It is perhaps the ultimate comfort food: a potato roasted in the oven for so long that it is almost forgotten, until its skin blisters and cracks open, mouth-burning steam pours out and the soft insides then slathered with butter and almost anything else you can get your hands on.
I remember, as a child, being dropped off at my auntie’s house during the summer holidays when my mum was at work. She would slow-roast purplish potatoes the size of my fist, stuffing them with unholy amounts of butter, cold cottage cheese, sweetcorn and maybe some tuna. A stodgier, budget version of Proust’s madeleine, every time I eat a jacket potato now, it is made in the same way and it suddenly brings back those rose-tinted memories – although it never quite tastes as it did before.
With the news that Spudulike, the jacket potato high-street chain, is closing its 37 branches for good on Friday, we asked chefs, food writers and our readers about their own spud stories and their ultimate toppings, from classic beans and cheese to whipped pig fat or seaweed.
Read the feature in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 06/08/19]