Tag Archives: England

Traditional English Mash O’ Nine Sorts for Halloween

mashunited_kingdomHappy Halloween! In honor of this delicious day, we are making a traditional recipe for All Hallows’ Eve / Samhain from the UK, “Mash O’ Nine Sorts.” This funnily- yet descriptively- named dish consists of mashed root veggies (traditionally nine types, including turnip, potatoes, parsnips, etc.) and cheese, and is eaten in the Northern UK at this time of year. It is also tradition for the lady of the house to hide her wedding ring in the dish, and the person who found it would be the next to get married. While pumpkins are the most popular in the US, other old-world root veggies have pride of Halloween place in the UK. It was even traditional in Scotland to carve tunips! Lavender and Lovage has a recipe for Mash O’ Nine Sorts here (seen above). If you decide to make Mash O’ Nine Sorts, here is some mood music to help you out – “The Monster Mash!.”

 

 

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Pastry Post-Doc: Courting Cake from Northern England

englandLooking to make something sweet for your sweetheart? Why not a courting cake – a Northern English confection made with a dense sponge cake with a layer of berries and cream. Until I watched the BBC’s Great British Bake-Off  (anyone else love that show?) I had no idea what a courting cake was. Turns out making the cake is a symbolic Northern English tradition where a girl would bake a cake for her beau after they had begun “courting” to show both her affection and skill in the kitchen. Nowadays, I imagine that any partner could make the courting cake for their significant other. The courting cake also experienced a bit of a revival due to the fact that Prince William and Princess Kate received one on a visit to Lancashire! You can try your hand at courting cake with recipes from EpicuriousFood.com and Northern Soul (plus a mini version), though I imagine it is especially nice in the height of summer when strawberries are fresh.

Courting Cake from Lancashire Life

Courting Cake from Lancashire Life

 

 

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Shepherd’s Pie in honor of David Bowie

united_kingdomDavid Bowie (1947 – 2016) was a brilliant tastemaker for decades in the world of Fashion, Music and Art (and their intersections), but it turns out his tastes for food were a little more traditional. Bowie’s favorite dish of all time was reported as a simple English Shepherd’s Pie, which his wife Iman would often whip up for the singer. Food and Wine has a series of recipes to choose from, so why not make a Shepard’s Pie in honor of Bowie this week?

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The History of Pumpkin Pie at Thanksgiving

One of the mainstays of the American Thanksgiving Day table is pumpkin pie. But when did pumpkin pie become associated with the holiday? Though pumpkin pie has changed through the years, pumpkin, which is native to North America, may have been part of the original Thanksgiving Day feast. Recipes for pumpkin pie date back to England (pumpkins having been brought to England from the new world before the Mayflower – confusing, right?).

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However, some of these early “pumpkin pie” recipes varied widely, and some had no crust, or consisted of a custard or apples baked inside of a hollowed out pumpkin itself. As legend would have it, the town of Colchester, MA delayed Thanksgiving in 1705 due to a molasses shortage that ruined any plans for pumpkin pie. The first published pumpkin pie recipe in the US appears in Amelia Simmons’ extremely popular cookbook American Cookery (1796), and in fact contains 2 variations.

American_CookeryNo. 1. One quart (pompkin) stewed and strained, 3 pints cream, 9 beaten eggs, sugar, mace, nutmeg, ginger, laid into paste No. 7 or 3, and with a dough spur, cross and chequer, and baked in dishes three quarters of an hour.

No. 2. One quart of milk, 1 pint pompkin, 4 eggs, molasses, allspice and ginger in a crust, bake 1 hour.

By the 1800s, pies were an ingrained part of most Thanksgiving traditions, at least in the north. Pumpkin pie as we know it today usually is made with canned pumpkin, which was only introduced by Libby in the mid-20th Century. And thanks to Libby, 80% of the canned pumpkin in the US comes from one town, Morton, IL. There are so many pumpkin pie recipes out there, I can’t even begin to recommend one, but chances are you’ll be sampling a piece of pumpkin pie history this Thanksgiving!

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Pumpkin Pie by Danube66

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Photo Tour of Borough Market in London


Borough

englandThere is nothing we love more than a good market, and London has them in spades. Borough Market is one of the largest and oldest markets in London, and the current iconic glass and metal structure was originally built in 1851, and after additions over the years it was refurbished at the beginning of the 21st century into its current form. Though it was originally a wholesale market, Borough Market today is a mishmash of food stalls selling everything from fresh fruit to meat pies to olive oil to tapas under one roof. Though we are always fans of food from all over the world, it was especially great to see all of the local British foodstuffs available for sale, especially the cheeses. We pieced together a light meal (very reasonably priced for London) from various stalls, after wandering around and taking in all the sights and smells.

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Teatime at The Allis in Soho House Chicago

united_kingdomAfter an extremely enjoyable teatime at The Langham, we were jonesing for another tea experience. We attempted to have tea at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee for their lauded holiday tea – but it was totally sold out for the entire season…. oh well! We decided to drown our sorrows in a more casual teatime at The Allis (113 – 125 North Green Street Chicago, IL 60607) in the Soho House, a new members-only hotel that is a London export. Even if you are not a member you can dine in the first-floor restaurants, including the Allis, the tearoom.

The Allis

The scene at The Allis

When you open the door from the street you are right in the lobby, which is unlike any other we had seen. The decor is a mix of shabby chic, glamour and modern elements, put together in an eclectic way that still manages to be quite refined. Bookshelves are placed in the center of the room and the chairs are a mishmash of wood and velvet, with exposed brick walls and crystal chandeliers. By day it is a tearoom/lunch spot/coffee shop (serving San Francisco’s famous Blue Bottle coffee), where people hang out and use wifi, and by night it turns into more of a bar/lounge. Tea is served from 3-5 (at a cost of $24), and it is a good idea to make recommendations (we did not, but it worked out anyway for us, thanks to a stroke of luck).

The Allis

Custom tea service

Pretty much everyone in the room had the afternoon tea service. We ordered a tea for 2, which came out in short order.The loose-leaf tea selection is modest, and we each got a teapot, one with mint and one with chai. Other options included Chamomile, Jade green, Rooibos and Earl Grey. Both the sweet and savory elements come out at once, on striking custom black and white china. For the savory items, we had standard crustless sandwiches: tuna, egg and salmon. These were tasty, but nothing to write home about.

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Tea Service

The sweet selections were much more extensive, and on the three-tiered blue-and-white tray we received Chocolate mint macarons, a tiny lemon cream tart, 2 profiteroles, 2 mini red velvet cupcakes, a slice of chocolate cake, scones with jam and Devonshire creme, and a thick slice of poppy seed pound cake (aka a vehicle for the clotted cream). Not a bad spread, right? We liked all of the treats in the selection, but the macaron and mini cupcake were especially delectable. We especially liked how they got a bit outside of the box, from the typical scones and pound cake model. Though we were stuffed by the end, we managed to work our way through all of the desserts.

The Allis

The Sweets up close

The Allis had laid back service, and the servers were casual, and definitely not as polished as at other teatimes, but I think this is intentional. In their gray cardigans and skinny jeans, they are cool kids, not stuffy waitstaff. We definitely enjoyed our teatime at the Allis, and it was a completely different experience from the more refined tea times we had experienced elsewhere. This is tea for cool people, but you can bring your grandma too, she’ll probably like it.

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Our Official Afternoon Tea in London at the Park Terrace Restaurant

united_kingdomTo finish up tea week, we are going back to the source: London! When reading up on tea history for our trip, we finally learned the difference between a high tea and an afternoon tea. High tea is a heartier meal and is actually considered less sophisticated than the lighter afternoon tea, which has small finger sandwiches and pastries. After much deliberation, we selected the setting for our official London teatime: the Park Terrace Restaurant at the Royal Garden Hotel (2 – 24 Kensington High St, London W8 4PT). This modern but elegant restaurant featured a view of Kensington Palace grounds, which sealed the deal.
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Front and center at this tea time was the tea, which we really appreciated. To help us make up our mind, the tea butler (who knew there were such roles?) presented us with a tea tray with little glass jars of each of the dozen or so teas from Emeyu. We selected the Pu-erh Chai Tea, and the enigmatically-named Leaping Tiger tea – white tea with mango and cornflowers. Other selections included a blooming jasmine and amaranth tea, red fruit infusion, and Lapsang Souchong as well as Japanese and Chinese ceremonial teas. Moreover, we were impressed that the selections even came with brewing temperature instructions. After we ordered our tea, our little tea sandwiches came out in quick order: tuna, chicken, tomato salsa, cheese, and egg salad. These were classic tea sandwiches, simply prepared on crustless bread. Not terribly innovative, but perfect for an authentic London tea experience.

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Then came the high multi-tiered dessert tray, the perfect emblem of a classic tea time. Naturally, there were scones – two cinnamon and two raisin – which were delectable, as was the Devonshire cream we slathered on them. Why can’t we make scones like this at home? In addition to the scones, there were a staggering amount of desserts. First, unexpectedly were four slices of pound cake: chocolate, lemon, banana and cranberry nut. Basically, we used these as additional vehicles for the Devonshire cream, though they were tasty in their own right. Crowning the dessert tray were elegantly-presented petit fours: raspberry layer cake, a tiny dark chocolate tart with a white chocolate straw, lemon cream cake, and a coconut canele. Everything was delectable and perfectly formed, especially the photogenic multi-layered raspberry cake and the chocolate tart.
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We relaxed in the elegant setting, taking in a view of Kensington Gardens. And were we ever full – we were totally floored by the amount of food. The restaurant actually even gained a piano player at the end of the tea, which added to the ambiance. We were very pleased by our tea at the Park Terrace, it was a classic experience without being overly formal or stuffy. At £26.00 per person, you can have the classic tea experience without succumbing to exorbitant London prices.
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Parkin Cake for Guy Fawkes Night

united_kingdomThe end of October/start of November is full of holidays, but one that certainly has not caught on in the US is Guy Fawkes Night/Day. This day is a celebrated in England, and celebrates the capture of Guy Fawkes on November 5th, 1605, who was part of a plot to blow up the House of Lords, and therefore killing King James as well. In honor of this foiled plot and the survival of the King, bonfires are lit and effigies of Guy Fawkes are paraded around in celebration every November 5th. Though the bonfire is fun, the tasty treats that follow the celebration is even more fun. One of the traditional treats is Parkin cake, a gingerbread-like sweet oatmeal cake that originated in the North of England. The cake also contains Golden Syrup, a sweet syrup that is a favorite in the UK, but pretty much unknown in the US, though it is similar to corn syrup. Honest Cooking has a good-looking Parkin cake recipe, and British Food: A History insists that Golden Syrup is a must for an authentic Parkin cake!

Parkin Cake

Parkin Cake by Edd Kimber

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Exploring the Camden Lock Global Food Market

united_kingdom Many visitors to London, so we are told, cap their trip with a leisurely boat ride along the Thames – a journey which, surely, will take you to some fine culinary destinations. But – and this knowledge is thanks to a trip from our well-traveled friend Robin – London also possesses a series of small navigable canals in the central and northern parts of the city. You can ride, as we did, a British longboat from the back of Paddington Station to the Camden Lock, a leisurely ride through London’s “Little Venice” that took us by grand estates, leafy parks and an assortment of floating homes and cafes. And, prize of prizes, the boat will drop you off at what may be one of our favorite food markets ever: Camden Lock Market.

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Camden Lock Market is large, with a wide range of stores, restaurants, and shops that can get very crowded and touristy. But at this end, nearest to the boat dock, you find “Global Kitchen,” which features a plethora of appealing and appetizing food stalls around a gridded series of walkways. Even at the odd hour of 3 pm, this place was jam packed (the market is open 10am-6pm most days). Our first reaction? Overwhelming. It took half an hour just to find all the options available: Japanese noodles, Argentine grilled meats, Peruvian snacks, West African meals, kielbasa, vegan wraps, paella, cookies, piadina, and more. Everything- and we mean everything- looked good!???????????????????????????????

Choices, choices. L finally opted for South African bunny chow at Boerie en Bunny (£5.5). Operated by a woman who wins the award for genuinely nicest person we have ever met, Boerie en Bunny serves South African curries and fish stews over your choice of rice or “Bunny Chow” – a hollowed out roll (bun – get it?), stuffed with your order. We went with a rich and deeply flavorful spicy goat curry, topped with yogurt and fresh cilantro – a choice that was only made after our amiable friend forced us to try all the options she had available, and then asked us to stay just to taste a her seafood stew (fantastic, and very reminiscent of a Brazilian moqueca).

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Next, we opted to reminisce about our 2011 Istanbul trip with a Turkish lahmacun at Istanbul lahmacun (£5), a pizza-esque dish topped with ground lamb. Lahmacun are a very popular street snack in Istanbul, and we had the good fortune to try a few while were there. The stall owner, from Istanbul herself (authenticity points!) was very happy to learn we enjoyed her hometown, and eager to talk about her life experiences and food in London. The good food matched the owner’s ambiability: our lahmacun was huge, covered in ground lamb, yogurt and veggies, which made for a filling and delicious main course.

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Finally, for dessert we had one dozen Dutch poffertjes (aka “Dutch Pancakes”; £3.5) from a stall of the same name. These little puffs have the appearance of mini dough UFOs or slightly flattened donut holes. The gentleman manning the stall (see photo below) was a complete pro: flipping the poffertjes in the special pan at a lightning speed with a pair of chopsticks. Of course we could not resist topping them with Nutella.

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We ate a lot of street food in London, but the Camden Lock Market was our hands-down favorite! If you are looking for cheap, good food in London you absolutely must go. You can get there by tube, but the boat is even more fun.

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Pastry Post Doc’s English desserts: Bakewell Tart

EnglandWhen we were in London this past month, we were absolutely blown away by the huge amount of international cuisines available (even compared to our last visit 10+ years ago). However, we wanted to give proper attention to English classics including our favorite category of food – sweets. Now, we are no strangers to English candy, but we had not ventured far into the world of desserts, or as they are called locally – puddings. While in London, I popped into a bakery that specializes in English treats to brush up on my British baking knowledge: Peyton and Byrne (several locations, I visited 44 Wellington Street, Covent Garden). The case and bakery racks of this appealing cafe were full of delicious treats including familiar-to-Americans apple crumbles and cookies. However, there were some new treats including the Bakewell Tart, which looked too delicious to pass up.

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Mini Bakewell Tarts by Mary E

The Bakewell Tart, which originated in Derbyshire, is tart with a shortbread crust, an almond filling and a layer of raspberry jam. On our trip, we saw Bakewell tarts in mini bite-sized versions (as above), or as larger tarts cut into wedges (as below). At Peyton and Byrne, they cut the pie into wedges (and top with almond slivers), which seems to make the perfect filling to crust ratio. We could tell the jam was homemade, and it perfectly complemented the frangipane filling. We found the Bakewell Tart to be perfectly delightful, or shall we say – moreish! There is a recipe for the Bakewell Tart in Peyton and Byrne’s book, British Baking, and recipes for traditional and exotic Bakewell Tarts abound online.

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Bakewell Tart by Dan Peters

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Visiting Brick Lane Beigel Bake in London

Brick Lane Beigel Bake
159 Brick Lane
London E1 6SB

united_kingdomBrick Lane Beigel Bake is an institution – a window into the Brick Lane of 30 years ago. We first heard about this shop several years ago, and were looking forward to trying it when we were in London. We were not disappointed!  It seems like nothing has changed a bit in the preceding decades, from the battered sign to the linoleum floors. The bagels, spelled in the UK as “beigels” also seem to have been unchanged for years and that’s a good thing. The entire store is literally stuffed with bagels (according to Wikipedia: 7,000 a day). Piled up behind the counter were scores and scores of fluffy bagels, and one of the staff’s buzzing members was completely dedicated to just cutting bagels (definitely a full-time job).

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They certainly do a swift trade, and the prices are listed in a helpful by-the-dozen price chart. Beigel Bake is open 24 hours a day, and though there are sometimes lines, there were only a few people in front of us on an odd 7 PM weeknight. You can by a plain bagel for 50P (extra charge for a cut in the bagel – no joke), or get them filled with a variety of sweet and savory fillings for a little extra. Cream cheese was an obvious choice, but we were also happy to see peanut butter, not a common sight in Europe at all!

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The heartiest fare are the Salt beef sandwiches (£3.70), cut freshly from a huge chunk of beef in the window, and placed on a split bagel. This seemed to be by far the most popular choice, and almost everyone walked away with a salt beef sandwich in a little paper sack. We opted for the slightly lighter salmon and cream cheese, plain cream cheese, as well as a bagel topped with peanut butter. The bagels were delicious and had a nice, light texture: soft but still chewy. This is definitely not a place to relax: you eat at the counter standing up or take your bagels to go. We decided to stand at the counter and take in the busy atmosphere, all the while marveling at how we managed to get a meal in London for under £6!

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Kerbisher and Malt, modern fish and chips in London

Kerbisher and Malt
164 Shepherds Bush Rd.
London W6 7PB, United Kingdom

united_kingdomThe neighborhood fish and chips shop, aka “the chippy,” is a British institution, so we figured out it was the proper place to kick off our London food tour (and start our recap, too). I had bookmarked many “best fish and chips in London” list, links and guides, however it was almost overwhelming deciding where to go. Everyone seemed to have a slightly different idea of what made the perfect chippy, and they ran the gamut from 1950s linoleum cafes to plush restaurants serving elevated British cuisine. One of the choices that bubbled to the top across lists was Kerbisher and Malt, which was a more modern, but still simple, rendition of a chippy. We were staying in Shepard’s Bush in West London, so it was a bonus that we were able to walk over to the restaurant (okay, maybe that was a big selling point, though Kerbisher and Malt offers several locations around town).

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Kerbisher and Malt was simple and atmospheric, covered in white subway tiles and with modern wooden tables and iron chairs, with a slightly nautical vibe. The menu is simple, you choose from the selection of  fish and add on the side dishes including the classic mushy peas (£1.60) and chips (£1.90). There are also burgers, shrimp and fish sticks. The fish options available were Haddock, Cod, Coley, Plaice and Pollock, which ranged in price from £5.80 to £6.90. The fish was a la carte, but there was one combination deal, a small order of Coley with small fries and one sauce for £5. For the two of us, we ordered the aforementioned  small meal with curry sauce and Haddock £6.70 with fresh herbed tartar sauce (extra £0.50). Another important disclosure – this was M’s FIRST fish and chips experience, so the pressure was on to make it a good one. We pulled up a chair outside to wait in anticipation for our order.

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As we saw the server walking to our table, we were astounded by the size of the meals, the “small” meal was huge, and the regular size was gigantic. Though the prices may be a little higher than your corner chippy, you certainly get a lot for your money. The fish, in both cases, was tender and flaky, with tasty, crispy (not greasy) breading. The fries were fresh cut and came out piping hot and golden, though they could have been a bit crispier. The sauces were both homemade, and though vastly different, both complemented the fish. Who would have thought a red Tikka Masala-like sauce would have gone so well with fish and chips? However, I guess it makes sense, since they are both British! M highly enjoyed his first fish and chips experience, and vowed to follow up soon with another (or a classic Wisconsin fish fry). Happy and satiated, we felt confident to conquer the rest of the British food world after our auspicious start.

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Cheese in London: Neal’s Yard Dairy

One of the things we are looking forward to most in London is the vast variety of British cheeses (and nice cheese shops). The video below is from Neal’s Yard Dairy, one of England’s foremost artisinal cheese shops, which specializes in local cheeses from all around the British Isles. We can’t wait to visit! In this short video below, we get to visit some local producers making St. James, Tymsboro and Montgomery Cheddar cheeses. What are some of your favorite British cheeses to recommend?

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London Calling

EnglandWe are on our way to London at the end of this week, with brief stopovers in Brussels and Copenhagen. We are excited to go to afternoon tea, sample international cuisine (especially Indian food), and amble around the food markets. We are also very excited about sampling some fine British cheeses! What are your favorite places to eat in London?

The Luardos Food Truck in London

The Luardos Food Truck in London

 

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Tea Time at Spencer’s Jolly Posh Foods

Spencer’s Jolly Posh Foods [closed]
1405 W Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 60613

united_kingdomIrelandWhile we are frequenters of Mexican, Haitian and Thai grocery stores, until this trip we had never visited a British / Irish grocery store in the United States. Selling everything from Dairy Milk chocolates to house-made British sausages and back bacon, Spencer’s can fulfill almost any British grocery craving. When we found out that this little grocery store also served high tea we knew we had to visit ASAP.

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A winning combination: Pie and Vinyl in Southsea, England

united_kingdomThanks to this Twitter post, RTed by Michael Nagrant, we learned about the Pie & Vinyl combination cafe and record shop in Southsea, England (61 Castle Rd, Southsea, Portsmouth PO5, UK). Now we love both pies and vinyl records, so this seems like one of the winning-est combinations yet. M is a little blue that there are only savory and not sweet pies, though. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the term “pie” in the UK generally would refer to a meat pie, as opposed to a sweet pie, as it would in the US. Perhaps the inclusion of sweet pies is an idea for a future menu expansion? In any case, we love the idea of such a symbiotic combination, and we hope to visit it one day. Along those lines, we are also fond of the cafe/restaurant/book/antique/vinyl shop combo we found in Rio (more on that soon).

PieVinylExterior

The Exterior of Pie & Vinyl – from http://www.pieandvinyl.co.uk/

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Diverse, International Restaurants in London

So the Olympics are officially over – and we are sad (though we are looking forward to Rio)! However, while the international athletes may have gone home, the international food scene in London is only growing. With over 8 million people, London has an amazingly diverse population and food scene. Indian food, arguably the most popular cuisine in the UK, is found nearly everywhere in the city, and there are amazing Indian restaurants for every budget. While London has long been home to South Asian food on Brick Lane and has a Vibrant Chinatown, it is home to many other far-flung cuisines.  London Ethnic Eating is a blog dedicated to exploring ethnic food in the city, turning up eateries ranging from Vietnamese to AlgerianTime Out London’s List of top 50 restaurants includes many international options.

Brick Lane at Night

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Top Food Trucks in London

It is no secret that we are mad about food carts, and we consider them to be one of America’s most important exports. Food cart culture has spread to Paris in recent years and has taken root in London. It is worth noting that food “cart” and food “truck” have very different connotations in British English, with food carts having a somewhat dubious reputation. Not to fear though, high quality and innovative food trucks are on the rise in London, right on the heels of booming food truck culture in the US. The variety of London food truck is admirably vast and street foodies can choose from gourmet burgers, curry, chocolate, Vietnamese, and Mexican, among others.

The Luardos Food Truck in London

The Guardian has a list of food trucks picks in London , along with some mouth-watering recipes from each (we are especially digging the Carnitas recipe from Luardos). Migrationology has another round of 6 picks, including meatballs and hotdogs (sounds a little familiar to Chicago, no?). Another truck that found its way onto nearly all of the lists was Crêperie Nicholas, a fan-favorite for crêpes, served out of a restored 1965 Citroën truck. Southern food has also made its way to London, and the Pitt Cue Co. truck even offers pulled pork. This extremely important development means we could move to London easily, should the need arise. Most intriguingly we are excited to note the appearance of the HMS Flake 99, an ice cream truck that doubles as a BOAT (see below). For the latest in London street food developments, you can keep up with the Eat.st site.

HMS Flake 99 photo by Eater

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Chicken Tikka Masala: National Dish of Britain

Mughal_Empireunited_kingdomIndia Flag

Until about a week ago, Team GB had all but struck-out in the medal department at their home Olympics. Fast forward half a fortnight, and their 16 golds places them third on the overall list, as well as garnering them today’s national dish highlight at ETW – chicken tikka masala. Wikipedia offers this succinct definition: “Chicken tikka masala is chicken tikka, chunks of chicken marinated in spices and yogurt, that is then baked in a tandoor oven, [and] served in a masala (‘mixture of spices’) sauce.” The recipes variations are as wide-ranging as its origin histories, but nothing obscures its popularity. Recently Robin Cook, the British Foreign Secretary, declared chicken tikka masala as the new national dish of the United Kingdom. Today, 1 in 7 of all curries sold in Britain are tikka masala, and it is the most popular restaurant dish in the country. But while tikka masala is unquestionably popular in Britain, and has been declared the national dish, its transnational origins reveal a fascinatingly complex and controversial history.

Chicken Tikka Masala at Akbar’s Indian Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA.

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The Olympics and British Cuisine

A view inside the Olympic Village Dining Hall – courtesy of The Daily Mail

The 2012 Olympic Games begin today in London, and Britain is using the international exposure to rebrand its still paltry international culinary reputation. Of course, anyone who still believes Britain has terrible food has either not visited London in the past ten years or, if they did, managed to have their heads stuck in the Underground for too long. As Henry Chu of the LA Times noted, London is a very different place from when it last hosted the Olympics (1948), and Londoners today are used to having the world at their doorstep. But just in case you missed the memo, here’s some light reading to catch you up: The New York Daily News is asking whether or not the Olympics can put British cuisine back on the menu, noting that the Olympic Village’s main dining hall contains a number of different culinary zones highlighting the international influences that make up the British culinary menu, including “Best of Britain; Europe, the Americas and Mediterranean; Asian, and Afro-Caribbean” cuisines. Meanwhile, Gavin Cleaver at An Englishmen in BBQ Sauce (he’s a Briton writing in Dallas – get it?) has a celebration and occasional loathing of British cuisine, dishing out gold, silver, and bronze medals (try the curry!) in an Olympics of British food. Lastly, Katrina Heron at The Daily Beast outlines how, as spectacular as the Beijing Olympics were overall, they were an unmitigated culinary disaster, with terrible food that kept running out. Instead, in London, they are trying to launch a “culinary revolution,” insisting that this Olympics presented “an unprecedented opportunity to look at our diets and our health, at our catering industry, at the state of our farms, and to commit to a long-term plan for good food and environmental stewardship.” Internationally diverse, readily available, locally sourced, delicious food? London, we wish we were there too.

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