Thursday, March 13, 2008

English food I hate; English food I love

"Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares"--oh, how I enjoy this verbal fuckapalooza when it isn't another rerun, which, alas, it usually is. Gordon does not mince words. No siree. But his sympathy, enthusiasm, forthrightness, and culinary acuity more than make up for his love of expletives. (Truth be told, I rather like his love of expletives.) He's kind of a hot s.o.b., too, in his own weathered, foul-mouthed way.

Anyway, this BBCA show got me thinking about my trip to Great Britain and how I effortlessly lost about ten pounds (not the monetary kind) while I was there. Why? Aside from the fact I did a lot of walking, the food generally sucked so bad, much of it was virtually inedible. Seriously. That's why the phrase English cuisine is generally uttered with a snort.

Here are the so-called "foods" I despised with every little twist my stomach was capable of making:

1.) Marmite. What the hell vicious misanthrope concocted this gag-worthy slop? I could not believe so many Brits shunned peanut butter and instead smeared their bread with fermented sorghum molasses smegma laced with low-grade petroleum products and ant poison.
2.) Lancashire hotpot. pepper anyone? And more black pepper? And nothing but black pepper? I had this miserable excuse for a casserole in a Lancashire household, not a restaurant, so can only assume it was the real deal. Holy shit. Or rather, unholy shit.
3.) Mussels. Strove to chew these delightful nuggets on a seafood sampler tray in, I think, Blackpool. The next time I have a hankering for a mouthful of rubberbands with sand stuck to them, I'll just whip some up myself.
4.) Pub food. And I shiver as I type. The strangest sausages on God's green earth. (Do the English really hate the Germans so much they can't learn some sausage-making skills from their former enemies?) Equally weird sandwiches. UGHHHH.
5.) Curry. Any freakin' thing laced with freakin' curry. The smell alone makes me want to toss my innards. And that's NOT a smell you can easily get rid of. It clings like alien slime. I get the impression Brits are all about curry the way Americans are all about Mexican food. I'll take the Mexican food, thank you veddy much.

Now, there was an upside. Not a big one, sad to say. Certainly not big enough to make me gain weight. But there were some meals and foods I rather enjoyed.

1.) Roast beef & Yorkshire pudding. Yum. I had this in Yorkshire. For those of you who don't know, Yorkshire pudding is essentially what we call popovers. Done properly, this dish is delish.
2.) Fish & chips. Well...duh. That strange cider vinegar, or whatever kind of vinegar it is, took some getting used to. But you don't have to have it if you can't acquire a taste for it.
3.) Breakfast with fried red tomatoes. Oh yeah. Greasy fried eggs and greasy bacon and greasy fried tomatoes. I cook it to this day.
4.) Clotted cream. Beats the living snot out of me why this sinfully rich stuff isn't commonly available in the U.S. Just dump some over peach slices. Or your partner's body. Whoa. Fast track to blissful depravity.
5.) Silver-shred marmalade. Made from lemons. On the right toast? What a wonderful zing. With a cuppa Earl Grey? Even better.

No comments: