LA Times writer, Henry Chu, lacks journalistic insight and uses decades old cliches to write about a country he obviously knows nothing about.
“A few desperate homemakers did battle with “snoek,” a cheap imported fish that the government promoted but that turned out to be too dry and bland even for British cooking.”
You perpetuate the myth of “bland” British cooking. Britain has the most Michelin star restaurants in the world after France and Japan. I have lived in the USA for six years and America has some of the poorest and blandest food around. When American writers continue to print this myth of “bland” British food, I think of what America has done for the culinary world that is so much better than Britain. I’m still thinking. If I described American food as just burgers and French fries then that would be showing my ignorance because there’s certainly more to American food. So why do you describe British food as “bland?” Have you eaten at the top British restaurants? Have you eaten at the best pubs where you will find organic and local food anywhere you dine in the country? Why do American writers continue to write about a Britain that does not exist today? Should I describe America as a country of fat and stupid people who eat burgers and fries every day? That would be just as silly as describing British food as bland and their people as “stiff upper lipped.” Your cheese sucks, you don’t have real cream, your cakes don’t have the best ingredients such as butter, your bread tastes like rubber, and you overcharge for the local and organic food that Brits have been living on for generations. Now of course I am over generalizing here. We are lucky to live in California where the food is similar to British food. At home in Britain, I eat local and organic food. My family and friends have lived this way for generations. So what the hell are you talking about? Have you tasted how chicken, beef, or lamb is supposed to taste like? Go to Britain. I’ve tried the meat here in the USA and I was much better off just eating the wrapping. I am forced to buy my meat from small purveyors but I have to pay for the privilege. In Britain, eating meat that tastes like juicy, tasty, flavorful meat, is the norm and we don’t have to be upper middle-class to afford it.
I am a Le Cordon Bleu trained and educated chef, writer, and travel reporter and do have some clue about the food in both countries. I suggest you take a trip to Britain and actually learn about the real lifestyle, the real people, and the food. Talk to some Britons, believe me, we don’t think much of your food either.