[The Guardian] Malt loaf is well known to cyclists as a perfect high-carb, low-fat snack. It’s a mystery to me that people love plums, but deride prunes. They are fantastic and shine in this recipe. The sugar and dried fruit provide a speedy dose of energy, but you also get slow-release carbohydrates from the sweet potato that are perfect for endurance. This loaf works just as well at home – toasted, buttered and partnered with a cup of tea.
Despite the fact that I hate bicyclists, I will admit to being fascinated by them. After all, what could possibly motivate a man (or woman) to squeeze himself into a skintight spandex outfit knowing full well that they are about to draw the ire of every motorist they encounter? What drives such a person?
So, when I saw an article in The Guardian titled “David Atherton’s recipe for cyclist’s malt loaf,” I decided I had to click on it. Frankly, the words “malt loaf” made me gag a little right off the bat, but I decided to be open minded. I stifled my vomit and forged ahead, determined to see what exactly bicyclists are stuffing into their bodies.
Friends, the results are terrifying. Let’s go through this thing ingredient by ingredient, shall we?
Right off the bat, we’re in big trouble. I didn’t know how much 150g was because I live in America, the greatest country on earth, so I looked it up. Folks, it’s nearly a cup and a half of prunes! This is the star ingredient? We’re leading with prunes? My goodness. Okay, let’s move on.
100g sweet potato
I have nothing to say here. Sweet potatoes are good and if you don’t agree you are wrong. Bicyclists may be the scourge of the earth, but broken clocks, etc, etc.
150g malt extract
I don’t know what this is but it sounds horrible. I’m imagining, like, the dregs of a really disgusting beer, and I see no reason to spend a moment Googling whether that impression is correct. So congratulations, bicyclists. You’re eating a shitloaf made from prunes and beer dregs. Moving on.
100ml prune juice
We are a mere four ingredients into this journey and this is the second time we are encountering prunes. What the absolute fuck is going on here, bicyclists? I thought we all agreed that prunes were a punchline, not a food. I thought that was decided years ago. Decades even. There is absolutely no excuse for having two different prune-related ingredients in your stupid bikeloaf. No one in the world likes prunes this much. Well, aside from Mr. Worf.
50g soft brown sugar
50g dark muscovado sugar
Two different types of sugar. I thought the whole thing with bicycling was that it was supposed to be healthy? But here we are, looking at undeniable evidence that bicyclists are nothing but hopeless sugar addicts. I thought the prunes were bad, but this is just getting sad.
50g porridge oats
70g strong white bread flour
140g plain flour
Now we’ve got two different types of flour? On TOP of oats? You know, in my day there was only one type of flour: flour. Now we’re just delving into the kind of hipster bullshit that today’s bicyclists are known for, and frankly it’s appalling. I refuse to spend another moment thinking about this.
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp baking powder
Blah, blah, baking shit.
2 large eggs
I have been told throughout my life that eggs lead to bad cholesterol which leads to heart attacks. Are bicyclists promoting heart attacks? That’s certainly not for me to say, but the inclusion of two eggs immediately after recommending salt really makes you think. I’m just here to ask questions, folks.
Maple syrup to brush on top once cooked
Once again, these supposedly “healthy” fitness fiends recommend slathering this “meal” with sugar and sugar byproducts. And hey, look, I’m not here to slander maple syrup. I grew up in New Hampshire. I know exactly how fucking good maple syrup is. I don’t begrudge bicyclists for loving it because everyone should love it. I’m just saying that these assholes like to hang their hat on how good for you their chosen hobby is, and yet once again it’s sugar to the rescue. Well, I hope it’s worth it you goddamn hypocrites.
Look, I didn’t go into this determined to shit on bicyclists or their diet. I went into it genuinely curious about what motivates such a universally terrible group of people. I went into it hoping to learn a little more about what keeps them going (through red lights). But this…this is too much. This horrible loaf of sadness and shame simply cannot be what bicyclists eat. I have no choice to believe that The Guardian has pranked me, putting up a deliberately ridiculous recipe in the hopes that some poor sap will actually try to recreate it. I have to believe this, because the alternative is just to upsetting.