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24 Reasons British Food Is The World’s Strangest


British food is absurd.

I’m not saying this as an outsider, some North American who knows nothing of the joys of British cooking. My family is so quintessentially British that several of my cousins ran a fish and chip shop where they regularly cheated the tax inspector, a job that combined the proud British traditions of frying fish and flipping off the government.

As someone whose ancestors hailed from all over the UK, I had front-row seats to the weird, wonderful world of British cooking. Britons may mock Americans for their supersized portions, but that’s tough talk coming from a country with food names like chip butty, where the five pence increase in the price of a frog-themed chocolate bar had the nation rioting and jello is somehow acceptable to pair with ice cream.  Long story short, British food is weird, and here are twenty-five points to prove it.

1. Pudding Is Pudding … But That Doesn’t Mean It’s PuddingThere is no standardized meaning for what pudding actually is. So, you can have the typical pudding, which is a baked, steamed or boiled dessert, generally involving flour or eggs. Then, you’ve got your Yorkshire pudding, which is a savory, bready confection. And then, you’ve got your black pudding, which is definitely not a dessert (and is in fact made of blood. More on that later).

2. Chips With Gravy: In Britain, this dish is called “chips with gravy.” Here in Canada, this dish (with the addition of fresh cheese curds) is called “poutine,” and emerged from 1950’s Quebecois culinary tradition. In every other part of the world, this dish is known as “a mistake,” or, perhaps “a coronary.”

3. Welsh Rarebit: Recently, I enthusiastically told my friends about my childhood favorite Welsh Rarebit (or, as it’s sometimes called, “Welsh Rabbit”), a cheesy mixture poured on toast and burned to a crisp under the broiler. I’d just gotten through explaining how my sister and I were on fan duty for when the smoke alarm inevitably went off and got into how we’d fight over the slices with the most burned bits when I realized that the dish was pretty weird for anyone who wasn’t the decedents of Depression-era Welsh farmers. Still pretty good.

4. The Great Freddos Debate: I’m no stranger to culinary controversy; after all, I come from a country where actual, physical fights have been started over cardboard coffee cups (don’t mess with a Canadian during Roll up the Rim). But the widespread protests, anger, and even marches over the five-pence increase in the price of the Freddo Frog chocolate bar is confusing to anyone without the British emotional ties to the bar.

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