Gettin' There: Chapter Three

What the Food

Illustration by Izzy White

There exists one thing that the French enjoy slightly more than complaining about the Brits, and that is complaining about British food. Come to think of it, remove British from the equation and you’ll still get the French talking about food. If we’re sitting at lunch, we’ll probably spend a good while wondering what it is we will be having for dinner and going on about how Jean-Paul’s blanquette de veau really could use some salt. However, Christmas and specifically Christmas meals have the particularity of uniting many nations together. Indeed, racist uncles and embarrassing childhood stories blurted out by an eager older brother are, unfortunately so, quite international. In the case of my very own brother, the story where, at the age of four, I threatened him with a knife to get him to open the snacks drawer which was too high for my hungry little-self, is amongst his favourites. Although I don’t remember any of it and cannot attest to the truth of his favoured tale which was in any case probably inflated considerably, it can give you an idea of food’s importance in my life. Not only am I French, I am also ready to injure and kill for a cookie. Now that we are out of the festive frenzy that put our taste buds to the test, I decided that it was only fair to use my passion for food as a means to clarify some British culinary traditions. As much as I would like to display the full range of family stories containing tales of lovely trips to Great Britain which where turned to food related disasters, I will refrain from it. After all, I have yet to complete my Brexit pre-settlement status application and would appreciate completing my university diploma with limited injuries. Let us thus treat the following paragraph as a guide to ignorant foreigners like I once was in the face of British food, and embark on a lovely adventure along the dining tables of Great Britain.