In my recent travels I was fortunate enough to revisit England, and I was outright surprised about a few things. I love England. The gardens! The history! The architecture! The people! I love everything about England except–and this is a rather common complaint for many non-Britons–the weather…and that other stereotype.
Yes, Kids, as you guess it, it rained every day bar one while we were in the UK, but you know, we’re made of tough stuff. So it was 9 Celcius and windy. We had raincoats, layers of clothes, and umbrellas. We still walked everywhere we went and enjoyed the hell out of ourselves. We battled on, took photos and had a wonderful time despite the craptasticness of the weather. We rocked it on the fun-o-meter. I have to say we experienced the best homemade bread and the most incredible damson jam, thanks to our Oxford-based Macadamia and Fudge-loving friends, Jon & Wendy. We ate a few of the best meals of our lives while we were in London. We had amazing Persian Food, delectable Greek Food, sumptuous Indian food and…over-boiled vegetables, a dismal heat-n-bake “French stick” that came from Tesco served with my Ploughman’s Lunch (bread, an entire block of just out of the plastic manufactured cheddar, pickled onions, and butter) and there was Dr Shrinkee’s chicken pie and mash that defied explanation… You see where I’m going with this?
Uh-huh, that stereotype you hear about English food being crap is totally true. To a point.
Well, SURPRISE! If you are vegetarian, like I am, the game suddenly changes. The British are down with vegetarians. There’s more on offer than a salad or those boiled to hell peas-carrot-was-that-broccoli-or-Brussles sprouts Dr Shrinkee had on his plate. Mother England KNOWS how to use legumes and beans and pulses and grains. Rule Britannia and Glory Be to God, England knows how to make an endless variety of vegetable soups, from Apple-celeriac, carrot-corriander-sweet potato, to zucchini-potato. Then there’s the matter of the humble Chelsea Bun. There are no words to describe the heaven that is the Chelsea Bun, except maybe cinnamonomnomnomnomnom, lemon peel, brown sugar, currants and butteromnomnomnom. Did I mention there was butter and cinnamon together?
When was the last time you had a stereotype shattered or had a pleasant surprise, or a bun experience so awesome you had to tell the universe about it? How about you tell me about your big Food Shock while I try my hand at making a fennel and white bean soup.