How true

Nowhere else is there better meat or a wider range of good vegetables. But American cookery still grounds itself on English cookery and is thus but once removed from cannibalism.

11 thoughts on “How true”

  1. The 20th Century was a dark age when it came to English cuisine. Previous centuries however managed to produce grub easily on a par with the efforts of the continentals, as the range of National Trust cookbooks ably demonstrates.

    I heartily recommend putting them on your Christmas list. Though, if you do, a New Year gym membership might be in order as well.

  2. “Nowhere else is there better meat or a wider range of good vegetables.” By God, that wasn’t true when I first spent a few months there (1966). Decent, given how cheap it was – true. But oh those tasteless potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, apples……. and how odd that the cheap meat was decent but that the stuff you paid much more for was little better. No doubt it’s all different now – my visits in the last decade have been plane-changingly brief.

  3. Kit,

    American cheese is like the music quote from The Blues Brothers:

    Elwood: What kind of music do you usually have here?
    Claire: Oh, we got both kinds. We got country *and* western.

    With the cheese they have both kinds, American *and* Swiss. Swiss is made in America and is identical to American except they punch holes in it so you don’t have to eat so much.

    My mutterings on US cheese

  4. It’s a bit like England. In London you can buy practically anything edible you might fancy – I think it’s the best food shopping in the world – whereas if you go to less cosmopolitan areas you’re practically back to the 50’s in terms of choice.

    Saddest, however, is France. French products are always given pride of place (superior, of course, to the food of any other nation) and fancy furrin stuff is either completely absent or – if they’re obliged to buy it because of those horrible EU regs – relegated to bottom shelves or otherwise hidden.

  5. Traditional English fare is perfectly decent so long as
    a) You’re prepared to cook it well, and
    b) In some cases are prepared to stomach odd ingredients (rennet, blood, animal fat, etc).

    In fact I think one of the problems with American food is that they only partially inherited the foods of their English progenitors. It’s hard to find a savoury pie (apple pie, pumpking pie, now that’s a different story). And in fact ‘pizza’ seems to be interchangeable with the word ‘pie’ in some parts of the country.

    They’re also squeamish about relatively normal foods – kidneys and bacon, for instance.

    I don’t know whether it’s true right through America, but I was told by a South African who’d lived for over half a decade in the US that they don’t know how to do roasts either. They’ve got plenty of steakhouses, but roast beef, roast lamb, etc – that’s all right out.

    Strange country!

  6. “…they don’t know how to do roasts either. They’ve got plenty of steakhouses, but roast beef, roast lamb, etc – that’s all right out.”

    I guess that accounts for oddities like this….?

  7. That is just laughable. American meat is factory farmed rubbish and the fruit and vegetables are tasteless. Did they get burgers, pizza and fried chicken from the English? I don’t think so.

    Meat is better in South America, Oz, NZ, Japan. Fruit and vegetables are better just about everywhere.

  8. The best beef in the world came from Rhodesia and then Zim in the early days. I once had a steak at The Cattleman in Bulawayo that almost made me weep with pleasure.

    Now I just weep for Zimbabwe.

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