On the last visit I found a generous corner of a Supervalu "Rhubarb Large Cake" only 3 days beyond its sell-by date. I had my portion with the remains of a bowl of whipped cream, while Pat used his as a vehicle for ice-cream. He's very fond of ice-cream which was a rare treat when he was growing up in Cardiff in the 1920s. The Rhubarb Large Cake was fine, robust [like their Portuguese equivalents] Irish confectionery. What was surprising was the paucity of ingredients:
Universal cake mix (GLUTEN, SOYA, MILK,
EGGS), pearls sugar, vegetable oil, rhubarb mix.
I believe the convention is that CAPITALISED items are FAO allergists, neurotics and the handful of people who really will go into anaphylactic shock if they ingest EGGS or PEANUTS. So we are almost no wiser about what actually goes into Universal cake mix and how much of it is made up of such gloop as "gelatine, emulsifiers, mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids, polyglycerol esters of fatty acids (contains soya), modified starch", Can they really get away with that smoke-screen? The frighteningly yellow passion-fruit cake alluded to earlier had only passion-fruit juice concentrate (0.3%) to justify the label. Rhubarb is rhubarb is Rheum rhabarbarum but "rhubarb mix" could have no more rhubarb in it than a small beetle that has just died from eating its leaves.