London Must Haves

Whenever I think of England, I think of rolling countrysides. However, mention London and immediately shopping, double decker buses, theatre and films come to mind, but the most memorable experience is sampling the different cuisines. It is so diverse and different in every area.

For example in Brixton, you would sample mostly African/ West Indian dishes. In East London, Indian, Chinese and Polish. In central London, you have the choice and a range of cultural cuisines to sample. Venture out of London and the cuisine is basically English with the local touch in each area.

Living in the UK, I took the food for granted while dreaming of foods from sunnier climates. Roll on a few years and I now live in the sunny climate, but I am thinking of the foods that I miss while living in London. The taste of cheese and onion crisps, sausage rolls. Why did I take that for granted? I recently returned to England for a vacation and had a feast on the foods that I was missing. Here are some of my must have favorites.

Foods from England is perceived to be bland and not very tasty. This myth came from World War II where foods had to be rationed. If you are still thinking that then you haven’t travel. These are foods you must sample while in England, especially London.

FISH AND CHIPS The ultimate fast foods and usually eaten on a Friday. However I would eat this any day of the week, it’s so tasty. The fish, usually cod, is covered in beer batter until it is golden and crispy. Mmmm! The chip can be french fried, but I like mine chunky and double fried. Lashings of salt and vinegar and you would be eating this every day of your vacation. Oh, it is also one of the healthiest fast food treats, so don’t feel guilty.

THE TRADITIONAL FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST They say that breakfast is the most important meal and sets you up for the day. Let me tell you the full English would do that. It consists of- eggs, bacon, sausages, grilled tomatoes,mushroom,baked beans and toast with marmalade. Sometimes you can also have black pudding. This is washed down with a mug of tea. What a start to the day!

PORK PIE This rounded shape pie is made from pastry and filled with pork meat. This is usually eaten cold or can be served with a salad

TRADITIONAL ROAST This is a Sunday roast lunch or dinner as it is called in England. The meat is usually pork, lamb, beef or chicken and served with roast potatoes and vegetable. If it’s lamb, then it is served with a mint sauce. If it’s chicken, then it is served with sage and onion stuffing. If it is pork- my favorite, then it is served with pork crackling (very crispy pork skin) and apple sauce and if it is beef, then it is served with Yorkshire pudding. The potatoes are par boiled, fluffed up with oil and salt and placed in the oven to roast.

PIE AND MASH To be a true Londoner, nothing beats the pie, mash and liqueur. The pie is 100% mince beef, no onions or vegetables. They have to be rustic looking, soft base and crispy top. This is served with mashed potatoes and liqueur, which is a green parsley based sauce.

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