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