Out of all the cuisine many travelers are eager to try, traditional English food options aren’t usually high on the list. [mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#36adaf”]To this unfortunate opinion, I say, “BOLLOCKS!”[/mks_pullquote]
The English cope with their gloomy weather with the help of some serious comfort food. After nearly three months into my U.K. adventure, I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in some top-notch meals and want to set the record straight on the merits of Britain’s cuisine.
Here are just a few of my favorite English food experiences so far!
Dippy Eggs and Soldiers
Generously buttered pieces of toast? Check.
Soft-boiled egg placed in super cute egg cup? Yep.
Interactive component that involves chipping the top of the egg away like a mini lid and dipping your buttered “soldiers” in the creamy deliciousness waiting inside? You betcha.
This English breakfast food is a solid incentive to leave the warm folds of your duvet and face the morning ahead.
Pork Pies, Sausage Rolls, and Other Meats Wrapped in Pastries
I will rank highly any meat dish that allows me a free hand to drink a pint of beer while walking around an open-air museum. While I won’t claim that sausage rolls and pork pies are the pinnacle of English cuisine, there is something very comforting about eating a cold sausage wrapped in a flaky, buttery pastry.
Perhaps it’s the density or the texture of each oily and satisfying bite that has me smitten, but truthfully, I like that it’s a convenient snack that pairs well with beer. It seems silly to put this much thought into a pastry filled with meat. Just try one.
Clotted Cream (my favorite English food)
Oh my god, CLOTTED CREAM. I love clotted cream, and I don’t really even know what it is except that it’s like super butter.
I’ll admit, I thought that I was supposed to put clotted cream IN my pot of tea when my “Cream Tea” arrived. A pot of Earl Grey tea, scones, jam, and clotted cream was presented, and I had to be instructed on how to eat it properly. One slathers it in heaps over one’s scones (which will taste like biscuits for you Americans), top it with jam, and indulge.
Later, I made the mistake of looking at the fat and caloric content on a small tub I found in the grocery store. Whoa. Don’t make the same mistake; continue to live in blissful denial that this English treat is part of a well-balanced diet.
Sunday Roast (Thanksgiving every weekend)
I don’t know how I didn’t appreciate the idea of Sunday Roast when I lived in York, England while on a work visa in 2002, but I’m taking full advantage of this English food tradition this time around. It’s basically Thanksgiving every Sunday and seems to be as important as brunch is to Chicagoans.
My favorite is the pork roast at Pelham Arms in Lewes, England. You get a choice of pork, chicken, or beef surrounded by roasted vegetables, like carrots and potatoes; a pile of mash; and a Yorkshire pudding — think a puffed pastry that tastes like a wonderful pancake balloon. Then you get to drench the entire plate in brown gravy.
What’s not to love?!
Of course, you will need to make room for dessert and coffee to round out the Sunday Roast experience. Or any dining experience, if you ask me.
Have a dish I need to add to my bucket list? (Besides blood sausage; I draw the line somewhere!) Share it below, and I’ll give it a try!
Featured image by Jill Robinson.