I feel a strange affection––perhaps even an affiliation––for marrow; an affection, which grows stronger each year; a fact that is not without its significance.
Part of the affection stems from the fact that marrow is a peculiarly British food; indeed, for non-British readers, I should perhaps explain what a marrow is. Think courgette/zucchini and then go large. The marrow is to the courgette what the Great Dane is to the Dachshund. But it is not all about size. It is also about age. And so we neatly segue into my next reason for affection.
A marrow is basically an old courgette. Mature is the popular euphemism. Marrow is the mutton to the courgette’s lamb; the beef to courgette’s veal; the legal to courgette’s sex offender’s list.
I am the marrow of my workplace––let me be clear, I am extending the age metaphor here, not the size one. And, be under no mistake, the marrow is in decline.
Before the 1970s, the courgette was practically an unknown entity in the UK, and the marrow ruled supreme. However, the fashion in recent years has been to favour youth; the courgette has been perceived as being sweeter, tastier, sexier; and, inevitably, with the courgette’s rise, so the marrow has slumped.
There are few marrow recipes online; the most positive description for its taste is ‘insipid’; most often it is suggested that it is ‘best served stuffed’.
I believe that this negative propaganda is all part of a wider ageist agenda. Well, it is time for a marrow backlash. Courgettes are not young and tasty; they are immature and under-developed. Marrows are not old has-beens; they are ripe and experienced.
The marrow fightback starts here.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree channels his inner marrow.