So, a couple of months ago, we went on a vacation to Tuscany (for 12 days) and London (for 6 days). There were family-related matters which necessitated the weird combination (as if London is on the way to Tuscany from Berlin, or vice versa). Anyway, I originally didn't want to blog about this, but due to what I think is constant prodding from a couple of people, I have decided I needed to vent about this. And it is about British food, and about how I don't think I am a big fan of it.
See, British food doesn't strike me as something that is spectacular. My stereotypes about British food often involve greasy breaded fish, heavy soups, and beer. So when we were in London, I tried my best to prove those stereotypes wrong. However, I did encounter difficulty.
See, most of the places that we entered to eat didn't deliver amazing food. Rather, average is perhaps the word that I would use. They were blah. And perhaps, it isn't surprising that most of these places have awesome beer, so as to hide the not-so-awesome food.
Don't get me wrong. We have found awesome British food, but you have to look for it. You have to rely on other people's advice, or the advice or recommendation of a guidebook. But if you simply find a restaurant or a pub and walk in without knowing anything, there is a higher chance that the food they serve is just blah, rather than good. This is in contrast to Tuscany, where we spent more than a week and didn't rely on guidebooks to find good food. All we did was stroll around, find an interesting looking trattoria without knowing anything about the place, walking in, and the next thing we knew, we were being served with tasty and amazing food.
See, here in Berlin, there is a British restaurant. And I have been there a bunch of times. The funny thing is, I think they serve better food than the food we found in London. And yes, even my British colleague agrees with that assessment.
Now, I would have let the matter go here, except for the die-hard defenders of the British cuisine. Sorry, but I have searched several lists on the Internet about best cuisines, yet British cuisine doesn't appear in the lists much. And yes, I might have a very skewed sampling, since I was only there in London for 5 days, yet that is the first impression I got. And if I would control for sampling rate by only assessing the first 5 days we were in Tuscany, then I should say that it still is easier to find genuine and tasty food in Italy than in Britain.
Anyway, I am a scientist after all. I am all for replication. If I find myself in London again, I'd try and find better food than the ones we've tasted. But I am afraid that it would be a hard task, given that the good food we tasted while we were in London last March weren't actually British.