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Bovril (wikipedia.org)
29 points by DanBC on Nov 19, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments

Submitting this because food is always interesting, but also because:

1) Naming. This product has a name with an unusual derivation.

2) "Johnsons Fluid Beef".

3) "beef tea"

4) When you think it can't get worse: Chevril.

When I was a kid in Bulgaria (and probably now) you could go to one of those small streetside shops in the winter. Along with cheap tea or coffee, you'd be able to get a cupful of beef or chicken stock to warm you up.

I still have a cup of stock every now and then - half a cube per mug, with a splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Wakes and warms you up like anything.

Just to add something else which may or may not be interesting - Bovril has a weirdly close association with British football and was traditionally pretty widely drank during the winter months - probably because alcohol is banned inside football stadia. To the extent that the main Scottish football forum is called "Pie & Bovril" (meat pies are commonplace too) whose tagline is "The Staple Diet of Scottish Football". Some might say that this diet is reflected in the sorry state of our national team, but those would be cruel people :)

edit: the "See Also" section of the page says that sewage transport boats in London were referred to as "Bovril boats". Yuck!

The Bovril advertisement with the Pope reminds me of Patera Quetzal, the pope-equivalent character in Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun. He was often shown drinking beef tea. Given Wolfe's heavy catholic influences, it wouldn't surprise me if he was familiar with that ad.

Funny this should come up today. I saw episode 1 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer last night, in which Mr Giles (the oh-so-British librarian) remarks "I'd much rather be at home with a cup of Bovril and a good book".

> Bovril can be made into a drink by diluting with hot water, or less commonly, with milk

I can't even begin to comprehend what Bovril milk will taste like...and I'm not sure I want to know

British cuisine is a strange and wonderful place.

Can confirm, am British. I have many fond memories of looking through 1960s/70s cookbooks containing wonderful recipes for such delicacies as Smoked Salmon and Prawn Cheesecakes.

I'd stop at strange. :)

I'd stop before British cuisine. :)

I don't think I like this new Soylent

You can't drink a pint of Bovril.

What am I missing? I see no relevance.

Relevance is irrelevant.

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