Introduction to British cuisine
We didn’t do anything special for the duration of my stay, but one of the things I enjoyed was a culinary adventure.
We had English breakfast, which I learned was called a full fry-up. Sausages had a patty-like texture, unlike the German sausages that had thicker skin and smoothly processed meat. The bacon was sliced thick and fried like regular meat, unlike the American bacon fried in its own fat until it got stringy and crispy. Stuart loved this thing called baked beans. They were beans cooked in tomato sauce, generally came in a tin. They provide a somewhat sweet flavor to the salt-rich dish. He said he subsisted on “beans on toast” when he was at uni. It was basically just heated baked beans poured over two slices of toast. Who was I to judge, as I lived on the internationally detested natto on rice all my life? I liked the fried egg cooked slightly runny so I could dip the toast in the yolk. There were fried mushrooms and tomatoes, too, and some restaurants would add a slice of black pudding, which was a pigs’ blood sausage. The full fry-up was certainly “stodgy,” as Brits would describe.
One evening, Stuart made “bangers and mash.” He put a mound of mashed potatoes on a plate, put two grilled sausages on top of it, and poured a generous amount of gravy. Again, the powerful flavor of savory sausages was softened by sweet buttery potatoes, and the pool of gravy kept them juicy.
We went to pubs many times, too, and on Sunday we had the roast there. A few slices of roast beef red in the middle, roasted vegetables, and a puffy Yorkshire pudding, and again with rich gravy sauce, all washed down with a pint of ale. They called it “Sunday dinner” regardless of the time of the day they ate it as long as it was Sunday.
It was just an introduction to the world of British cuisine, which would keep fascinating me for the coming years.