Before arriving in England for the semester I was warned that the food was not going to taste the best. It will be rubbish (garbage) they would say. You will live on fish and chips I was told. To my surprise I have found food in England to be quite the opposite. At first, my taste buds were confused as I could not figure out why the food seemed to taste a little different. The difference in taste comes from fewer preservatives which make the food taste better in my opinion. The only negative side is that food does not last as long. Bread tends to last only a few days but my is it delicious. Additionally, Wisconsin maybe the cheese state but I cannot get enough of British cheese. I put cheese on everything, especially chips (fries). In addition to the tasty bread and cheese the chocolate in Britain is to die for! The main chocolate companies are Thornton’s which has a lovely store in town, Cadbury’s which one can find in any supermarket, and Galaxy which goes by the name of Dove in the US. I’m partial to Cadbury’s and have eaten countless curly wurlys (chewy caramel covered in chocolate).
When it comes to cooking I have learned a few recipes from my flatmates including spaghetti Bolognese. Bolognese can be made several different ways though consists of beef, Bolognese sauce (similar to spaghetti sauce), and fresh vegetables. It is served over noodles. In England curry is also quite popular and is often cooked by my flatmates. Also, fresh ingredients are preferred among my flatmates. When I eat frozen breaded chicken fillets and chips they say, “That is so American.” There is defiantly a push for healthy food here in England and junk food contains heavy taxes I have been told. Likewise, I have found fresh ingredients to be fairly prized.
To do my weekly shop I have several options. The town centre can easily be reached by a short bus trip (2.25 pounds) where there are Sainsburys, Tesco, and Farmfoods. Additionally, there is a fresh market in town on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s. Otherwise, one can order groceries online through ASDA, Tesco, or Sainsburys and have them delivered to your door for a small fee of 3 pounds. At first, I travelled into town for my groceries though lately I have been having them delivered. I find the service to be quite convenient.
I have learned a lot from my flatmates while cooking in the kitchen and have enjoyed their company. Likewise, they have learned a few things from me. Just the other day, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving meal. My flatmates were quite lovely and cooked turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, and apple crumble for desert. I may have been thousands of miles from home though was especially thankful for the wonderful meal with my British friends.
Devan Scherer is studying abroad at Lancaster University in Lancaster, England.