Very British Lovely Food
British culinary convenience has been largely underestimated on ‘the continent’ and for some reason undeservingly reduced to fish & chips with vinegar. (And pork stomach and haggis.)
Add unpronounceable Worcestershire Sauce and we have the stereotypical British dish.
This is what Europeans think, British people live on.
Let me put an end to the myth of ‘bad British food’. British fast food can be great and healthy.
Greasy-meaty-gross Kebab places are not very popular. Instead you will find many small pass-by eateries, cafés, sandwich shops. Even drug- and department stores offer a wide selection of edible goodies.
This is big news for the rest of Europe, suffering from severe food inconvenience. There are virtually no food courts. (I know. How did this happen?) In Cambridge, a department and a drugstore offer better food than most restaurants in my home countries.
Deli-inspired lunchtime range at Marks and Sparks.
Cambridge’s students and employees fill sandwich-cafés, unconventional eateries, they circulate the food selection at Boots and Marks & Sparks for lunch and come back after work to have dinner takeaways.
Fresh and tasty, the concoctions are bursting with flavour and nutritious ingredients. Melon and grapes, Sushi, fusilli pesto with cherry tomatoes and grated cheese, wasabi peas, apple juice, vitamin water.
No room for lunch lethargy. The variety of sandwiches, salads, wraps, dips, snacks and deserts is endless. You can get anything from British classics (BLT, Prawn Mayonnaise, Ploughman’s lunch, Egg+Cress, Tuna Sweetcorn) to Moroccan flatbreads, Bombay potatoes, Asian noodles, pasta salads and Italian ciabatta.
The food shelves empty fast during peak hours of hunger.
Jamie Oliver’s restaurant is also a popular notable in Cambridge with his cool old bank interior.
Jamie is a food guru in Britain and makes lot of money by opening Italian chain restaurants around the world. He has transformed school dinners in the UK and is now promoting his lunchtime snacks for grown-ups. Jamie has lately teamed up with British drugstore Boots to launch his first on-the-go range for the high street.
Meal Deal at Boots. Start by picking your drink, move on to choose the main meal, then finish off with a desert or snack. Of course, Jamie’s sandwiches are not included in Meal Deal, because they are more than double the price.
These are just the drinks at Boots. There are a lot more drinks to choose from than Coke or Fanta. (If you are from a culinary developed country you will wonder but where I come from Coca Cola Company is a drink dictator.)
How has Britain’s food philosophy not made it to the continent? It is delicious, healthy, convenient and affordable.
Squashed brie-grape-cranberry-on-soft-oatmeal-bread after the sandwich had been tossed around my bag. And my lunch: crayfish with noodles, Asian style vegetables, edamame and soya beans with a soy and ginger dressing. Sounds and tastes terrific.
Olives, lemon cheesecake (with integrated spoon), Edamame salad, wasabi peas (again) and bubbly chocolate from Boots was my other choice.
Hershey’s dominates the market with chocolate bars. Surrounded by all sweet treats the food industry could come up with – at Hardy’s, the renowned candy shop. If you like confectioneries like I do shoes, this is your place in Cambridge.
Notice how Hardy’s have displayed Coke in their shop window. Coke=Candy. Hilarious. A statement to American eating habits, if nothing else.
I have discovered the best chocolate bar so far: Chunky Peanut Butter KitKat.
My favourite snack café was EAT because there is plenty of room to sit and relax.
EAT have all the British lunch variety and their hot chocolate is superb.
This food is actually from Boots but I found EAT after I had purchased my lunch at Boots. (I did feel bad eating it there.) This is couscous mackerel salad with edamame and orange juice for £3.29.
Another great munch appeaser. Pret-a-Manger. And James Dean having a cigarette. Preppy lads and girls wearing upper class understatement. One of many pleasant sights in the smart university town.
You know, actually, with such a healthy food choice, itsy-bitsy deserts, and delicious take away meals, the British do consume a lot of vinegar flavoured crisps. I surely can be considered weird for not liking crisps.
Who am I kidding. I don’t eat crisps because I over-feasted on Walker’s Prawn Cocktail. During study-stress in Manchester, prawn flavour+vinegar+salt was a heavenly combination. I was going for the acid-eating-your-tongue sensation which was still less painful than assessment preparation.
Walker’s Pinks and I have a biased relationship.
So, I was basically saying that British food has largely improved since Oliver Twist’s times. Let’s end with this song that has been stuck in my head since I have been to the musical:
Is it worth the waiting for, If we live till eighty-four,
All we ever get is gruel, Every day we say our prayers,
Will they change the bill of fair? Still we get the same old gruel,
There’s not a crust not a crumb, Can we find can we beg can we borrow or cadge,
But there’s nothing to stop us from getting a thrill, When we all close our eyes and imagine,
Food glorious food!
What do you tuck in after a busy morning?