Food is a common topic whenever I catch up with family and friends. The Singaporean within me makes me a very greedy and slightly adventurous eater. Food doesn’t just fill our stomachs. There is so much to tell from a cuisine – history, culture, heritage, family stories etc. I personally find cooking very therapeutic and I try to do my best everyday to make a good meal for Daniel. It’s my way of showing my love despite my constant nagging and occasionally daft questions about the universe that worries him.
We aren’t fussy eaters (as long as it’s not something strange to majority of the population). I guess I get fussy when it involves mashed peas, pickled onions and raw celery (I’ll eat cooked celery). Daniel doesn’t eat durians (silly billy, isn’t he!?) and bananas but trusts me enough to eat frog legs after I told him they were chicken. We have tried and love different cuisines – thai, japanese, vietnamese, korean, german, indian, mexican, chinese, malay, Indonesian, british, spanish etc…
(That’s Daniel with a durian back in 2008. It was a pretty good show he subconsciously put up to impress my folks when he visited me in Singapore. Now that we’re married, he exhibits his intolerance towards durians around my family.)
We do not have a particular cuisine which we dislike. There are definitely certain dishes which we don’t fancy (eg. I don’t fancy natto and black pudding) but I can’t say that a particular cuisine is terrible. When I made up my mind to move to England, many people warned me about the food. A Japanese said to me “I pity you. British food is so bland!”. A Chinese said “Everything is covered in cream!”. An American said ” English breakfast is terrible!”. Trust me, and plenty of other negative comments. Back in 2010, I’ve already been to the UK for a few holidays and I never had any problems with the food so I thought what people were saying was very strange.
Having lived in Oxford for 2 years, I can’t tell you how wrong those people are. I have no idea why anyone would think British food is bland. Most of the dishes I’ve had isn’t covered in cream even if I wanted them to be. Last but not least, NEVER insult the great English breakfast. It adds inches to my disappearing waistline which I blame my age for, clogs up my arteries but it’s like one of the best breakfast to have in moderation. And how can anyone mess up the English breakfast? It’s classic. And must I go on to talk about Shepherd’s Pie and Fish & Chips? I could go on forever!
It turned out that they’ve had bad experiences at some English pubs whilst on holiday and decided to conclude that British food sucks big time. Now that we live in Germany, there are people (Germans and non-germans alike) who criticise British food and sing praises of their own local dishes. That’s really rude, I reckon. Apart from mashed peas (or rather, peas in general) and pickled onions, I have no problem whatsoever with British cuisine. My dislike for them is purely because I’m fussy with peas and pickled onions. I’m not a big fan of potatoes but serve me homemade mash with gravy made by my father-in-law, and I would disown rice.
To some extent we all take pride in our national dishes. Just take Pancake Day for instance. It’s so silly that some Brits and Americans get into a heated argument on how pancakes should look like, how they should be served etc. For goodness sake, give each other some respect! While we take pride in our own dishes, we sometimes forget to respect others’ culture and heritage. For example, it’s such a big sweeping statement to say German food is horrible just because I don’t eat black pudding. There’s a lot more to German cuisine than those bloody sausages (pun intended! haha).
I don’t understand why the Brits are always a target for insult when it comes to food. In every country there is bound to be a restaurant that serves poor quality food. I don’t think it’s fair for someone to insult British cuisine (or any cuisine) based on their one-off experience. This is exactly the reason why I will NEVER write a bad restaurant review since I’ll probably order only a main off the menu. Perhaps you should do some online research on where to dine before visiting the UK on holiday. And if you’re a Brit who mocks other countries’ food, please stop!
On a side note, have you guys heard that Gordon Ramsay has accepted SingTel’s food challenge to take on three Singapore food hawkers?! This is really exciting because in an interview, he is confident that people will certainly like his version better. As Barney Stinson would say “Challenge Accepted!!!”.
- VIDEO: Gordon Ramsay accepts SingTel and food bloggers’ challenge // Omg!! (mitsueki.wordpress.com)
- SingTel and food bloggers issue challenge to Gordon Ramsay // Wa! (mitsueki.wordpress.com)