Cuisine quality has an important impact on the international image of a country. We all know the well-deserved English food reputation. But strangely, in England it has the opposite effect. Indeed, people from all around the world speak so much about it that everyone wants to test it in order to confirm it. It’s almost a challenge. Furthermore about their cooking, I have the feeling that it’s a sort of pride for the UK inhabitants. Therefore I wonder if the British voluntary do nothing to change their cooking and even secretly advertise their food because in France we speak more about English food than any other. And if ever you find some well-known brands in store or some products which look safe, except for French brands (safe value), it won’t necessarily taste similar, like the fingers biscuits for instance or the dreadful chocolate mousse that I had to throw after the first bite. It’s possible that brands are specifically adapted to the English taste by marketers.
Anyway, being in England, it would have been unthinkable not to try the local specialities. Thus I obviously tried the famous fish and chips and although I’m not too fond of fish it appears to be tasteful. It is often served with “fluorescent” peas. The burger is of course very traditional here, you will find some of the best Burgers in your life and maybe live a love story with one of them. I also like to have a good garlic bread. By the way, when I went to the Isle of Wight with some friends, I ate a full baguette of garlic bread and then smelt of garlic all afternoon, very inconvenient when travelling by car. I did the same for a romantic date in France… The English breakfast is more of a dish than a breakfast, and it’s not the best. It’s difficult to eat in the morning egg, bacon, sausage, bean, mushrooms with an orange juice, don’t you think? Another thing, this is certainly not a speciality but I’ve noticed that a lot of pizza have pineapple and some are spicy.
About the sweet things, all their cakes and cupcakes are full of cream and icing with non natural colours like blue, yellow, pink, green, red (fluorescent most of the time) don’t make me want to eat it. In the same range, you can find some rainbow cakes with a different colour at each layer. The pastries are simply awful, pain au chocolat, croissants and brioches are a disaster. And they sometime claim it to be French! To make a point about these “French things”, it’s possible that the British government plot against the French food reputation. I mean, they even have an awful mustard called in a very confusing manner: “French mustard”. But, be confident, those false French products won’t reach our stores. However, there are plenty of delicious cookies, muffins and brownies everywhere. But be careful because some of them have a ginger flavour. Yes, there are fond of this disgusting spice! They have also good things like cheesecake and carrot cake. Only English people could have imagined doing a cake with carrots, nevertheless, they were lucky this time because it tastes very good. The zucchini cake also exists. I’ve also discovered the cream tea which is a tea served with a kind of crumble brioche called scone on which you spread a milk cream and jam, it‘s not too bad but quite heavy.
Also I tasted the very particular speciality called Marmite, it is made from yeast extract for beer brewing. They spread it on toast and it looks and smells disgusting, and it is. People say either you love it or you hate it. I also experienced Polish and Asian food. Asian food is well appreciated here, certainly a way to escape local tastes for some people. However there are also things to avoid, like the kind of tea that my new flatmate made. He basically infuses an exotic fruit called “Luo Han Guo”. It tasted sweet but very strange to me, so I discretely threw my pint into the sink to not vex him because he was certain that I will love it.
Of course all my judgements are based on my taste, but nothing can be worse than the mushroom dish I cooked with a too thick chicken yellow-sauce. In fact it was looked like vomit. But I’d rather not talk too much about my cooking skills because I don’t want to ruin your ideas about French cuisine.