Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Americans made a lot of jokes about British cuisine being terrible. I find this baffling — Britain is a fantastic place to eat, not just in big cities like London, but all across the country. I’m in a village this term that’s about 1/5 the size of Geneva and five times more remote, and even in a place this tiny, I’ve consistently had jaw-droppingly good food — from restaurants, pubs, and cafes (which seem to be everywhere, and affordable, and always packed, even in a village this small), but also in terms of ingredients from the local supermarket. And London is better yet, since as a dazzling multicultural metropolis, it has not only fantastic British food but restaurants from every culture you can imagine. (Eating out in London can be pricy, of course, but if you’re savvy, you can eat amazingly well in the city for not much at all.)
I’ve been cooking a lot this month, working my way through a book of traditional Welsh recipes. So. Good. One of the best things I made this week was perfectly simple (and very British): a grilled cheese and onion sandwich, using a local very mature cheddar and local leeks (this is Wales, after all) on regular Hovis Seed-Sensation bread with English creamery butter from Sainsbury’s. I take my sandwiches seriously, and this was close to perfection.
And it also calls to mind a fantastic song by one of the most overlooked bands of the British invasion, the Rutles — a band who always seemed to get overshadowed by the Beatles for some reason.
I’m also a huge fan of the Galaxie 500 cover of this song. Enjoy!