Friday, March 25, 2016

What I Will Miss from the UK

So before I go, I really wanted to just run down some of my favorite things from my time spent in the UK. Food related of course, as I'm sure you're not that curious what British TV I will miss (for the record, First Dates, various Screenwipes & Dragon's Den) nor my apprehensions for any public transport other than England's...

These are the things I know I will miss - some kinda generic, some really specific.

Biscuits...I will miss you most of all. From the humble Custard Cream, to the finest dark chocolate covered ginger biscuit, what will I dunk in coffee or tea in America? American cookies are designed to be dunked in milk exclusively, and when they're popped into hot drinks they basically disintegrate immediately . The structural integrity of a Chips Ahoy! is rather poor and to be honest, they're all just a bit too sweet to have all the time. Shortbread is easy enough to get ahold of, but what about speciality shortbreads? Your earl grey type, your rose flavored? Ain't happening.

For as much as I love Oreos & other American cookies you can get on the shelf, when they're my only option...I think I'll be dreaming of a pack of Viennese Fingers.

Abundance of tea...Everybody knows America is not a real tea-centric country. Sure, green tea has become quite popular and there are interesting brands like Davids' Tea & Celestial Seasonings, but PG Tips? Fuggedaboutit. I anticipate that I'll crave simple tea like that every once in awhile, and it won't be in easy supply.

Clotted cream...Does this need any explanation? Clotted cream is the most delicious & horrible-for-you thing that I've ever had in England, and I've eaten a lot of delicious garbage here. It's unctuous cream with the texture of some kinda butter/stringy cheese hybrid, and you put it on top of warm sweet things. The British in general love cream, and I am right there with them - pouring cream, flavored creams, cream as a standard dessert condiment...It's just not like that in America. I'll make due with whipped cream, but I'll be thinking of clotted cream.

European meat...While I love Mexican chorizo & I'm glad I will be able to enjoy it again, I will be missing Spanish chorizo. Also German Garlic Sausage, and German Brunswick Ham, and many Italian & Spanish meats. While nearly all of these are available in America in some form or another, they're quite a bit harder to find & will set you back a far prettier penny...or, pence. American lunch meat is way cheaper than British lunch meat of the same style (plain turkey, for instance) but the continental stuff will be hard to replace.

European/British cheese...Cheddar is better here. There are dozens of speciality continental cheeses at almost every supermarket, and if you want a deep-fried camembert damnit, you can get it. There is no question in my mind that cheese variety & quality is better in the UK than it is in the US. While my husband is excited for Monterey & Pepper Jack, I know that the novelty will wear off soon and he'll want something with the sting (and stink) of European cheese. Velveeta won't sustain us in the same way extra mature cheddar did.

Brewdog...Tons of cool beers in America, for sure. Are they Brewdog though? Nope. The packaging, the variety, all the pubs along the city of London (and beyond!) make Brewdog feel special, and like something I'll be missing. It helps that it was the very first beer I tried that didn't make me recoil in grossosity, and while my tastes have expanded now to enjoy all sorts of beer, Brewdog's Punk IPA will always hold a special place in my heart for being the very first!

Pret & Eat...There are plenty of alternatives to these two chains in terms of generic mid-range lunch option, but I've gotten so used to the rhythm of Pret & Eat's seasonal menu, and I look forward to the introduction of new toasties or wraps every few months. The flavor combinations are also usually pretty different than what we get in America, so my favorite Red Pepper Tapanade & Halloumi hot flatbread from Eat will be hard to replace like-for-like.

Luxury yogurts...Obviously we've got loads of yogurts in America, actually probably more than in the UK. Red velvet greek yogurt, yogurt with mango & sriachia, and even weirder varieties...the issue is in America yogurt is really only considered a 'diet food', or at the very least, healthy. Nobody's trying to make it more caloric, but listen...adding whipped cream to that yogurt makes it REAL good. Makes it like a smooth cream dessert with the addition of kinda-healthy probiotics. What's not to like? America, think about it. Meanwhile I'll be missing the M&S range of luxury yogurts and Muller fancy corners.


  1. Make sure to stuff yourself before you have to leave!


    1. Haha, indeed I did! I'm sure there will be more stuff later that I realize, "Oh man...I miss this too."