Some people criticize English food. They say it’s unimaginable, boring, tasteless, it’s chips with everything and totally overcooked vegetables. The basic ingredients, when fresh, are so full of flavour that British haven’t had to invent sauces to disguise their natural taste. What can compare with fresh pees or new potatoes just boiled and served with butter? Why drown spring lamb in wine or cream and spices, when with just one or two herbs it is absolutely delicious?
If you ask foreigners to name some typically English dishes, they will probably say “Fish and chips” then stop. It is disappointing, but true that, there is no tradition in England of eating in restaurants, because the food doesn’t lend itself to such preparation. English cooking is found at home. So it is difficult to a good English restaurant with a reasonable prices.
In most cities in Britain you’ll find Indian, Chinese, French and Italian restaurants. In London you’ll also find Indonesian, Mexican, Greek… Cynics will say that this is because English have no “cuisine” themselves, but this is not quite the true.
One of the things I miss most about Italy (together with the sun, my family and my beloved bidet) is the food. Ah, Italian food. I love you.
I know Italians are always extremely fussy about what they eat. Wherever they travel all they want to eat is Italian, they whine about everything else, ask if there’s any chance of having pasta, or order something that sounds Italian. We are like this and will never change, we love our food, and you will have to agree with me, pasta and pizza are some of the most delicious things you can eat.
As an Italian in the UK, I decided to be brave, try to forget my mum’s delicious lasagna, and embrace the British cuisine. English classics such as a Sunday roast, full English breakfasts and fish and chips are everywhere and often hard to avoid.
Although not the most nutritious meals, they are popular for good reason; and are now a staple part of my diet as I have adapted to enjoy the hearty food that the UK has to offer.
Although British food does have its positives, you’ll find some more unusual dishes around too: for me, black pudding, haggis and the constant inclusion of fried chips with every meal are examples of food that my Italian taste buds still don’t agree with.
When you are spending time in the UK, you are bound to come across different cuisines from all round the world, some wonderful and some not so wonderful. As much as I have enjoyed learning about and tasting these new foods, it is still my mum’s home cooked Italian meals that I crave the most when my stomach starts rumbling.