I lived in England for a year when I was studying abroad. I loved loved loved it. I have been fascinated with Britain since I was a tyke, and living there was truly a dream come true. I love the people, the accents, the weather, the humor, everything. Except, of course, the food.
I will say that England makes outta sight snacks. Gimme a jammie dodger or flapjack or digestive biscuit and I am a happy happy girl. But their actual food food does leave something to be desired. The rumor about all British food being bland and over cooked is actually true. I had many a “sunday roast” with some ridiculously dry roast beef, hard as a rock roast potatoes and some very limp vegetables.
That being said, I do occasionally crave English food. Right down the street from me in Burbank on Burbank is the Buchanan Arms, a family owned pub with a British food store next door (where i can stock up on my salad cream and monster munch). Again the snacks far out shine the entrees, but I had some “bridies” (ground beef and onion in a puff pastry) that was pretty tasty, and a creamy curry vegetable soup that was dynamite.
But the dessert, if you will excuse the pun, really took the cake. Sticky Toffee Pudding is something hard to describe but delightful to ingest. First off, the British use the word “pudding” as a generic term for dessert (so if you ever thought it was weird in the Pink Floyd song that you couldn’t have your pudding until you eat your meat, they’re talking about dessert, not specifically tapioca). This particular pudding is a dense cake soaked through with warm toffee and served with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. Hot cake and cold ice cream always are a winner, but in this instance it is true heaven. Toffee is similar to caramel, but with a slightly different taste. It’s very big in England. (In fact, one of their top delicious dessert is “Banoffee Pie”, a delicious combination of bananas and toffee).
I highly recommend giving the Buchanan Arms a go, and then trot next door and buy yourself some Jaffa Cakes. You won’t be disappointed.