British Food Culture

“Cupcakes are muffins that believed in miracles” -anonymous

I have to talk about the food here in London mostly because that’s really the only thing I paid attention to and I took a course dedicated entirely to British food so I feel like I should share the wealth of knowledge. So the dorms are located in South Kensington, right between Gloucester Road Station and South Kensington Station. South Kens is a pretty affluent area with the price of flats (apartments) reaching beyond 1M pounds. (Thank you, Drexel, for not making pay that!) The restaurants can be quite expensive here but there are so many inexpensive options, too! If you miss home you can always pop into the Burger King, McDonald’s, or Starbucks which are just around the corner. UberEats is also available and will deliver a plethora of food to your door. But if you want to go for something a little less American, you have to have an english breakfast. They’re available at most diners and will clearly advertise if they do have it. The english breakfasts usually come with bacon, sausage, egg, tomato, mushrooms, beans, hash browns, and toast. I probably had an english breakfast at least 3 times a week because of how delicious and filling it is. I’ll miss that the most when I leave.

I know British food hasn’t always had the best reputation. People say it’s bland, has no taste, and is basically nonexistent because what even is British food? Well, England has a rocky history with food and defining their food culture. At the beginning of World War II England was importing about 2/3 of their food. They were getting tea from China, spices from India, fruits from South America, and meats, cheeses, and other food products from all over the world. After the Germans began bombing the ships coming in with food, England decided it was time to grow food in house and now only import 1/3 of  their food. British food is basically a mix of the world and you can see that all over London. There is such a diverse selection of restaurants in every neighborhood, each exhibiting their culture’s dishes. But a lot of British food is also taking what you have and making your own creation. Like the popular Indian dish Chicken Tikka Masala. CTM is not actually from India. It was invented in Britain by a Pakistani chef! Crazy, right?! And now it’s England’s national dish. Cornish pasties are a traditional english product made for miners. People needed a way to get meat to the miners for lunch time. They would wrap it to keep the meat warm and to keep the miners from actually touching the food with their dirty hands. This wrapping transformed over time to a pastry crust which is enjoyed all over England. So England does have some good dishes likes shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and Yorkshire pudding but real British food is inventing and going beyond tradition. You can see markets full of people from different backgrounds making food from their cultures but adding a twist to make it their own. And THAT’S truly British.

From Southall to South Kensington you will always be able to find something good to eat!

Until next time, Cheers!


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