The Olympics of British Food: A User's Guide from a British Guy
The British Food You Guys Need To Get On Board With Immediately
Bronze -- Indian Curry
Flick user Kim Ubert
I'm putting this at bronze for a few reasons -- one, I have actually seen a few curry places around North Dallas. Two, I mean, it's not strictly British, although there is a definite British mutation of it (due to high immigration from India) that has become pretty much the most popular food in Britain (chicken tikka massala, a curry found in Britain but not India, finishes top of pretty much every poll of the most loved British food). Third, I'm not actually a huge fan. I've only come round to it recently. Still, try out a chicken korma with some rice and a naan bread. It's pretty lovely.
Silver -- Custard
Flickr user LearningLark
Custard is GREAT. I LOVE CUSTARD. A thick vanilla paste made from eggs, which goes on desserts. Frozen custard (whatever that is) doesn't count at all. My grandfather and I used to see how thick and inedible we could make the custard, using the custard powder that somehow makes a dessert paste. It didn't pass muster until the spoon stood up in it on its own. Perfect on pretty much any dessert, especially ones with pastry, or a fruit pie. You have a lot of need for good custard. Sort it out America.
Gold -- Bacon
Flickr user ttimlen
Right. This is controversial. It's not going to go well for me. I anticipate the comments section turning into a flame war. However, I have checked with Richard and we both agree. Basically, America, your bacon sucks. Well ... it doesn't suck. It's just not the optimum bacon. It could be so much better. European bacon has not only the strip of marbled fat you call bacon, but a proper medallion of meat. It is a much better cut. It makes for a better sandwich. I think, what it is, is that American bacon serves a different function. It needs to be kind of sweet, and often an accompaniment for waffles and pancakes and maple syrup (which, don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of. I think Waffle House is the American establishment I most frequent, whereas Brits will recoil in horror at the thought of such a flagrant combination of sweet and savoury). British bacon is, essentially, American bacon with more meat and less fat. You can't get mad about that. Right?
By way of balance and as some closing thoughts, here are things America does which are great. Steaks -- you cannot get a properly cooked steak in Britain. The first time I had a medium-rare steak over here I almost cried with happiness. Hash browns -- I had no idea these were a thing. Great work America.
Mexican food -- not at all popular in Britain. Wonderful, if essentially the same foods in different packages. The alcohol selection and quality is excellent. America really knows how to get drunk in style at a reasonable price. Sushi -- again not so popular or so good in the UK. Vietnamese food, Korean food, the same. Doughnuts -- do exist in the UK, but nowhere near the quality or number.
I hope you all enjoy watching the Olympics. There will be a lot of rain, a lot of stereotypical British things, a lot of village idiots (watch out for the Mayor of London, he's an actual cartoon character made flesh), and, critically a lot of tea. Because you can't beat a good cup of boiling hot tea, milk, two sugars, and a digestive biscuit to dunk in it. Long live British cuisine!