If British food has come in for a bit of mockery over the years, it isn’t because the recipes are wrong, it’s because they’re misunderstood.
Eating British food is not just eating: it is a surrealist expedition into a magical parallel universe that will challenge almost everything your eyes, your palate and your gut know to be right and proper.
These are some of the classic British dishes:
Fish fingers, chips and beans
This means, fish sticks, oven-cooked french fries and canned beans in tomato sauce.
The Full English
A proper British fry-up requires more than a plate: it requires a vast platter capable of accommodating not just predictable eggs and banal bacon but their exotic cousins: kidneys, fried bread, a sausage made entirely of blood (see black pudding, below) and a concoction of leftover potatoes and vegetables that we inexplicably call “bubble and squeak.”
Despite the name, there’s no mistaking this one for a dessert. It’s a sausage made out of blood. Congealed blood. And oats.
Toad in the hole
From the loins of a sheep to the school dinner table. Spotted dick is a dense and delicious combination of sugar, flour, currants and the raw, shredded fat found around the loins and kidneys of a sheep. And if that’s not sophisticated enough, it is traditionally drenched in the national beverage: custard.
Pie and mash
A glorious way, no, the only way, to consume as many carbs as possible in one meal. Pastry on the bottom, a different type of pastry on the top, unidentifiable flesh in the middle, and a tsunami of mashed potato.
Not a pie but a gigantic swamp of brown meat and gravy hidden beneath a thick blanket of mashed potato. Excessive consumption of this dish risks triggering a neurological condition known as “mash psychosis.”
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