Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Letter to England.... I'm Sorry

I’m sorry England.  I’ve tried, I really have, but in the last 20 years of being here I have defended English cuisine until I am blue in the face, but I have to admit there are a lot of English foods I really can’t stand.  I know, I know, you’ve had to live with the terrible assertion by all Americans that English food is bland and well, unpalatable and I’m so sorry, I actually have to agree on some things.

Here’s a list of my terribly unBritishness

Jellied Eels

Oh good grief, I have no idea how anyone decided that these needed to be eaten.  Just the thought of them makes me a bit watery mouthed.  Who was it that first thought “Oh, that wiggly snake like creature in that river should be cut into tiny pieces and boiled in stock and left to cool so it sets into jelly and then eaten with a wooden stick.”  Um, no thank you.

Spotted Dick

Sure, when this was on the menu for school dinners it got a snicker all around.  Only thing is, you had to actually eat the awful stuff.  I don’t care how much [lumpy] custard  it was floated in, the boiled sponge is a thing of my nightmares.  A suet pastry and dried fruit concoction just sounds disgusting. And really, it doesn’t float in the custard, it basically sinks to the bottom because it’s so dense and heavy.

I do have that one friend though, who keeps giving me a tin of it every flippin’ Christmas.

Treacle Pudding

This was another one of those school “treats” that was regularly in rotation on the menu.  Again, and this is probably just me, but it was horrible.  A sticky, stodgy mess, in my opinion.  And treacle, just no.
Mushy Peas

While growing up, I absolutely detested peas with a passion.  I would sit at the table for ages before I could get down because I had to finish those little green horrors.  Eventually, as I grew up, I just basically gave up fighting and ate them.  I can’t say I actually ‘enjoy’ them now, but I do eat them. However, mushy peas are a whole other kettle of fish.  I just don’t understand why you would want to smash them to bits and dollop them on chips.  They used to be a purely “northern” menu item, but last time I was in London, they seem to have taken over.  Everywhere serves them… it’s like that old film The Blob, but now its a great big green blob of peas.  And they try to disguise it by adding mint! I think it’s the fact that marrow peas are used instead of normal peas – they have a whole flavour of their own.

Although, I will say, my other half really, really likes them – not that he’s ever going to eat them in my house.
Black Pudding

I know, it wouldn’t be a ‘real’ full English without lack pudding (or blood sausage as its called in the US), but in my opinion, you can keep it.  Really, how appetizing does pork blood and oatmeal shaped into a sausage sound?   Be honest here.  I have nothing else to say about this, except maybe YUCK!

England, there are other things which I just cannot eat, you know like Scotch eggs, Marmalade and of course Marzipan (why oh why do you have to spoil a perfectly good Christmas cake with a layer of the stuff under that wonderful icing?)  

I’m sorry and I feel like I’ve let you down.  I promise I have not handed in my British card and don’t ever intend to, so please be nice and send me some pork pies.  Everything will be forgotten and I promise I will never speak of my faux pas again.

Thank you

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