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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
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  • 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.

    Yeah so you are taking it personally - no ones talking about you specifically. We're talking about the state of British food habits in general.

    Its commendable that you and your husband find the time to cook and eat properly, but then as a professional (i.e. middle class) couple you don't reflect the population as a whole.
  • 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
    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.

    Thats exactly it Disillusioned, in my opinion. The rise of consumerism and mass-marketed, homogenised crap. It has to appeal to the lowest common denominator. And in terms of food it means using cheap ingredients, bland recipies, and poor food preparation methods (i.e. frozen food, microwaves, deep frying). Its precisely because we are more consumerist, in general, than continental Europeans that our attitude to food has become so bad. Although of course Europe is also going that way, though there seems to be a considerable amount more resistance to it.

    We are in transition between the American economic model and the European. Hence the relationship with food. Look at American food,* look at ours, look at the Europeans. Compare quality and diversity. And look at the obesity and health problems in these places.

    Although budda I agree with you that its not necessarily related to drinking/binge drinking - although in soome cases this is probably the case.


    *Although of course there are examples of good American food and eating habits, as there are here, and as there are equally examples of bad eating habits on the continent.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    People who survive off McDonalds don't reflect the population as a whole either. Unless there are stats that can prove your point, I'm not buying it I'm afraid.

    No, but I would submit that they are more representative than you are. I'm sure there are stats to be found, unfortunately I don't have the time.
  • 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.


    i went to a place called the belgian monk in norwich at weekend, was gorgeous food and came to approx £20/head for some proper luxury food, and staff so good we all scrambled to tip them as we left

    had wild boar sausages & mash with some lovely belgian pilsner called Maes
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    carlito wrote:
    Yeah so you are taking it personally - no ones talking about you specifically. We're talking about the state of British food habits in general.

    Its commendable that you and your husband find the time to cook and eat properly, but then as a professional (i.e. middle class) couple you don't reflect the population as a whole.

    Yeah - aint person against no one .. I worry more about the things we have no idea the food industry is doing to us until it blows up in our faces - such as BSE, or why is it things like IBS and peanut allergies are on the rise when in areas such as Africa most of the people I've spoken to have never even heard of someone being allergic to a peanut. or the hormones in our beef and milk.

    But more over it was Briggi's comment - of "As if food will ever be more appealing than a pint" which interests me the most - That after all goes back to the original posting .. Drinks Vs Food... why do some people value Beer over Food? is the food not as good as the beer? is the beer more addictive ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah - aint person against no one .. I worry more about the things we have no idea the food industry is doing to us until it blows up in our faces - such as BSE, or why is it things like IBS and peanut allergies are on the rise when in areas such as Africa most of the people I've spoken to have never even heard of someone being allergic to a peanut. or the hormones in our beef and milk.

    But more over it was Briggi's comment - of "As if food will ever be more appealing than a pint" which interests me the most - That after all goes back to the original posting .. Drinks Vs Food... why do some people value Beer over Food? is the food not as good as the beer? is the beer more addictive ?

    I don't know about a national level, but on a personal level (especially as an undergrad!) I've been through long phases of complete indifference to food, while drinking heavily. I've found a lot of the time that drink puts me off food entirely, so In periods of semi-alchoholism I'd eat maybe a meal a day, if that, and it would usually be junk food. I've been entirely sober for the last three months - in that time I've eaten three square meals a day, and the one time I tried to eat a McDonalds meal (everywhere else was closed) I threw it up.

    There may well be a link over a larger scale, but speaking from a social scientist's perspective it would be extremely difficult to demonstrate. Without extensive research, at least.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That after all goes back to the original posting .. Drinks Vs Food... why do some people value Beer over Food? is the food not as good as the beer? is the beer more addictive ?

    I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. Food and drink are not in competition with each other. Excellent beer and quality food are imo, much more widely available in Germany and Belgium. Plenty of people like good food and good beer...

    It's not about valuing good beer over good food. Tbh I would say crap mass-marketed beer like Budweiser and its lazy and bland production goes hand in hand with crap food.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You're being well out of order making personal attacks on people

    I said his argument was lazy and stupid- which it is.

    Back to English 101 for you :thumb:

    Oh, and if someone has presented a stupid argument, I will say that its stupid.
    and what some dinky little rural pubs does aint going to make a huge difference in a huge place like London with over 8 Milion people.

    I had a lovely toad-in-the-hole at a pub in Covent Garden not too long ago.

    8 million people isn't that many. What about those of us who live outside the M25?

    As for the quality of restaurants in this country, within 200m of my office I can think of 11 different places that will give you a two-course lunch for less than £7- the closest there is to a chain restaurant is the fish restaurant that also has a place in Hartlepool. I'd recommend any of them to my friends.

    The reason why you never see "English" restaurants is because "English" is the norm in England- Italian food, Indian food, Chinese food are all imports, and the nation the food is derived from is what makes it stand out. If a restaurant doesn't say it serves food from another country then the food it serves is "English".

    As for drinking, I've been to various countries in Europe, and there is just as strong a drinking culture in most countries. There is sometimes a competitive edge in this country, like Miffy says, which is different, but even then I think the scantily-clad fighters in city centres are very much a minority. It depends what pubs you go to- I go to real ale pubs and the worst that happens is that you get bored to tears by some old man at the bar whilst your pint is being pulled.

    The amount of people who prefer mass-produced branded alcohol to good quality beer is depressing, but it isn't something that is restricted to the UK. Quite often its just that the brands are different on the Continent so it isn't as noticeable to the English.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not about valuing good beer over good food. Tbh I would say crap mass-marketed beer like Budweiser and its lazy and bland production goes hand in hand with crap food.
    Not necessarily. One of the things I do like about Wetherspoons is the variety of good quality beers and spirits. In fact the only reason I ever go in there is if I want to try some different beers. Their food is shite though. We went there the other week and my friend got his gravy in a little square plastic tub that you couldn't even pour out of properly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not necessarily. One of the things I do like about Wetherspoons is the variety of good quality beers and spirits. In fact the only reason I ever go in there is if I want to try some different beers.

    That's perhaps true and given that some independent pubs are crap it can follow that Wetherspoons is a safe option as wherever you are you know you can expect something acceptable. But I find that's all it is, just acceptable inoffensive mediocrity - if people look a bit harder they will find places serving better beers than Wetherspoons with a much better atmosphere and none of that samey, bland chain pub feel.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wetherspoons normally have a good selection of ale, and they're normally alright pubs because they don't play music. Many of them are Cask Marque approved too, so they do the beer alright. The one in Newcastle nearly always has 2 or 3 beers on from local brewers, as does the one in Durham, but I don't know what the rest of them are like.

    I'd just always rather go to the local which does the beer better and is always sourced locally.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wetherspoons food is a load of crap here, all frozen microwave crap but they do cheap Stella and pour it perfectly.
  • 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.

    Walk into your average McDonalds and you'll see lots of burgers, walk into a KFC and you'll see plenty of chicken dishes - what's your point?

    If you don't want to see fried food, don't go into a fried food shop FFS.
    I'd love to walk into my average fish and chip shop and be able to buy a Tuna Steak ready to eat.

    Why? It's not their core business. Go into a restaurant if you want resaurant style foods. You are talking about different markets there, you don't go into Asda and complain that they don't offer Tesco Value branded foods, do you?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    carlito wrote:
    We're talking about the state of British food habits in general.

    So, are those of us who disagree with the view posted in the OP not also and example of genral British habits?
    then as a professional (i.e. middle class) couple you don't reflect the population as a whole.

    Which class does? Either way you are only talking about a segment of the population. What you have done there is just undermine the whole thread - there is no such thing as "typical" or "general" when you are talking about the population as a whole.
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