May 12, 2008

Food, glorious food

It's no secret that we (especially Craig) share a love of all things edible — a delicious meal can send Craig into a three-hour rant on exactly how delicious the said meal was, while I think the fact that I have put on two kilograms in the past three weeks says it all!

In the planning stages of this trip, food was a big talking point — from pizza in Italy to giant schnitzels in Germany, we were ready and raring to consume it all! Unfortunately, England is not exactly known for its culinary delights, there are a lot of fried things, and all of them are served with baked beans (you can even get baked beans at KFC!). Nonetheless, we have managed to find a few redeeming morsels on the British eating scene (aside from Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay), that we would like to see back Down Under when we return... Are you listening Mr Rudd?

Indian curry
Curry has now overtaken the traditional fish'n'chips as England's 'national dish', so you'd assume with that much curry being eaten in this part of the world, it'd be pretty bloody good. We've consumed our fair share of currys, naan and papadums since we've arrived (see the new curry counter on the sidebar), and yes, it is pretty bloody good. We still have a soft spot for our local Indian Kitchen in Drummoyne, but with people from the Indian subcontinent accounting for two-thirds of immigrants in Britain, the Australian curry scene simply just can't compete!

Doritos Chilli Heatwave
If anyone knows chips (or crisps as they call them here), it's Craig, and with corn chips being his dominant vice, it's really saying something when he become obsessed with one particular flavour. A mix between Craig's favourite Aussie flavours, Sweet Chili and Mexicana, it's almost like these bad boys were made just for him — packed with flavour and a spicy punch.

Orange squash
Now don't get us wrong, we'll always be lovers of good ol' Cottee's (especially the raspberry and lime flavours), but right now, we're kinda diggin' what the Poms call squash, especially orange. While cordial is quite syrupy and sweet, squash is just that bit more fruitier (well it does contain 50% fruit juice, so go figure) — I personally put this down to the fact that actual fruit juice can be quite hard to find, there seems to be a lot of sickeningly-sweet crap that's 'from concentrate' around here.

Angel Slices
Angel Slices are such a fitting name for these delicious treats, as they really are morsels of heaven. If Chilli Heatwaves were made for Craig, I couldn't have come up with a more perfect treat for me than these soft, spongy delights if I tried. Let me run you through it: Two layers of melt-in-your-mouth sponge cake (one vanilla, one strawberry), with a thin layer of cream between the two for added moistness (sorry to all those 'moist' haters out there. Moist, moist, moist, moist, moist), covered in a sweet layer of icing, all in a snack-sized finger — though I usually just eat the whole pack of six in a binge-fest.

Why drink a schooner when you can have a pint? Trumping schooners by 143ml, downing a few pints can be quite deceptive, and will also have you running for the loos all night! While we are on the topic of beer, the options here are almost endless — bitters, ales, lagers — and Craig's got quite a task ahead of him to get through them all!

A refreshing alternative for non-beer drinkers (ahem, me), cider sure goes down a treat! Made from the fermented juice of apples (and sometimes pears), cider has an alcohol content of about 8.5% and tastes like, um, apple cider, with a hint of bitterness (think beer). Served with ice, we are told that it's a summer fave (the UK consumes the most cider per capita in the world), and I sure plan on downing a few myself this summer!

Waitrose egg sandwiches
Who knew a humble egg sandwich could become such an obsession? Thanks to the surprisingly-edible range of sandwiches available at the UK supermarkets (Waitrose, in particular), we have rediscovered the joy that is hard-boiled egg mixed with mayo and put between two pieces of bread. (Warning: side rant ahead) Though it's not just the supermarket sambos that rule over here, it's supermarkets in general, from the cheap-as-chips Tesco to upmarket Waitrose to the way-out-of-our-league Marks & Spencer, there's something here for everyone. I say screw the mediocre Coles/Woolworths monopoly, Australia needs some real choice when it comes to supermarkets, beyond that of IGA.