This is a phrase we hear with worrying frequency from students visiting London. Amusingly, when asked what they mean by ‘British Food’, no one really seems to be so sure what it is. Some say fish ‘n’ chips (introduced by Polish immigrants), some say Kebab (Turkish), some even say McDonalds!
Can you name 3 kinds of English Cheese?
Which Welsh animal is arguably the best tasting of its kind in the world?
What is ‘Perry’?
Can you name two kinds of English sausage?
If you can answer these questions and still say that you don’t like British food, then I won’t try to argue with you. If, however, like one of my students, you think that Gouda is from England and that we love spaghetti with Ketchup, then you may have to face up to the reality that perhaps you don’t know what British food is. In answering the above questions, I hope that we can clear a little of this confusion and lead you to some things that British people hold dear in their hearts (and stomachs).
Blue Stilton is a strong English cheese, best served with Scottish Oatcakes, also used to make soups and pies. Any aficionado of cheese will agree that a good Stilton puts a French blue to shame. England makes a lot of cheese – Cheddar is the most famous; then there’s Wensleydale, a salty, crumbly cheese a bit like Feta; Red Leicester, a rich nutty cheese; and many more.
Welsh Lamb is arguably the best tasting lamb in human history. We love to eat it with mint sauce! The best way to eat it, in my opinion, is top get some Welsh Lamb chops and just grill them with a little salt and pepper. Eat that and your brain will argue with your tastebuds that there is no way that this could possibly be British food.
‘Perry’ is a cider made from pears instead of apples. The British have tried to distill alcohol form just about everything throughout history (ever heard of Mead? Google it!) but the results with Pears seem to be one of the most enduring. Drink it with ice, preferably while watching polo or archery or other similarly aristocratic sports.
Britain has more kinds of sausages than it does reasons for not joining the euro. It seems every county has a sausage named after it – Cumberland, Northumberland, Lincolnshire. Try them out, they’re all different and every British supermarket has all the varieties.
Oh, and one final thing. Coffee can be quite terrible in England but that’s because we are A TEA DRINKING NATION! Italian tea is just as bad as English coffee. It’s all relative….