"We accuse someone of pretentiousness to call out false authority and deflate delusions of grandeur. But we’re also using the word as a tool of class policing: a way to tell a person to stop putting on airs and graces." Dan Fox, Why I'm pretentious and proud of it [more inside]
British food-writer and Sichuan cuisine expert Fuchsia Dunlop introduces cheese to a group of chefs from Shaoxing, China,"the Chinese headquarters of 'stinking and fermented' delicacies" for the first time. How does the Stilton fare against stinky tofu?
Matthew Engel, starting a new series on British institutions in the Financial Times, examines the BBC.
The world's next Coca-Cola or Starbucks is more likely to emerge from Asia, the Middle East or South America They comprise Juan Valdez Café, a Colombian coffee chain; Almarai, a Saudi dairy and fruit-juice company based in Riyadh; Patchi, a Lebanese boutique chocolate chain; ChangYu, China's biggest wine producer; and United Spirits, India's largest liquor group, which owns Scotch whisky Whyte and Mackay.
When Wrekin Construction went into administration last week, it blamed the Royal Bank of Scotland for demanding repayment of an overdraft. However, the 2007 accounts show that among the assets of the company is a ruby it called the "Gem of Tanzania". Wrekin had bought the stone off one of its shareholders for £11m worth of shares - more than four times the record for a single ruby at auction. [more inside]