I plan to write a lot more about the food here in the UK. As time passes, we discover more and more about the cuisine and various foods unique to each region of the country and I’m excited to share that with you (and hear more about what you love).
For now, I thought I’d start by asking each member of my family what their favorite foods are.
My two-year-old: This kid can’t get enough Heinz baked beans. I’ll confess that I don’t really care for baked beans myself, and so he had never had them prior to moving here. But since they are often the side item with a kid’s meal in a restaurant, he sampled them quite early in our time living here. And we discovered that he loves them! I now regularly serve them to him for lunch (although they’re traditionally more of a breakfast food here). At 40 pence for a small can (approximately $.60), it’s such a cheap and relatively healthy way to make him happy.
My five-year-old: One of the hardest adjustments for our oldest son when moving abroad was the food. He was quite picky and didn’t care for much of the food here at first. (I actually think it was less about the food, and more his way of processing all of the big changes in his life.) Starting school and eating school lunch every day changed all that for the better, though. He now adores fish and chips (among lots of other British staples). They serve it almost weekly at his school, and he can’t wait to tell me when I pick him up that he got to eat it for lunch. He loves to order it out at restaurants, too. It’s a staple on kids menus. Sure, it’s not the healthiest of foods, but he’s a skinny kid and could use a few extra calories!
My husband: While we really miss good Mexican food, it has helped to discover how great Indian and Thai curry dishes are. Curry takeaway shops are about as common in the UK as Starbucks is in the U.S. A Friday night tradition in our house is to order some of this (and give me a break from cooking). I can’t really handle spicy food (fortunately many dishes are mild), but my husband loves the hot stuff. We’re on a quest to learn more about Indian food in particular since it’s so prevalent here. (In fact, stay tuned… we’re taking an Indian cooking class and I’ll report more on the experience here soon.)
Me: One of the biggest food surprises to me has been how fantastic the local cheese is in the UK. Having spent very little time in the UK prior to moving here, I just never realized how tasty British cheeses are. I now regularly buy blocks of nice cheese each week at our local market. Even the sliced cheese you buy at the grocery store, perfect for sandwiches, tastes incredible. I don’t know how I’ll go back to eating American cheese. I think it will taste so flavorless to me! I’ll write a post in the future describing some of my favorite varieties.
There are so many more foods we love here, this is just a start! I’ll be writing a lot more about food in the coming weeks and months. What are some of your favorite British foods?