At one time England had a horrible reputation for their food. Even now I have heard people ask me how I can stand the food when I travel across the pond. the funny thing is that I always have wonderful food there. The misconception is a result of the rationing that lasted well into the late 1950’s after the war ended.
Yes, that was a long….long time ago, but many people still hold on to the idea that the food must still be bad. I’m a pretty plain eater. I don’t go in for heavy sauces or cheesy dishes. I like to taste my food and not have it all covered up with goo and seasonings. British food fills my needs. I’ll admit that they tend to fry a bit too often, but you don’t have to eat all fried foods. Try some of these instead:
Some of the best food I have enjoyed is from the Cathedral cafes. Just little cafes tucked into the corner of some of the most famous cathedrals in England. Lincoln Cathedral served delicious food and at reasonable prices. They are worth a look for both a full meal or your afternoon tea.
I always try to check out some of the famous local eateries and Brown’s Pie Shop was near the top of my list. I love meat pies whether made with beef, chicken or pork. I spent a leisurely hour at Brown’s sampling their menu and ending it with one of my favorite puddings, bread pudding. I should explain that a pudding is just a dessert. The first time I was served pudding I thought it would be the same as here, a milk and egg thing, but I got cake. So I get it now. This bread pudding was ‘okay’, but nothing has ever measured up to the bread pudding I had at Sissinghurst in Kent, back in 1998. I’m still looking for that one. I’ve made two pilgrimages back to Sissinghurst since that October day in 98 only to find they don’t make it anymore. So I continue to sample others looking for that same relationship between bread, butter, cinnamon and custard. yum
The British like their Sunday roasts: meat, potatoes and veggies. It’s a lot of food so you better be hungry before you dig into one, but you’ll be happy you did. Yes, it is covered in gravy but this is not the heavy flour-based gravy that my Grandmother made, but more of an a jus clear brown. Just enough to enhance the beef flavor and moisten the potatoes. A good long walk up Steep Hill after this should have helped burn off the calories. On another night I had to try another favorite: Shepherd’s Pie(on the right)
I cannot finish a visit to England without the old standard: Cornish Pasty. A flaky pastry holding meat, vegetables and potato. The pasty came about when women would make them for their husbands who worked on the wharfs or in the mines. They would put a whole meal in one pastry-wrapped container. The edge of the pastry was crimped to hold it all in and gave the men a handle to hold their food with their dirty hands. The savory meal usually had a bit of jam at one end, but that isn’t done any more. You’d work your way through from one end to the other: first the meat, then potato, vegetable and lastly the little sweet at the end. A meal all in one. What a great invention and no trip to the British mainland should be without trying one….or two.
Ok, now just one more little afternoon pudding: