In spite of people telling me that English food is not up to much, I believe there are some quintessential English dishes that deserve a mention. So, here goes:
- English breakfast
Sizzling sausages, smiling eggs, crispy hash browns, bacon rashers, browned tomatoes that ooze juice: it does not just cure hangovers, but warms your insides for a route march in lashing rain, a freezing cold beach trip in probably more lashing rain, and can even be changed around for an exciting breakfast-for-dinner when you need your meals to match your chaotic life. What’s more, you can mix n match! Scrambled eggs instead of fried? Absolutely. No bacon? Why not!
- Fish and chips
Again, a wind that whips your fingers and an ice block for a pier to sit on while eating are absolute necessities. Fat chips sprinkled liberally with salt and burning your nostrils with the tang of vinegar alongside a crispy brown baton revealing soft fish flesh…mushy peas are a smidge controversial but the choice is, once again, yours.
- The Roast Dinner
It is what Sundays have existed for, for many a year. Come winter, or rain, again, those plates piled with slabs of meat, golden roasties and a selection of veg are the Christmas present of each. My weakness is the gravy. Ambrosia. Soak bread in it the day after. New realms of paradise. And here, once more, you can pick the meat you like most, vegetables, even how you cook the potatoes. You also have the ability to roast out at a pub.
I have rarely had a pub roast, and so when my friend booked a big Sunday dinner table at The Cricketer in Leam I had a good um and ah over it. The pub itself is fab –you know a pub is a good’un when you walk in and hot air, sparkling voices and comfortable bar people. I was tempted by the roast but the steak and ale pie won me over (the serving of chips will work wonders). Besides, Mum’s roast occupies a special place in my heart.
The steak tenderly, lovingly fell apart in my mouth and had super flavour to it. The pastry was quite soft also which some people don’t really like; I love it. It was also served with gravy and the gravy monster inside of me wept tears of joy. The chips, as the barman promised, were pretty epic. They had their skins on and were hot, fluffy and felt loved, like the person cooking them had a connection with each one.
I chose well, quite by chance. Unfortunately, the roasts didn’t go down quite as well. The chicken was a bit dry apparently, the beef was too well done and the nut roast was dry and essentially cheesy bland stuffing with a nut or two floating around. The pub did not quite do justice to the celebrated roast, which is a shame because I prize atmosphere in a pub and I loved my dins!
Which one of the above is your fave English ting?