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:
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.)
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:
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.
See my post “Bacon Wars” (https://daleydowning.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/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!
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.