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The English Attitude To Food & Drink

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lipsy wrote:
    france spend about 3times as long eating a meal than we do and dine out a lot. their supermarkets are far better than ours with much better quality and variety of fresh food. they have a more family oriented culture, especially since all shops are closed on a sunday and so they often go out for meals. its quite nice to see little children eating salads too.
    as for alcohol.. well the french do drink -just not like us. you won't see lairy men and women throwing up on the street thats for sure! all the spanish and germans i met though got drunk just as much as i did.

    Sounds sweet and yeah ona day trip to France was just shocked at how nice store bought food froma huge supermarket can be..

    In Canada too (maybe the French Influence) but they take their day to day food pretty seriously as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lipsy wrote:
    well the french do drink -just not like us. you won't see lairy men and women throwing up on the street thats for sure! all the spanish and germans i met though got drunk just as much as i did.

    It varies in France. Northern France isn't really that different to Britain I've found. In Normandy they seem to mainly drink beer and cider and on a Saturday night there's just as many drunk people about. They go out and drink socially like us too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They go out and drink socially like us too.
    yes i know the do but they don't binge drink to the extent we do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Unlike most of the countries in Europe we're are an island entirely surrounded by water and yet how often do you see non battered or breaded fish on offer that isn't fried in oil? Rather then fish served perhaps in a more healthy way?

    You mean apart from...

    Fish Pie
    Salmon with Dill/Lemon or Orange Sauce
    Most fish with Parsely/Butter sauce
    Roasted Seabass
    Seared Tuna steaks
    Smoked haddock/cod
    Monkfish in ceddar
    Haddock in egg and cream sauce
    Apple backed cod/haddock
    Stuffed sea bass
    Trout in Resling sauce... for example.

    All you need is imagination.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You mean apart from...

    Fish Pie
    Salmon with Dill/Lemon or Orange Sauce
    Most fish with Parsely/Butter sauce
    Roasted Seabass
    Seared Tuna steaks
    Smoked haddock/cod
    Monkfish in ceddar
    Haddock in egg and cream sauce
    Apple backed cod/haddock
    Stuffed sea bass
    Trout in Resling sauce... for example.

    All you need is imagination.

    Yeah theres no doubt those dishes exist - the question was how often do you see them.

    Britain certainly has a culinary tradition, one which I prefer to the others that I've tried. The problem is what with the rise of junk food, the hegemony of supermarkets (combined with the decline in time to cook and knowledge of food preparation) you're less likely to see a sunday roast or a stuffed sea bass than a takeaway pizza or burger and chips. Unless you're middle class of course. Which is what I think this thread really boils down to.

    It doesn't even matter if the food is even British - you can get just as high quality Indian or Italian food in Britain as "British food." It remains the case that the vast majority of people eat rubbish the vast majority of the time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's a great shame that in many places the only food available on the High Street is wetherspoons microwaved meals or fast food joints.

    There are nice restaurants but English ones tend to be overpriced.

    I crave fresh, good, simple food, why is it so difficult to get? The only place in Wolverhampton that I know of is a Polish cafe serving fresh meals very reasonably. Birmingham isn't much better unless you have loads of money and are willing to pay to go to one of the posh restaurants like Simpsons or Bank or Le Petit Blanc (which is French anyway)

    The culture is different in other countries regarding food and the family. As I live on my own I don't bother cooking a lot of the time but if I lived with a big family as many Europeans do, I would.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The Irish are worse, I genuinely believe we're genetically dispositioned to be alcoholics.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This attitude is hardly a new thing. Britain's history of boozing has become part of our national heritage.

    Here is a familiar scene: the boys start drinking at the pub before midday; they eat nothing, and continue all day; by evening, the drink is doing all the talking, and the mood is souring. There is an argument; fists fly, a knife flashes, and a man of 29 dies in a pool of blood and ale on the floor.

    That may sound like a typically tragic event in one of the modern drinking factories; in fact, it is a simplified description of the death of the playwright Christopher Marlowe in a Deptford tavern in 1593.

    Marlowe's contemporary, William Shakespeare, also recognised that the British drink differently, and competitively. When Iago, in Othello, speaks of drinking, he observes: "I learned it in England, where indeed they are most potent at potting: your Dane, your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander "Drunk Ho!" are nothing to the English."
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    carlito wrote:
    Yeah theres no doubt those dishes exist - the question was how often do you see them.

    Britain certainly has a culinary tradition, one which I prefer to the others that I've tried. The problem is what with the rise of junk food, the hegemony of supermarkets (combined with the decline in time to cook and knowledge of food preparation) you're less likely to see a sunday roast or a stuffed sea bass than a takeaway pizza or burger and chips. Unless you're middle class of course. Which is what I think this thread really boils down to.

    It doesn't even matter if the food is even British - you can get just as high quality Indian or Italian food in Britain as "British food." It remains the case that the vast majority of people eat rubbish the vast majority of the time.


    Excellent - you said pretty much what I wanted to say, if you're prepared to make something yourself then yes there's no limits.

    But as you said, walk into an average Fish & Chip shop and what is really on offer? Fried Chips, Fried Fish, Fried Sausages. I'd love to walk into my average fish and chip shop and be able to buy a Tuna Steak ready to eat.

    I'd love to know why so many people in this country would prefer a pint to a meal though - it is the taste of beer that's so appealing or the fact it help makes you drunk or could it simply be for the price the food on offer is so bad that you might as well just drink?

    When I was in Spain you could get Tapas fairly cheaply and have a whole range of things to pick from.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapas

    What's the equivelent of Tapas in the UK, packet of crisps, peanuts, pork scratchings? If you do order omething little to just sustain you it's most likely friend in oil, chips, onion rings, etc. or it's something utterly simple and uninspiring that any kid could make at home like Nachoes with cheese poured over it.

    http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/food/viewcategory.php?CurrentCategory=108


    if you look at the wetherspoons menu they charge £4.99 for what looks like a pretty healthy Chicken Ceasar salad?

    http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/food/viewcategory.php?CurrentCategory=85

    and yet only charge

    £3.99 for a burger, with chips & a free drink

    http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/food/viewcategory.php?CurrentCategory=97

    .. why?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But as you said, walk into an average Fish & Chip shop and what is really on offer? Fried Chips, Fried Fish, Fried Sausages. I'd love to walk into my average fish and chip shop and be able to buy a Tuna Steak ready to eat.
    walk into the french equivalent and all you see is crepes, cakes, sausage rolls and sandwiches all loaded with fat. i just dont believe england is as bad as you're making out.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,268 Skive's The Limit
    lipsy wrote:
    walk into the french equivalent and all you see is crepes, cakes, sausage rolls and sandwiches all loaded with fat. i just dont believe england is as bad as you're making out.

    :yes:

    When I went to France in the summer I saw more Kebab houses than I ever have here.
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The fish and chip shops round here are great, proper English chips, slightly orange due to the oil they are cooked in, all sorts of fish on offer. Nowt wrong with that. The problem is all the crappy takeaway that just sell frozen fries rather than proper chips and nasty cuts of chicken. Yuck.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote:
    When I went to France in the summer I saw more Kebab houses than I ever have here.

    Maison de Kebab ? :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote:
    :yes:

    When I went to France in the summer I saw more Kebab houses than I ever have here.
    oh yeh there are loads! and in restaurants they serve fries with everything!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote:
    :yes:

    When I went to France in the summer I saw more Kebab houses than I ever have here.


    Ys I saw lots in Spain too, BUT the huge difference was the ones I saw were quality products not the cheap meat most kebab houses in the UK serve today.

    When Donor Kebabs for instance first came to the UK the places near me used quality lamb, make from real slices that they put together themselves. These days it's a factory made produce made by minced up pieces of the bits and pieces left over and then frozen (and BTW I know someone who's seen the production process and told me)

    When I was in Barcelona, the kebabs there used meat imported from Germany and was well nice and not greasy. I know there's a few places in central London that still make their own from scratch but they are few and far between these days.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe the problem as you see it is something to do with your own personal situation, ...

    Yes exactly, which is why I went to the trouble to name the places I'd visited in the very first post, so my post isn't flawed it's based on my experience and other people have been invited to give opinions on their own personal situations and experience .. I'm sure the experience of people that live near a fishing port for example is different to those that live inland... and to those that live in little villages.

    Also it isn't flawed when someone pointed out that chains like Wetherspoons give great deals on things like Burgers & Chips with a drink but try and be a bit healthy and get a salad instead and there's a huge price premium.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why on earth would you go to a Wetherspoons for a decent meal? It's a glorified McDonalds but with alcohol.

    Why what's wrong with wanting a Salad there? I'm sure their Chicken Caesar is healthy enough ..

    I just don't see why a Salad with a drink should cost so much more then a Burger and Chips with a free drink?

    And plenty of reasons to go depending on the situation and what your other options are.

    Some of the reasons include,

    lots of seating,
    good locations,
    ample non smoking sections that are far away from smokers,
    it's quiet enough to hold a conversation,
    parking availability,
    disabled access,
    clean toilets,
    safe environment,
    good security,
    no fights,
    No sports if that's not of interest at the time
    friendly staff
    big selection of drinks


    I know several places for instance in London that serve good food, but there's no where to park anywhere near them ..

    There's more to making good food available to everyone then just what's on the menu, I think Nando's is great BUT our local one has a 1 hour waiting time after 7pm because it's that popular.

    I held a party at a Japanese Restaurant a few weeks ago and over 40 people came - all dying to try something different and healthy and the place is packed almost every night - when the same place was an English food Restaurant it closed down twice for lack of business.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wetherspoons' are dumps. They are not restaurants but pubs that serve food. It is all about the choices we make. Want a decent, healthy and fresh meal then pay that bit extra and do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ButtonMoon wrote:
    Wetherspoons' are dumps. They are not restaurants but pubs that serve food. It is all about the choices we make. Want a decent, healthy and fresh meal then pay that bit extra and do.

    Don't know what your local ones are like but ours are very nice.
    The one everyone is going to on the weekend for the meetup is very nice with high ceiling so any smoke that is in the air rises pretty high and doesn't effect non smokers much.

    Why should healthy food cost more then unhealthy food?

    This is exactly my point in other countries (not all countries but other countries) .. healthy food is just normal food, it's not a premium product.

    In this country Ice cream for example in a lot of situations isn't made from milk but vegetable oils

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_cream#United_Kingdom

    But how many consumer even realise that? There's very little foods manufacturer over here don't mess with to get the costs down and the profits up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your arguement seems to be that a large segment of the british public are so consistantly drunk that they cant cook, which is not only false but quite insulting.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As I was trying to say it's the fact that the drinks industry seems to take on a high quality stance on it's produce, no one really goes out and promotes their beer as being Exra Value version beer.
    You reckon? Is that why Carling, Fosters, XXXX, Corona, John Smiths, WKD, Smirnoff Ice and the like are so popular? Not to mention the old house double. And what about things like Stella Artois, Smirnoff, Gordons Gin, Bacardi? Do British people really use their great knowledge of alcohol to determine that they're good quality, or do they just accept that they're 'quality' brands because of the way they're advertised?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think most people here are taking what DiamondGeezer has said a little bit personally, and reacted very defensively. Maybe hes hit a nerve.

    Everyone here is saying "but I eat home cooked meals" or "look you can buy stuffed sea-bass/leg of lamb with sauteed potatoes etc in a restuarant if you want" (implying that you do - you must all be very well off). No ones saying that you personally don't eat good, healthy food, or that its impossible to get.

    What DiamondGeezer seems to be saying is that most people in this country do not, or at least not as regularly/habitually as some of our European neighbours. And that is borne out by the facts. The UK is facing an obesity epidemic. Junk food outsells decent food. Supermarket ready-meals, full of salt, fat, etc, are more popular (quantitively) than home-cooked decent food. A lot of people don't even eat "meals" anymore, they just graze on crisps and chocolate. In short bad food prevails over good, apart from a small minority of expensive (and to many unaffordable) restuarants, or those who have the time/inclination to cook for themselves.

    Like I said, I prefer (good quality) "British" food to the rivals. But I think a lot of people are in denial as the the general state of British eating habits as reflected by the majority of the population, the majority of the time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    carlito wrote:
    Everyone here is saying "but I eat home cooked meals" or "look you can buy stuffed sea-bass/leg of lamb with sauteed potatoes etc in a restuarant if you want" (implying that you do - you must all be very well off).
    I'm sure poorer areas eat much unhealthier, cheaper versions of food than those with more money. but what do poorer people in france, spain, germany etc eat? because i'm damn sure they have just as many ready-meals and fast food places as we do.
    carlito wrote:
    The UK is facing an obesity epidemic. Junk food outsells decent food. Supermarket ready-meals, full of salt, fat, etc, are more popular (quantitively) than home-cooked decent food.
    i do agree that a lot of british people have a bad attitude to food but its not everyone. i can only really use France in my examples because thats where I have lived and travelled around. french people do care a lot about what they eat but its for reasons of pure vanity!! not health or because they love food so much.
    i can't count the number of times i was warned by men in the street (who i didn't even know!!) not to eat that ice cream etc because it will make me fat!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    carlito wrote:
    I think most people here are taking what DiamondGeezer has said a little bit personally, and reacted very defensively. Maybe hes hit a nerve.

    But the two points are totally unrelated, yes a significant minority of british drinkers do so in unhealthily large amounts, and yes a significant minority of british eaters eat largely only crap. But the two points arent related.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I totally disagree with the portrait that is being painted, that's why I'm objecting. Both me and my husband are busy professionals and we still find time to cook and eat food properly and cheaply. When we go out to eat, we go to cheap places because we're on a budget. We probably go out to eat once a month or so. No one I know eats as you describe.

    That is utterly irrelevant to the point if the point is abotu a general view that would be supported by statistics surveys etc.

    I personally am not a millionaire, nor do I know any yet I know that they exist, and in fact that there are more millionaires than there used to be.

    personal experiences are totally irrelevant when discussing general facts.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Given that Wetherspoon's, Yates, etc are crap as bars go it's absurd to expect them to serve decent food as well.

    It's embarrassing to live in a country that contains Aberdeen Angus Steak Houses, Garfunkels and Harvesters. It's depressing proof of some people's awful taste that these places make a profit. Most restaurant chains are bland and boring with every branch providing the same warmed up crap straight out the freezer. Part of the reason why eating out in Europe is so much better imo is that restaurant chains are far less common.

    It's just depressing to think that one thing we have got right - proper pubs, are under threat from bland uniform chain pubs.
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