We’re all researchers. At this time of year there is competitive desire to locate the season’s best mince pies. We read up on the best brands and we go into the field to test the results. As a family, we have done well. We’ve been enjoying Iceland’s ‘luxury’ brand. They came in at number two in a poll of pies conducted by Which? but are only three-quarters the price of the winner from M&S. And they are delicious.
It has struck me that supermarket mince pies are always better than those that are homemade. This is one of those instances where the factory system does know best. The formula of balancing pie with filling is deceptively complex. It takes precision tooling and multiple repetition to get it right.
Quite naturally this revelation has led me to think, in turn, about Jimi Hendrix. In Charles Shaar’s Murray’s Crosstown Traffic there is an explanation of why the left-handed guitarist preferred right-handed guitars:
he seldom bothered with special left-hand models, both because right-handed guitars were more plentiful and easier to obtain, and because – with a touchingly American faith in mass-production – he believed that they were likely to be manufactured to a higher standard.