It was a bit odd watching the Hairy Bikers complete their fat boys slim transformation in the Hairy Dieters last week (BBC2, 8pm, 23 August) only to tune in just days later to their presumably pre-diet Mississippi Adventure (Good Food Channel, 9pm, 26 August).
They were, quite literally, selves of their former shadows. And the food was more robust too. Everyone knows the Americans like big portions, but boy, some of the dishes Si and Dave tucked into in New Orleans were real gut-busters.
First up was the po’ boy, a giant submarine sandwich stuffed with fried seafood or meat with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayonnaise. The phrase is slang for poor boy and is said to have been coined in 1929 when streetcar workers went on strike and the ‘poor boys’ were served free sandwiches. These days it’s not just the poor who like them - Barack Obama had apparently been to famous po’ boy establishment Parkway Bakery - and it was a source of pride that rich and poor rubbed shoulders there. But surely it would have offended no one if they were a bit smaller.
Perhaps when the Hairies whipped up their own versions (you know, for us to maybe attempt at home), more sensible dimensions would be resumed? Err, nope. The Hairies upped the ante not once but twice, first making a hefty sloppy roast beef number and then a gargantuan 12-footer for a po’ boy street festival. And I’ll gloss over the large and unbelievably rich-looking Mississippi Mud Pie they also concocted.
No wonder they needed to go on a diet!