While in London, one must eat as Londoners do. This means avoiding the American staples such as Starbucks, McDonalds, Dominos, KFC, Subway and Chipotle. While all of these establishments are here in London, to fully grasp the culture you must venture out and try something new!
Some of the most traditional dishes are:
- Bangers and Mash: It is composed of creamy mashed potatoes topped with juicy, flavored sausage and a coating of gravy with sautéed onions. This dish is also called sausage and mash and is traditionally eaten for a hearty breakfast, the most important meal of the day!
- Fish and Chips: A London classic! Lightly breaded fillets of fish are fried and served with chips (French fries) that are light and crispy. Typically, fish and chips are finished with malt vinegar and salt. Even though it looks a bit greasy, it’s worth the try. MMM delicious!
- Tea and Crumpets: Now, it make look a bit strange, but a crumpet is similar to a pancake. Crumpets are light, fluffy and taste almost like a breaded cake. When topped with Nutella, jam, butter, or whatever you fancy, crumpets make an excellent accompaniment to tea. Tea, whether it is earl grey or English breakfast tea, is mixed with hot milk and a spoonful of sugar. A simple snack, but tasty!
Also, if you get the opportunity to buy groceries while you visit, try some British peanut butter. The peanut butter is aerated in texture and a bit thicker as well, but for the most part, it does taste the same. You might need some milk nearby to quench your thirst because it does tend to leave you holding your tongue. Eggs, however, are different here because, frankly, they aren’t refrigerated. This has to do with sanitation and cleaning regulations applied by the USDA that are required in England. If you want more information about this, check out this article in Forbes magazine.
Not all foods in London are different, but there are quite a few. Premade waffles and pancakes that aren’t refrigerated, Nutella used as a spread rather than peanut butter, non-refrigerated eggs and I’m sure there are plenty more. These out-of-the-norm foods may seem foreign to us, but when you are in a foreign country you’ve got to try something new and enjoy the world of foods around you!