Some thoughts on English eating…

I’m fresh from my trip to England. It was great and I can’t wait to go back again.

Between work and play I found time to make a few observations about food in England. Where in the US it’s a specialty thing to have locally sourced food, it’s the norm in England. Go to a pub: many of them brew their own house beer or ale from local wheat and even their taps of brand name beers will be labelled “Made with 100% British wheat.” Their packets of crisps are “Made with 100% British potatoes.” Even the street food vendors, like the terrific crepe man (who cooked the crepes fresh in front of you) used all locally sourced dairy.

Britain is very proud of its sustainability and self sufficiency. Perhaps that’s still left over from the Victory Garden mindset of the 40s. They are a tiny island that is both proud and powerful.

Of course they do import many spices and some more exotic ingredients, but their markets are overflowing from food from their own backyard. Even their beef (I don’t really do beef at home in the US) is from nearby. It tastes so much better because it’s allowed to graze and live.

Amidst all the local food, natural flavors, and their delightful ban on high fructose corn syrup, there is one puzzling thing. That’s their love of aspartame. They use natural sugar in their soft drinks which is great. Then they throw in a dash of artificial sweetener to amp it up which is terrible. It makes their sodas sweeter than sweet. Most of us have heard about the risks of these chemicals, even the US government has to admit they might be linked to brain tumors and cancer , but not definitely enough to ban them. Regardless, it’s not a good thing to put in your body and it’s completely unnecessary to the flavor of the beverage.

Ah well, something to figure out on my next trip I suppose.

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