The fiery flavour of can Patak endure in ABF's huge corporate cooking pot

Published: 08th May 2020
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I have been a devotee of Patak's, the Lancashire-based Indian sauce-andpickle conglomerate which was acquired by Associated British Foods for an undisclosed price believed to be someplace north of [pounds sterling] . As global stock markets, big-city real estate as well as corporate takeovers continue to sizzle like a King Prawn Korai on a red-hot skillet, there will probably be nine-figure bundles aplenty this year, but none will be more earned than the cheque simply collected from ABF chief George Weston by Kirit Pathak and his wife Meena.I may take danger of overcooking my curry metaphors, but the success of the Pathaks (who dropped the 'h' from their brand name to make it easier to pronounce) is even more commendable for the fact that this was never a just-add-chicken-and-bungin-the-microwave story of company development. Kirit's dad Laxmishankar Pathak, who arrived with [pounds sterling] 5 and started making sweets and samosas in a basement in Kentish Town in 1957, was a hard taskmaster with a custom of getting into trouble. Meanwhile.Meanwhile Kirit fought -- and is thought to possess settled for [pounds sterling]9 million -- a five-year legal struggle with his two sisters above their claim to shares in the curry company. Despite these ructions, the brand became a favourite with British supermarket shoppers. Piled from the likes of Uncle Ben and Loyd Grossman alongside more glossy concoctions, the sauces of Patak speak of credibility even when they're sometimes related to what is obviously eaten in India -- and even if the temptation to mix in additional fixings can occasionally cause disaster. I tried to entertain Spectator readers by road-testing an eccentric choice of 'cook-in sauces', among them by adding uncalled-for Patak's Goan Pineapple, which I turned fried onions. 'This one was a wonderful shade of yellow in the jar, ' I wrote. 'I was tempted to paint it on the kitchen, and that I might have done.' Patak's will form portion of a division, and will now become a part of the ABF brand portfolio that was vast, from Kingsmill to Twinings, chaired by Kirit, which comprises 'panoriental' Blue Dragon products and other 'world food' lines. It will be a shame if this blend of large-corporate fixings makes the type of wreck that is bland which I discovered in my own cooking pot; despite the reversal of possession, the Pathak family business should fight to keep its distinctive, fiery flavour.

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