And a raw onion on the side, please

Remember when kebab shops used to display plastic vegetables in their glass-fronted heaters, to make up for the fact that they didn’t sell any fresh food? Maybe they still do it; it’s some time since I’ve visited one (and I’ve still never had a kebab – my kebab shop adventures all took place during my decade of vegetarianism, so I used to make do with chips in pitta bread, which I still crave from time to time).


But a variation on that theme seems to have emerged in sandwich shops, where increasingly I see whole fresh raw vegetables plonked between the trays of sandwich fillings. I hadn’t given this trend much thought until this morning, when I caught the sandwich man next door by surprise as he was carefully arranging green peppers, red onions and tomatoes in a fetching tricolore pattern around the various bowls of tuna mayonnaise (I expect there were more fillings on offer than just tuna mayonnaise, but they all looked like tuna mayonnaise). He was clearly giving it some thought, and it made me wonder what, exactly, he thought he was doing. I wonder if they keep a separate collection of vegetables aside to use purely as decoration? And, you know…why?