British Food: Not So Shitty

By Perrin

An Edinburgh pub named after a dog that stayed by his master´s grave for years after his master died. That´s loyalty, mates.This place also serves great brew.

Imagine you’re in England, on street named something like Shepherdess’s Walk, in a pub called something like Dirty Dick’s or Queen’s Head. The cricket is on the telly and grandma’s china is on the wall. And the food’s shit, right?

Oh ho ho, no. This country has some tricks up its sleeve these days. For the first time in my life, I teared up over something edible, like Julia Child swooning as she lost her French coq-au-vin virginity. The culprit: Ambrosia custard, a warm vanilla God-sent goo accompanied by cinnamon French-toast-esque bread pudding. The chef should be knighted.

This custard´s so good, I´m blushing

“That’s the first dish I’ve ever seen you demolish,” my boyfriend Dave laughed. He looked impressed, though a little nervous that I might eat his country into a famine.

“You can buy that custard at the grocery for one quid,” he offered. Unbelievable!

This was part of a larger lesson: Britain serves some delectable comfort food. The best things are simple and savory: stewed figs in thick yogurt, stewed lamb with mint gravy, stewed onions with cheese…you get the idea.

Blueberry scones with cream are the exception to Britain´s rock-hard-pastry standard

Simply steer clear of certain parts of the food pyramid. For example, “biscuit” is purportedly London’s word for “cookie,” but the item is really just a biscuit that is hard enough to resist a chainsaw. Ironically, while most pastries are as dry as the Queen herself, most vegetables are soggy. Vitamins are best consumed via Centrum One-A-Day.

Finally, let’s address Scotland’s national dish, haggis. Haggis unites mince meat with other mysterious tidbits such as onions and oatmeal – encased in a lamb’s stomach and simmered for three hours. No one seems to eat more than a quarter-sized dollop of haggis.

Haggis…a Scottish mystery

Last word: the beer in whisky in the UK are so mindbogglingly brilliant, nothing else matters.

Gaelic coffee: equal parts whiskey, coffee and cream. Worth the stomachache.

Cheers, mates! In Britain, always ask for the local brew.


About sistersbailey

We are Perrin and Sarah Bailey, collectively known as “The Sisters Bailey”. The moniker was born out of a crazy weekend at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz Fest and it was the first time we had ever been referred to as one unit. We grew up in Alexandria, VA together and then separated for college - Perrin to The University of Pennsylvania and Sarah to Northwestern University – and somehow landed together in New York after graduation. It was in the midst of the hustle of Manhattan that we became friends for the first time in years. Somehow we landed jobs in the same industry - Sarah worked in marketing at HBO and Perrin managed creative digital promotions for her media agency’s main client, Disney - just three blocks from one another. One day we decided to leave our jobs, sell our belongings and travel abroad with a backpack and a collective savings of $10K. The stories of our continuing adventures and those of other fearless travelers are here to inspire you.
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