The way I see it there are two kinds of people. The people who eat to live (my mum is one of these) and the people who live to eat (moi).
I have always been a foodie; the amazing flavours, the colours, the texture. So whereas I will be happy to try out new dishes, my mum will be perfectly content with crispbread and cheese.
This love for food has so far taken me on a delightful culinary journey, the highpoint to date being the year I spent in Italy; soaking up the atmosphere, eating gelato, drinking wine and tasting the most delicious desserts and pasta dishes.
London is also a treat for any food enthusiasts. Whether it is Vietnamese, Mexican, Scandinavian or Mongolian you will be able to find a place that caters for your fancies. Well, I’m not really sure of the last one, but if any of you know a place that sells Mongolian food, direct me in its way and I will try it.
But being a foreigner in England, sometimes makes me lift my eyebrow to some of the more odd foods you have (perhaps they are not so strange to you):
- The Yorkshire Pudding. For some time I actually thought this was a pudding, as in dessert.
- The Cornish Pasty. Meat in pastry. I guess it is a pie, but I am still not completely comfortable with it..
- Spotted dick. Not that just sounds wrong doesn’t it??
- Beans on toast. Who thought of it first? Students across the UK salute you
- Scotch egg. Hard boiled egg wrapped in some meat like mix, rolled round in breadcrumbs and then deep fried. I’ll pass thank you.
Apart from these, to me, very British foodstuffs, there was one thing in particular that puzzled me for years. Tea. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why the British only had tea for dinner. How could anyone just live off the liquid black tea that you can add a splash of milk and perhaps a sugar or two to. Then, light bulb moment. Well, in truth, someone told me that ‘tea’ also can refer to ‘a cooked evening meal’ *smiles sheepishly and looks away*.
Then again, I’m sure whenever someone visits my motherland they look at some of our favourite dishes with disgust or confusion. Have you tried?:
- Brown goats cheese with a delightful taste of caramel
- Smalahove, which is, vegetarians please look away now, a sheep’s head. Eye and ear included
- Dried meat of, children please look away now, reindeer. Yes, that is Rudolph.
- Tørrfisk. That’s Norwegian for stockfish or ‘bacalhau’ for those of you who speak Portuguese
- Rakfisk. Fermented trout
- Sursild. Pickled herring
Yes we do have a lot of fish-y traditions, but I do recommend the brown cheese.