English Food

A few years ago an American friend of mine decided to visit the UK. He was really looking forward to his trip but one thing worried him – the prospect of trying to survive on English food. It seems that we English (and Brits generally) have a bad reputation, when it comes to the culinary arts. Below is a perfectly formed scale model of the conversation I had with him (on IM) about his visit, and the food he might be eating: 

 American Friend: I really want to eat traditional English food when I’m in England but I’m nervous about that, because you guys have a reputation for serving up some real crap. I’ve been looking at a website with a list of the best English foods.They’re listed in alphabetical order. I’m looking at B…What is Bread and Butter Pudding?

Me: Oh, it’s lovely! And a good way to use up stale bread! It’s like buttered bread, sultanas and sugar, all covered in an eggy type of custard and baked in the oven. Mmmm.

American Friend: STALE bread? WTF? In America we don’t eat stale food. We throw that shit out.

Me: Well, not ROTTEN bread, just dry, you know?

American Friend: Not rotten? Oh great. Yeah. I have to say, you’re not tempting me here….OK, what’s Bread Pudding?

Me:That’s delicious! My Mother used to make it when I was a kid. That’s a mixture of bread, spices, dried fruit and sugar. It’s baked again but it is firmer and cut into squares, like cake. It, um, it’s a good way to use up dry bread, again…

American Friend:WTF? In America we have a good way to use up dry bread…We call them DUCKS. Do you have ducks in England? Throw them the dry bread and stop using it in f*cking “puddings”! Jesus Christ. Here, try this…What is Black Pudding made with? That sounds hardcore.

Me: That’s savoury, it’s a sliced sausage, you fry it with bacon and eggs.

American Friend: You call a sausage a “pudding”? What kind of meat is that made of? Badger?

Me: No. Well, it’s not exactly MEAT as such anyway…It’s made with….Blood.

American Friend: Holy f*ck.

Me: Hahahaha! Stop it! It’s very nice.

American Friend: I feel sick. Black, fried blood. And that’s a GOOD meal in your country? Like, it’s something you BOAST about on websites? I hardly dare ask what Bubble and Squeak is…

Me: Oh god that’s YUMMY. It’s like Hash Browns but made with a lot of different vegetables and fried!

American Friend: Different? There isn’t one recipe?

Me: Well…It depends what cooked veg you’ve got left over from Sunday lunch…

American Friend: LEFTOVERS? Again? Listen to me…THE WAR IS OVER! Seriously, you can buy new food now!

Me: Hahaha! You’re not going to come here, are you?

American Friend: I might. BUT I’M BRINGING MY OWN FOOD.

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14 responses to “English Food

  1. LOL! And you didn’t even mention tripe!

    Happy Easter

  2. You turned him off before he even got to bangers and mash or spotted dick? He should probably just stick with fish and chips.

  3. mmmm bread pudding :9

    I can’t imagine your American friend has never had stuffing and that is made from stale bread…stuffed into a dead bird…at least here in Canada. lol

  4. HAHAHA!

    We serve bread pudding at the restaurant and people love it. When Anthony makes it, he follows the recipe (also known as the way it should be made) and that shit is to die for. When Dishwasher Bob makes it, he “knows all the recipes” and it’s shit.

    Blood pudding is a little freaky for me.

    • Black pudding is really nice with a big fried breakfast of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans and toast. Oh and a mug of tea. That sets you up for the day!

  5. Hahaha, I’m with your friend! I’m bringing my own food!

  6. I’m surprised haggis was not mentioned – even though I know it’s Scottish rather than English, to us Americans, it’s all pretty much the same ;-) My Guinness Book of World Records informs me there is a competition called Haggis Hurling, the record being held by the same gentleman for a quarter-century. I’m certain, if I were in a room with a hunk o’ haggis, I’d hurl further than he did.

  7. Reverend Bonobo

    Your American friend is awesome.

  8. I learned a very good phrase to say when I arrived in the Uk. “For the love of God, DON”T tell me what I am eating.” ;)

  9. Meh, we don’t have to come up with our own food anymore because there are a huge number of kindly people of Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, etc, descent who have set up restaurants.

    Seeing as the ‘balti’ was basically invented for us, I imagine it’s only a matter of time before people say: “England you say? I went there once and had a delicious traditional Chicken Chow Mein.” – we live in glorious times :D

    I see your friend’s point about black pudding though (is that what the yanks call ‘blood sausage’?). It’s just wrong…

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