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lexxi
04-22-2009, 03:03 AM
I'm looking for an example of a food that meets the following criteria:

-is readily available in England (not necessarily common)

-contains strong contrasts between flavors and textures

-is the sort of things that aficionados would consider a favorite food and everyone else would wonder why anyone thought to put those ingredients together in the first place


It could be something sold ready made, such as ham-and-pineapple pizza, or it could be something that one has to assemble oneself, such as dark chocolate dipped in spicy mustard.

Other examples?

TheIT
04-22-2009, 03:07 AM
Cheddar cheese and apple pie? I think I read about that combination in the James Herriott books.

Manix
04-22-2009, 03:08 AM
Spam on toast points

TheIT
04-22-2009, 03:10 AM
For an American oddity, I've seen people dip french fries into McDonald's chocolate shakes. :: shudder ::

AnnieColleen
04-22-2009, 05:06 AM
I used to dip french fries in chocolate pudding in elementary school. Yum!

Doesn't help as an English oddity, though; sorry.

Silver King
04-22-2009, 05:36 AM
You might want to ask the folks over in the Cooking forum (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=181), who are very well versed in all manner of culinary distinctions.

Puma
04-22-2009, 06:03 AM
Chips (fries) with vinegar struck me as an oddity until I tried it. That should meet your criteria.

I've always thought steak and kidney pie sounded horrible - never tried it. Or Yorkshire pudding.

Cheddar cheese and apple pie is pretty common - and tastes pretty good too.

Now for another Anerican oddity - I've always loved pretzels dipped in ice cream. Puma

Mumut
04-22-2009, 08:17 AM
ham and sweet potato finished off in pineapple juice. I dry-fry the ham steak (real ham) and microwave two similar (thickness and size) slices of sweet potato. Add sweet potato to fry pan to get some colour on it and add pineapple juice. Cook down until juice is sticky and cover rest of food with the sticky juice.

Ms Hollands
04-22-2009, 12:01 PM
Strawberries with balsamic. A friend in Cambridge introduced me to this and it's amazingly good!

pdr
04-22-2009, 12:06 PM
If you mean a single food made of a strange mix how about haggis or black pudding?

Puma, a Yorkshire pudding is similar to your American popovers, but if baked with the roast meat it's scrumptious.

Sirius
04-22-2009, 12:40 PM
Grilled mackerel with gooseberry sauce: http://bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/panfriedmackerelwith_84849.shtml

waylander
04-22-2009, 01:05 PM
Cheddar cheese and raw onion sandwiches

MMcDonald64
04-23-2009, 12:31 AM
For an American oddity, I've seen people dip french fries into McDonald's chocolate shakes. :: shudder ::

I don't dip my fries, but I love french fries and chocolate shakes together. The sweet and salty combination is great.

To make this on topic, my daughter dips everything in ketchup. The weirdest thing to me is when she dips her green beans in ketchup. I guess it's healthier than french fries though.

Cyia
04-23-2009, 01:23 AM
For an American oddity, I've seen people dip french fries into McDonald's chocolate shakes. :: shudder ::


Little kids will routinely stuff fries into their straws and suck them out with a mouthful of soda or shake.

When I was a kid I used to love dipping bread in Kool Aid.

Salted sweet fruits are also popular - like watermelon. My mom and my great-grandmother use salt on grapefruit.

ideagirl
04-23-2009, 06:51 AM
Spam on toast points

Do they have spam in England? I don't ever remember seeing it when I lived there.

A few weird things:
* A chip butty (a sandwich made with a bun, a big mess o' chips (French fries) and margarine and/or mayonnaise);
* Vegemite on toast. I never ever got used to vegemite, on anything.
* Beans on toast (as in Heinz baked beans). This is actually quite good.
* Sausage and chips--what it sounds like. A big mess o' chips (fries) with a big fat sausage just sitting on top.

They also deep-fry anything they can get their hands on, up to and including frozen pizza or Mars bars. My dorm kitchen at university didn't have a microwave, but it had a deep-fat fryer.

ideagirl
04-23-2009, 06:52 AM
For an American oddity, I've seen people dip french fries into McDonald's chocolate shakes. :: shudder ::

You just don't even understand how good that is. :-)
Although I take the more gourmet approach, preferring real fries (thick, with skin) and milkshakes made from scratch.

pdr
04-23-2009, 10:00 AM
things like grilled mackerel with gooseberry sauce, venison with redcurrant jelly, and wild boar with plum sauce are in fact gourmet and not peculiar at all.

Go look in an old copy of Mrs Beeton or Eliza Acton to see how traditionally British this form of sauce is with fish and meat. You will find many recipes for spicy savoury sauces for meat made from gooseberries, currants, elderberries, hips, plums, gages, damsons and haws.

Mackerel is an oily fish. Tart gooseberyy sauce is perfect with it!

waylander
04-23-2009, 12:57 PM
Do they have spam in England? I don't ever remember seeing it when I lived there.

Yes.
And other variations on it as Spam is trademark product, other producers make similar products

cooeedownunder
04-23-2009, 01:29 PM
Oysters and steak - with the pan juices from cooking the steak and oysters being made into a source to cover them. Look up Carpet-bag (or carpetbag) steak.

ETA: Just noticed wikepias entry about this dish is WRONG and also I am aware other sites also have varying information about the dish.

The first known recipe for the dish despite some American food historian claims that it originated in 1941 and contributed to Louis Diat - the same recipe was clearly published in Australian recipe books at least forty years earlier. Namely by a woman called Jean Rutledge between 1899 - 1905

HoraceJames
04-23-2009, 02:50 PM
I don't dip my fries, but I love french fries and chocolate shakes together. The sweet and salty combination is great.

To make this on topic, my daughter dips everything in ketchup. The weirdest thing to me is when she dips her green beans in ketchup. I guess it's healthier than french fries though.

My son? Broccoli and zucchini. And mashed potatoes. Everything, even bacon. Although not corn on the cob, thankfully.

Willowmound
04-23-2009, 06:44 PM
Chips (fries) with vinegar struck me as an oddity until I tried it. That should meet your criteria.

Not really, as that's completely normal over here.




-is the sort of things that aficionados would consider a favorite food and everyone else would wonder why anyone thought to put those ingredients together in the first place

Puma
04-23-2009, 09:28 PM
Willowmound - Okay, can the chips and vinegar.

pdr - in your string of sauce items you mentioned hips - as in rose hips or is hips to you something else?

Ideagirl (and Cooee) - What the heck is vegemite? I'd never heard of it until Cooee mentioned it. Puma

Ms Hollands
04-23-2009, 10:38 PM
Do they have spam in England? I don't ever remember seeing it when I lived there.

A few weird things:
* A chip butty (a sandwich made with a bun, a big mess o' chips (French fries) and margarine and/or mayonnaise);
* Vegemite on toast. I never ever got used to vegemite, on anything.
* Beans on toast (as in Heinz baked beans). This is actually quite good.
* Sausage and chips--what it sounds like. A big mess o' chips (fries) with a big fat sausage just sitting on top.

They also deep-fry anything they can get their hands on, up to and including frozen pizza or Mars bars. My dorm kitchen at university didn't have a microwave, but it had a deep-fat fryer.

Just to clarify, Vegemite is Australian, not British, and we like Vegemite and cheese in Australia which is quite nice (especially melted on toast after a big night out - great hangover cure before the hangover sets in). In the UK, it's Marmite, and it's a little stronger and gooier to spread.

Chips are fat in the UK. Chip butties are ACE!

Deep fried stuff like Mars Bars is generally a Scottish tradition rather than an English one. The frying process seems to take a lot of the sweetness out of the Mars Bar and it is actually very tasty.

I think the Brits got the sausage thing from the French (or vice versa?) as the French love sticking a couple of stinky snags on top of some frites. Euch.

Also, on the dipping French fries into chocolate thick shakes thing, I used to do that in Australia as a kid, before I became a vegetarian and realised there was pig fat in the softserve. The taste is still attractive to me, even if the company and the animal fat are not.

Willowmound
04-24-2009, 12:23 AM
Ideagirl (and Cooee) - What the heck is vegemite? I'd never heard of it until Cooee mentioned it. Puma

Vegemite is a kind of shoe polish Australians insist is edible. It isn't, but they keep eating it.

Puma
04-24-2009, 12:55 AM
That was great, Willowmound! Puma

cooeedownunder
04-24-2009, 01:56 AM
Willowmound - Okay, can the chips and vinegar.

pdr - in your string of sauce items you mentioned hips - as in rose hips or is hips to you something else?

Ideagirl (and Cooee) - What the heck is vegemite? I'd never heard of it until Cooee mentioned it. Puma

Made from brewer's yeast, Vegemite is a thick black salty flavour savoury paste, best spread thin on bread or toast or cracker like biscuits. It also originated in Australia and is not the same thing as the English Marmite. It can also be put in soups to add flavour. It is also an aquired taste apparently. For many years I would take nothing else on my school sandwich. I don't like it with cheese though, despite loving cheese, but my daughter does.

As for chips and vinegar it has been popular in Australia for decades.

pdr
04-24-2009, 05:26 AM
Marmite is better than Vegemite!

Hips as in rose hips, haws as the red berries from hawthorn trees. The Chinese hawthorn has lovely big tasty berries.

cooeedownunder
04-24-2009, 06:01 AM
Marmite is better than Vegemite!


NOPE. YUCK, YUCKITY, YUCK!

I'm a happy little Vegemite!

Puma
04-24-2009, 06:02 AM
pdr - I didn't have trouble with anything but the hips - we always call them rose hips. Good source of vitamin C. Puma

pdr
04-24-2009, 01:16 PM
Sorry, Puma.

Yes, Rose hip syrup for colds and rose hip jelly with added scented rose petals for scones and between Victoria sponges.
Hip and haw jelly or relish for meats.

Do you have sloes as well?

What do you do with elderflowers and berries?

Vegemite is too light in taste. I like the solid heaviness of Marmite. I do notice though that British Marmite is lighter and more sour.

Puma
04-24-2009, 04:44 PM
Hi pdr - We have buckthorn around here, but not blackthorn (sloes). And we have a variety of hawthornes. The buckthorn and a lot of the hawthornes are escaped imports.

In native plants we have black haw, a small tree, which has a very tasty blue-black drupe, spicebush - another small tree with a red drupe that can be used in a lot of foods (even as a substitute for allspice), elderberries (dark blue/black fruit), wild cherry trees - grow quite large and are covered with hanging bunches of fruits of which the actual seed is the largest part. We also have more than one variety of wild grape, we have blackberries and black raspberries, and wild strawberries. There are a few others the native Americans probably used for food, but I haven't checked into them.

Elderberries (actually most of the native fruits) can be made into jelly or jam or pies (or wine). Instead of trying to pick the individual berries off the clusters, I cut the entire cluster off the plant and then strip the berries off after I'm back in the house. Some stems always make it through - almost impossible to avoid. Some people use the elderberry flowers in something like fritters - I've never tried that. Puma

Puma
04-24-2009, 09:05 PM
Okay - so made with brewer's yeast - anything else or is it yeast let to sit for a longer time? Cooee mentioned salty which is not a taste I associate with yeast.

If you want a good laugh, when Cooee first mentioned Vegemite, the closest thing I could think of that sounded possible was something like our V-8 tomato and vegetable juice drink. Puma

cooeedownunder
04-25-2009, 10:31 AM
Vegemite is too light in taste. I like the solid heaviness of Marmite. I do notice though that British Marmite is lighter and more sour.

I have only had and never knew there was another type of Marmite other than English. Interesting. And gee, I have never heard Vegimite described as light in taste, regardless I love it. :)

cooeedownunder
04-25-2009, 10:42 AM
Okay - so made with brewer's yeast - anything else or is it yeast let to sit for a longer time? Cooee mentioned salty which is not a taste I associate with yeast.

If you want a good laugh, when Cooee first mentioned Vegemite, the closest thing I could think of that sounded possible was something like our V-8 tomato and vegetable juice drink. Puma

Your comment does not suprise me, Puma, in what you thought it was because of the vege - bit - and I think those who have tasted and did not like it, might have thought Vegemite had the power to make their car V8 engines run, but no, nothing like a vegetable drink, although a little can be put into a vegetable or meat soup ;)

Vegemite sort of has the consistiency of a very thick black oil but thicker like butter or more so softer like margarine.

Also, unlike things like jam, peanut butter, lemon butter, or tomato sauce ect...Vegemite cannot be reproduced by a cook or chef like a commercial grade tomoto sauce can not be. (although some may have tried.)

I don't know anything about Marmite apart from how I think it taste and the relation it has in our history in regards to Vegemite.

Vegemite was developed by a food technolgist in 1922.

Vegemite ingredients: Yeast extract (from yeast grown on barley) salt, meneral salt, malt extract (from barley), colour, perservative flavours - Nacin, Thamme, Riboflavin folat.

It's label states it is a concentrated yeast extract and it is also suitable to vegetarians. Although I can't see it on the label it is also high in vitamin B, so much so, that once on a trip to Queensland 20 odd years ago when I was attacked by mosquito's I was told by a doctor that if I had of had either a vitamin B injection, a couple of week prior to comming to this particular area, or been a good Vegemite girl and kept up my Vegemite intake each day that the mosquito's would not have bothered to the degree they did.

Vegemite was launched in Australia in 1923 - over the next 12 years it competed with difficulty against the English product, simlar but sweeter, called Marmite, which was well accepted in Australia.

In 1935, a jar of Vegemite was given away with every purchase of product from the Fred Walker range (kraft). The promotion ran for two years, sales soared, and Vegemite became a part of Australia's history.

cooeedownunder
04-25-2009, 10:48 AM
Elderberries (actually most of the native fruits) can be made into jelly or jam or pies (or wine). Instead of trying to pick the individual berries off the clusters, I cut the entire cluster off the plant and then strip the berries off after I'm back in the house. Some stems always make it through - almost impossible to avoid. Some people use the elderberry flowers in something like fritters - I've never tried that. Puma

We also have native Elderberry (Sambucus gaudichaudiana)

They are shrubs that grow to three metres high in shady positions in south-eastern Australia. The flowers are in rounded panicles and the edible berries are white. Elderberries are used in wine making, and in jellies, chutneys, vinegars, and pies.

Puma
04-25-2009, 04:16 PM
Our elderberries are the blue-black ones - sambucus canadensis.

I finally looked up Marmite and Vegemite on Google - Marmite lists celery and vegetable extracts as ingredients, Vegemite lists vegetable and spice extracts. The flavor was described as similar to beef bouillion or soy sauce so now I have a better idea what you're talking about. Thanks for the responses. Puma

daehedr
04-29-2009, 12:01 AM
I'm looking for an example of a food that meets the following criteria:

-is readily available in England (not necessarily common)

-contains strong contrasts between flavors and textures

-is the sort of things that aficionados would consider a favorite food and everyone else would wonder why anyone thought to put those ingredients together in the first place


It could be something sold ready made, such as ham-and-pineapple pizza, or it could be something that one has to assemble oneself, such as dark chocolate dipped in spicy mustard.

Other examples?

Pie, Mash and Liquor - a fave of ours - meat pie made from mince (ground hamburger), mashed potatoes and mushy pea liquor (the juice leftover from the mushy peas) found in a variety of places but particularly working class.

Chips with curry sauce - a perennial favourite fries with a lovely spicy curry sauce

Jellied eels and whelks - crunchy, slimey and chewy

Fish, Chips and mushy peas

Lucozade - now the Brit version of Gatorade but when I was growing up only given to those home sick

Ribena - a blackcurrant cordial mixed with water or even better Rum and Black or lager and black

Chip Butties a perennial favourite

Beetroot and Salad Cream sarnies

Pickled eggs with fish and chips or with Saveloy and Chips


it's bringing back memories

loriann
04-30-2009, 07:44 PM
We have a family recipe that dates back to at least my great grandmother for Fried Apples N Onions. It is kind of a weird combo, but they do end up tasting good together.

As for the chip butty...in Pittsburgh, fries on a sandwich is the norm. We think it is gourmet. :)

Polenth
04-30-2009, 08:39 PM
I'm looking for an example of a food that meets the following criteria:

-is readily available in England (not necessarily common)

-contains strong contrasts between flavors and textures

-is the sort of things that aficionados would consider a favorite food and everyone else would wonder why anyone thought to put those ingredients together in the first place

Chili and chocolate. It's a finalist in a create a new crisp (US: chips) flavour contest (by Walkers in the UK). I know it makes me wonder who thought of putting those together. But obviously, someone liked it enough to recommend it as a flavour of crisps.

Quite a few of the other things recommended in the thread are perfectly normal in the UK. I can't imagine many people saying 'why did they put those together?!' even if they don't like it. An American visiting might, but not someone from the UK.

dirtsider
04-30-2009, 09:15 PM
A strong flavored cheese (like chedder) and honey.

darkprincealain
04-30-2009, 09:41 PM
Chili and chocolate. It's a finalist in a create a new crisp (US: chips) flavour contest (by Walkers in the UK). I know it makes me wonder who thought of putting those together. But obviously, someone liked it enough to recommend it as a flavour of crisps.

Quite a few of the other things recommended in the thread are perfectly normal in the UK. I can't imagine many people saying 'why did they put those together?!' even if they don't like it. An American visiting might, but not something from the UK.

I like chocolate with chili in it, but I can't image it'd be too good as a crisp, assuming they add salt. It's spicy and sweet enough without having another flavor added to it.

The only thing that struck me as truly odd when I was in the UK was that when I went to Subway, they asked if I wanted sweet corn on my sandwich. Not exactly gourmet, though...

daehedr
04-30-2009, 10:12 PM
A strong flavored cheese (like chedder) and honey.


an oldtime favourite really good white cheddar with strawberry jam in a sandwich.

my dad's favourite from when he was a kid bacon grease sandwiches - his mum kept the lard cup on the stove which collected all the drippings which they always made into a "piece" and which most of us over 50 remember from out British childhoods...

(& chili with chocolate is excellent - Mexican mole sauces are exactly that amongst chiliheads there is nothing better than a good hot chocolate with chili in it to beat the winter cold)

dirtsider
05-01-2009, 12:09 AM
an oldtime favourite really good white cheddar with strawberry jam in a sandwich.

snip

(& chili with chocolate is excellent - Mexican mole sauces are exactly that amongst chiliheads there is nothing better than a good hot chocolate with chili in it to beat the winter cold)

or chedder with rose petal jam on a good crusty multi-grain bread.

Tried hot chocolate with chili in it once. It was very good. Now if I could only remember where the store was located in NYC....

chevbrock
05-01-2009, 05:37 AM
When I was a kid I regularly ate apple sandwiches. The only other person I know of to do this was a kid I went to school with whose parents were Pommies. My mum is Scottish, so maybe it is a "thing" from that part of the world?

BTW, don't knock it 'till you try it! I reckon Granny Smith works best.