Thursday, 14 January 2010

British Cuisine

This morning I met with my tutor for British Women Writers. She is awesome, the course is going to rock. I bought my first Oxford University Press classics today. Jane Austin's Emma and Persuasion. Both are for my tutorial.

After my meeting I had my first taste of true British cuisine. I got a Cornish Pasty. A pasty is kind of like a mini calzone. Instead of pizza dough the filling is wrapped with a more flaky pastry dough, but not as light as a filo dough. I got a Wholemeal (wholewheat) Vegetable Pasty. The pasty seller told me it was like eating vegetable stew all wrapped up, and it was!

People told me horror stories of British food, but from what I've tasted it's not bad. Most of it is really good. Everyone also told me it would be so hard to be a vegetarian here. Yes, there is a lot of meet. In fact one restaurant is called "Beefeater." There is always a vegetarian option though. People are very sensitive to it here too; always specifying vegan and vegetarian. Also, for all you celiacs out there, there are gluten free options at most eateries here.

I also went to the Museum of Oxford today. It is situated in Town Hall. There I learned that people have occupied this land since prehistory. The same roads used today were created in the 8th century. That is when Edward the Elder first mentioned Oxford in writing. It's pretty old, to say the least.

Got to go read. Since I've met with one of my tutors I have actual work to do now.


  1. Maura,

    Welcome to Michigan's Upper Peninsula where pasties are on the menu of every diner and restaurant. The Iron and Copper of the U.P. attracted zillions of Cornish miners back in the 1850s and they brought their cuisine with them. The copper may be long gone but "up north" the pastie is still going strong. (and better with potatoes than parsnips)


  2. Maura, don’t let one Cornish Pasty fool you. British food is really bad! A fresh Cornish Pasty is OK, but remember its stew wrapped in dough, no great culinary masterpiece. Remember they eat steak and kidney pie, (baked) beans on toast for breakfast, and ruin perfectly good beer by mixing it with lemon-lime soda, they call it a Shandy. I will say they have two redeeming dishs, fish and chips and scones with jam and clotted cream. They also know how to make a good cup of tea.

  3. Uncle Keith,

    I am learning the value of 'a good cup of tea', as you put it. On the damp days here tea and scones are quite welcome.

    You're very right though, the beans on toast for breakfast is really weird. Usually breakfast is served with a broiled tomato too. I'm sticking with cereal for now.