It isn’t bad, but some of it is funny and some of it makes you say hmm.
Case in point: Tonight’s dinner-Toad in the Hole
Toad in the Hole for those who don’t know, is sausages and Yorkshire Pudding batter. Yorkshire Pudding, unlike most British puddings is savory and made from equal parts flour, eggs and milk. Onion gravy is poured over the Toad in the Hole after it’s baked and it really is quite tasty.
Then you have another sausage dish, Bangers and Mash or sausages and mashed potatoes again, with gravy. Bubble and Squeak is a mixture of mashed potatoes and cabbage, leftovers from traditional Sunday dinner which are combined and fried, thus bubbling and making squeaky noises as it cooks.The Scots have Cock-a-Leekie which is chicken and leek soup as one would imagine.
My husband always liked mushy peas with his fish and chips (chips are french fries and crisps are chips!). Mushy peas are a combination of green peas and Sodium Bicarbonate-as if peas aren’t gassy enough!
A fry up or a Full English is a breakfast platter of (big intake of air here) fried eggs, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, black pudding (pudding made from-gag-blood!) or white pudding or no pudding at all, mushrooms, bacon rashers (larger pieces of meat, little fat) and finally toast!
Haggis. Ooooh the Haggis. The holy grail of Scottish cuisine. Now the name is unusual yes. However it is the items that make up haggis that make it seem ridiculous indeed. Feeling hungry? Well have I got a treat for you. Let’s take all the major organs of a sheep, yes, yes including the lungs, heart, liver and whatever else they decide to throw in there. Sigh. Now as if that weren’t bad enough, chop that all up, throw in some oats and seasoning and now stuff it in the stomach lining of said sheep and cook for, I don’t know, a while….and voila, it’s time to eat. It is traditionally served with neeps and tatties or turnips and potatoes to you and me. Wash it down with some Irn Bru. Still hungry? Not me. I hate to say it but I did force down a forktip full when honeymooning in Scotland, you know, just to say I had it, and I can say with hand on heart that it actually didn’t taste bad. But no, I never had it again and I never will. Och Aye The Noo! I don’t even eat lamb.
If you haven’t guessed by now, Brits love their sausage so this next delight is another treat known throughout the kingdom, the Scotch Egg. Now eggs are good right? Tasty with a bit of salt and full of vitamins and minerals. But someone had the bright idea to wrap it in sausage meat, roll it in bread crumbs and cook it up! They are great for a quick bite or as part of a picnic lunch.
Marmite is, what is it? Marmite is…you know when you cook a big piece of meat for a long time and there are those caramalized bits on the bottom of the pan that have very concentrated flavor but in a sickening way? Marmite seems to be a jarful of that stuff. However, that’s not what it is at all, it’s a yeast product. This is where the men are separated from the boys and Brits are separated from wannabes. Most Brits I’ve met love this stuff. It is spread on a cracker or bread as a”treat” or snack and will put hair on your chest! (I spit mine out)
The desserts are no better in the name department. Spotted Dick is always a favorite, though Americans might mistake it for a disease before seeing it in all it’s speckled splendor. It is a steamed concoction made up of fruits and suet pudding. Oh the Brits love their steamed puddings: Christmas Pudding, Plum Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Treacle Pudding, Jam Roly-Poly, Bread and Butter Pudding (buttered bread baked in custard-nothing wrong with that)…and the base of steamed puddings is suet (raw animal fat). Most of these are drizzled with custard and nothing tastes bad with custard. As I said before, no one said they didn’t taste good but funny names, questionable ingredients!
There is plenty to say about British food and so many dishes I have not covered like: Ploughman’s lunch, Cornish Pasties, Lancashire Hot Pots, Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, Shepherd’s Pie and the piece de resistance, Sunday Dinner or Roast, my favorite! I will save those for another day. Today I leave you a bit hungrier than when you arrived and maybe a bit nauseous from my descriptions however the food is good and partaking means enjoying a part of British history and culture. It is homey and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside-meant for those damp, cold English or Scottish days and nights.