:
Now how exactly does this relate to a fatberg? Well the connection is dubious, I’ll admit. But I do remember washing the bowl out down the sink. That’s double cream (i.e. double fat) going straight down the drain, right there. Multiply that by a million times (bacon fat, roast dinners, sausage run-off….you get the idea) and I’ve got my very own fatberg sitting right outside my garden, about 3 feet under! Go fatberg!