Elderly people could soon be tucking into exotic dishes like Caribbean snapper fish and yam after a makeover of Birmingham’s meals on wheels service.
City council officials say housebound elderly people, fed up with the traditional fare of roast meat and veg, want something more adventurous.
Meals cooked by the city’s in-house service don’t even offer soup, while ethnic food is right off the menu.
The council is asking people to name their favourite foods in preparation for handing the meals-on-wheels service over to private sector operators.
Firms bidding for the contract will have to demonstrate their flair in the kitchen and show that they can meet the needs of Birmingham’s fast-growing Asian, Caribbean and Chinese populations.
New-look menus are likely to feature much more in the way of curries, biryani, noodles, rice, and even haggis for Scottish clients.
A council spokeswoman said customers were being asked to name their “dream dish”, but staple English food will still be available.
“By listening to what people think we will help them, and by personalising services we will give people more control over the kind of care they receive,” she added.
Sue Anderson, the cabinet member for adults and communities, said: “We want to get the changes right, so we need to know what people would like to eat.
We have had requests for both soup and Chinese food, which the current menu does not offer.
“I have even had a lady complain that there was not enough Scottish food on offer.
“By providing a different menu, we hope to see an extra 600,000 vulnerable people across the city accessing the meals service.”