Is British food really that bad?
As a Brit abroad I have often had comments and questions, such as ‘So what do you actually eat?’ ‘I hear British food isn’t so great …’ or ‘Do you even have a traditional meal?’ At first I thought this was just a stereotype that existed in Europe, but I have recently discovered that the opinion of bad British food has even reached South America! So I began to ask myself, is our food really that bad?
In comparison to our neighbours, British food has never been seen as a delicacy like French cuisine. For example, you can find French restaurants in Britain, but a British restaurant in France … that's not very likely, unless it's just a pub! Perhaps then when people think of British food they think of sandwiches, or the simple and unhealthy fish and chips. Or maybe they just think of all the foreign food that is so popular in Britain, such as pizza and pasta taken from the Italians. Therefore our multicultural food industry might suggest that we believe our own food is worse than food from other countries, like Indian, Thai or Chinese.
But when you start to think properly about traditional British food, you begin to realise that some of it is actually pretty good! Although perhaps simple and unhealthy, fish and chips is also delicious, as is a Cornish pasty (meat and vegetables in pastry) and any British pie at all! We have a meal for breakfast: the incredible combination of eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms and bread (the cooked Breakfast), we have a meal for Sundays (roast lunch) with meat, vegetables and potatoes, and we even have a tradition for between lunch and dinner (afternoon tea) with the two best things: cake and tea.
So it may be because I’ve eaten British food all my life, but I personally think that it is much better than its reputation! It may be less characteristic than Indian or Chinese food, but we do know how to make at least a few great meals, and of course, cakes.