British pop culture, family, humor, travel

British vs. American: Part 1

This is the start of a new series, capitalizing on my time abroad. Today’s post highlights the differences between American and British food, and what a U.S. citizen, born and raised like myself, will likely experience upon setting foot (for the next four years, in my case) in Great Britain.

Growing up, most of my diet consisted of the average American dishes for that time — a variety, in other words, the “melting pot” that meant pizza and spaghetti and takeout Chinese and a roast chicken dinner would easily all be on the weekly menu of a single household. In some ways, I was pretty ready for what British cuisine would be like. Since we lived in the Northeast, with a similar climate and geography to England, I was used to seafood, Sunday dinners, and plenty of soup in the winter.

Some foods I had for the first time in England, such as lamb, curry, and real chips (not fries). And I learned that “cookies” are really called biscuits.

Here are some of my favorite British staples:

Fish and chips:

CHIPS, I need real chips!!! But for the love of humanity, hold the mushy peas!!!

Mushy peas was something I tried once, and then promptly reached for the nearest pint of milk to make the memory go away. It has stayed with me just enough to remember not to do that again. (Sorry, mushy peas fans.)

Jaffa cakes:

“Omg, I’ve just remembered — I’ve got some Jaffa Cakes in my coat pocket!” — Tim in (the British telly program) Spaced

These are totally wonderful, indulgent biscuits, that combine sweet fruity jam, chocolate, and a soft, cookie-like base. For what more could you ask?

Sunday dinners with Yorkshire puddings:

Would anyone like to find a way to mail authentic Yorkshire puddings?

Baking my own Yorkshire puddings did not turn out that great. Well, they still tasted good, but were rather, er, collapsed. I definitely need the real thing, made by someone else’s expert skills.

Bacon sandwiches:

Hmmm, bacon… “But think of the piggies!”

See my post “Bacon Wars” ( for the full reference on that remark.

And I cannot stand this item, but it’s worth a mention, as it’s such an oddity and so particular to the British:


Marmite is just bizarre. It’s something that involves yeast and goes on toast. Yes, you read that right. Again, I won’t go near it. And for this I make no apologies.

And of course, this list would not be complete, nor authentic, without… Tea!

YES, please — two sugars and cream.

I was never much of a coffee drinker — oh, the occasional fancy lattes and cappuccinos. You know, the whipped cream and flavored syrups and sprinkles of cinnamon… Anyway, tea is just so much better, on the whole. Tea is soothing, comforting, you can still drink it hot in summer, it doesn’t absolutely need milk and sugar, but it’s better that way…

I’m off to put the kettle on. See you later.


10 thoughts on “British vs. American: Part 1”

    1. Maybe it’s a texture thing (as an autistic person, I do have sensory issues)…mushy peas was just something I couldn’t get on board with. And Marmite is probably something the Germans thought up to try to force the Allies to surrender in the war…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Looks like you got a good roundup of our food, I’m with you all the way on your tastes, especially Marmite. I take it it was too hot to try spotted dick! 😝


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