|Barry's In A Pickle - Onions From Film Critic Norman
Written by Sophie Bruce
Celebrities putting their name to products is a long-established business worldwide. Endorsements, merchandise, even their own creations, the list is endless and can encompass anything from clothing to vehicles, DVDs to books and even beauty products.
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But celebrities endorsing foodstuffs? That's a little different, unless we're talking diet products. I mean, you don't expect those in the glare of the public eye to actually admit EATING like the rest of us plebs, do you?
Celebs releasing their own food lines are even rarer and the newest one on the block is a tenuous gossamer thread of connection not seen since Paul Newman launched his own salad dressing. Film critic Barry Norman is selling his own pickled onions.
Yep, I know, it sounds like I'm making it up but you really couldn't. Norman grins out cheesily from the jar label, holding a clapperboard proclaiming him as 'producer', the scene as 'hot & spicy' and the take as, err, 'pickled onions'. They've even named the website Pickleodeon. See it at
With all this counting against them, these have got to be pretty darn good pickled onions. And thankfully, they are. Made by Kentish family preserving business Opies (www.b-opie.com) sticking faithfully to Granny Norman's 19th century recipe, these bite-sized beauties are zingy and crunchy and delicious.
Made for the connoisseur rather than the pickle virgin they pack a nice hot punch, flavoured with mustard seeds, bay leaves and peppercorns. The vinegar is strong without being the sort that makes you physically wince and they smell great too. As an added bonus, the taste doesn't linger for hours like many mass-produced brands can.
Is it weird to see Norman peering out from the jar? Yes. Does he possess the kind of elusive celeb status which would persuade you to buy a product? Not really, no. (Sorry Barry). Should either of these facts prevent you from going and buying some of the most delicious pickled onions I've ever enjoyed aside from my own Aunty Rita's? Absolutely not, I'd give them a review of 10/10. (Groan)