Join me in the new series Around the World with the posts of readers and fellow bloggers around the world.
Many people in other countries have a laugh about the boring and bland food that people in England and the rest of the UK have a reputation for producing. But actually, this stereotype is a little out of date, as the UK has become one of the best places in the world to sample cuisine from all around the world.
Pretty much every town, no matter how small, will have at the very least an Indian or Chinese restaurant, and often many more different cuisines available.
Of course, there are still some dishes that are quintessentially British. For example, fish and chips is one dish that the UK is very well known for. Unfortunately, great fish and chip shops are few and far between, whereas there are a lot of mediocre ones. Although it’s not a really exciting dish, fish and chips can be excellent if it’s not cooked until you order it and it’s made with good ingredients.
There’s a Foster’s ad out at the moment that picks on another ‘ever so English’ tradition – the cucumber sandwich. Foster’s has recently launch Foster’s gold beer – a premium beer that is sold in clear glass bottles rather than the traditional Foster’s can. The company is hoping that Foster’s Gold will be popular with both men and women, so the adverts for it centre on two young Aussie blokes – Brad & Dan – out and about in different social settings with their bottles of Foster’s Gold.
Brad is seen enjoying his bottle of Gold at an English garden party, but he’s perplexed by the cucumber sandwiches having no meat in them. It’s a great illustration of the culture clash between the UK and Australia. Cucumber sandwiches are seen as rather refined and suitable for afternoon tea by English people, but Australians can’t see the point in a sandwich which has no meat!
But the stereotype of cucumber sandwiches is really quite out of date in the UK. You’ll rarely find them on offer at a social gathering, and more often these days, you’ll find that English people will prefer to have a barbecue just like the Aussies.
The UK has always been a melting pot for different nationalities and cultures, so it’s no wonder that you can eat your way ‘around the world’ while you’re in the UK.
Do you have a story to tell about your culinary culture and habits? Let me know, just send me the info via the contact page.