The Food Over There Is Terrible

I was at a family party on Saturday, and a cousin who knew I had been in London said the above to me.

I spent most of a year-and-a-half in England, and I am honestly befuddled by the ubiquity of this sentiment. The food in London sure was expensive -- I once saw a hamburger for 14 pounds! -- and there were good restaurants and bad, but I really didn't see any overall difference between the quality of the food there and here. Yes, an English construction worker's average fare -- bangers and mash, fish and chips, bubble and squeak -- is not high cuisine, but, then, are hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad? Sometimes people will say, "Of course, the Indian food is good," not realizing that curry is now just a standard part of the English diet.

Maybe the food was terrible at one time. Maybe everyone says it because everyone else says it. But I don't get it.


  1. Yes, the food over there used to be much worse. I would say it improved greatly sometime in the 1990's.

    It went both ways, too. When our relatives would visit us in the US, they would comment on how good all the food was. They weren't used to eating steaks that weren't full of gristle.

  2. London food is as excellent as you can afford.
    British food outside of London is, well...extant.

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