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.