The other day I made myself the meal above – tuna and pasta bake. It’s one of my absolute favourite meals, but I remember making it in Germany and having my flatmate think that I’m crazy for wanting to eat something so crap. Tuna paste bake IS crap – but it’s an essential part of British student cuisine!
So it got me thinking about British food that non-Brits don’t understand, or just dislike. British cuisine has a bad rep worldwide (which I think is largely unfair! We have awesome food here!) and there are some really odd specialities that you can come across.
So what I did was take to Facebook and ask my wonderful international friends what they they dislike about British food! Here’s what they said…
“[A Japanese girl I know] can’t handle pickled walnuts” (Brit) – I have never heard of pickled walnuts! Is that a thing?! I don’t think I’d be able to eat them either.
“Yorkshire pudding…also crumpets” (Irish) – I can’t believe anyone would ever dislike Yorkshire puddings – that glorious crispy yet chewy shell, full of delicious, delicious gravy. And crumpets?! Round, airy yet thick slabs on which you can melt butter, plop a bit of jam, or if you are adventurous, some cheese! I can’t understand why you WOULND’T like these things!!
“I remember putting vinegar on chips in Japan and a few girls tried it then screwed their faces up. I don’t know if many other countries put vinegar on chips though?” (Brit) – I love putting vinegar on chips. When I went to Five Guys in New York, they had vinegar there, but maybe that was just a special thing there? I don’t know.
“I love ALL British food! The only one that is not on this list is …(drumrolls please) Marmite! (I do like veggemite and Bovril though).” (Russian) – Yeah, I don’t like Marmite either. There’s this video I love where they get tourists to try it on the streets of London… hehe!
“Haggis. Fried mars bars. Mushy peas on fish and chips. Bovril. Head cheese.” (Aussie) – I had no idea what head cheese was and actually googled it. It’s a thing. And yeah, I wouldn’t eat that either. I’d have a deep fried Mars bar once – just one bite. It wasn’t pleasant.
“I knew a German guy at uni who could not fathom baked beans. He was like “why would you put perfectly good haricot beans in tomato sauce, IN A CAN?” and I was like “WTF are haricot beans? You’re crazy.” Then I learnt that baked beans are actually haricot beans. True story.” (Brit) – Again, I didn’t even think about them being haricot beans until I read that. I mean, baked beans grow in the cans, right? Like can…trees?
“My husband can not fathom Bread and butter pudding – too mushy.” (Aussie) – Bread and butter pudding was my granddad’s favourite thing ever. Whenever he came over to ours, I’d make it for him. It’s essentially layers of bread and raisins, then you pour a mixture of milk, eggs and sugar over the top and bake it. The key is to use LOADS of eggs, maybe even 6 or so for a pudding the size of the one above.
“Does Tesco Value stuff qualifies as food? Oh wait you said ‘only Brits can love’.
As a Spaniard: to us most of your dishes are the equivalent of student dorm experiments on cooking. No offence intended.
What British food can you just not understand the appeal of?