Friday, June 21, 2013

English Food?

Over the course of the last couple weeks, several of us have been on the lookout for odd/English foods to try. I am sure I have not identified everything but I think this list has at least made a good dent. Coming to Britain, I did not expect to find much difference from America besides blander taste but I have been pleasantly surprised.

Fish and Chips: This one was obvious to me from the beginning. I have had this twice so far, once in London and once in Cornwall; of course with the vinegar ketchup- and actually liked it the second time. On my first day in Penryn, we went to a restaurant called “Nemo’s” and had “take away” orders for dinner. As we ate outside a man came up to us and asked how the chips were, to which we responded that they were ok. The man started to walk away, but not out of ear-shoot yelled to his friend that we said they were ok but “they’re Americans…”  

Clotted Cream and “Scones”: Another English classic we tried out on our first day in Falmouth (day two of the field school); I greatly enjoyed them with jam. We have also tried clotted cream fudge and ice cream! Just make sure you don’t mistake the cream for ice cream or else you’ll basically end up with a spoonful of butter in your mouth.

Crisps (American Chips): Basically they are the same thing, but I have encountered weird flavors, mainly with a stronger vinegar taste. I have tried Worcestershire, and Salt and Vinegar. I saw a Ketchup flavored bag, but resisted the urge to try it out, maybe later.

Lamb Burgers: When I went to Nemo’s, I ordered a burger expecting to get a beef burger. I think the meat instead was lamb. Since then I have seen advertisements for “beef burgers” so I guess the lamb is the default. What greater sign that you are not in America when you have to specify the burger is made of beef?

Indian Curry: I count Indian curry since Robert explained to me that as a result of the British Empire, men returning from India started to recreate the dishes they enjoyed overseas so now Britain has a strong Indian restaurant culture. Apparently there are several books on the subject.

Pasty: To anyone visiting Cornwall, you have to try a pasty. Since they are very portable and mining was a major industry in the region, miners would grab a pasty before heading down. Pretty much it is a pastry that is filled either meat or vegetables with flaky crusts. And yes any pasty outside of Cornwall is not the same.

English Breakfast: This one we made for breakfast two days ago. It consists of frying tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, eggs, and sausage; as well as buttered toast and the infamous black pudding (very odd texture, google it if you actually want to know what it is). Not sure if I’ll eat black pudding again but you have to try it once.

Potato Jacket: I have not had this myself, but have seen this very often. Pretty much they take a backed potato and pour soup or chili on top of it. To our amusement, the American Museum served this in their café I think as an example of our type of food.

“American” Pizza: This is pretty much pepperoni pizza but from some reason pizza chains identify it as American.

It has been a great time eating my way through England. Still have a little over a week to go so hopefully the list will get longer. Next stop is Scotland...

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