Mixing isn’t matching

After successive posts about religion, politics and sex, I figured it was probably time to return to the usual rubbish. I don’t want you to think I’ve got all highbrow on you, after all.

When it comes to food, I’ve never been one for strange concoctions. I don’t put tomato ketchup on macaroni cheese, or eat curried chicken with pasta. I loathe putting sweet and savoury things together, and don’t even think about including fruit in anything that’s not a puddingdessert.

Given such an attitude, Britain was probably the perfect place to be brought up. After all, this is the land of the cucumber sandwich with the crusts cut off that we’re talking about here. The food in the UK – as even The Special One will reluctantly attest – is far better than the typical stereotype, but Britain is still generally a place in which tradition plays a huge part in great food. That’s not to say that menus don’t have innovative dishes, but on the whole you shouldn’t expect to see squid in chocolate sauce.

In America, however, eating exactly what your heart desires is central to the country’s way of life. Unless you’re eating in a particularly high-end restaurant, the menu is merely a guide to what you can eat there. Substitutions are largely tolerated, and waiters barely bat an eyelid for even the weirdest suggestion. Fads are practically encouraged, while fly-by-night diets are happily catered for at the lowliest diner. Sure, some places take a Marco Pierre White-esque approach if restaurant guests ask for French fries, but apart from that, if a place has got an ingredient, they’ll probably cook it for you.

Sometimes though, eating establishments need to take a stand for all that is good and right in the world.

Chomping lunch in a relatively upscale diner today, the woman a couple of seats away from me ate her breakfast with merry abandon. As I’ve said before, I hate eggs, but even to me her eggs, bacon and toast looked pretty damn good. Even her willingness to put jamjelly on her toast (a crime punishable by life imprisonment in some countries) didn’t put me off.

The fact that she had a great big dollop of mash on the same plate as her eggs and bacon, though, was utterly inexplicable. She’d have been run out of town or burnt at the stake in the UK.

You can mess with our hearts or our minds, but don’t ever mess with our breakfasts, OK?

6 thoughts on “Mixing isn’t matching

  1. Brooklyn

    This is an issue that could go on forever:

    I grew up eating “pink fish” aka lox, or pickled herring, with bagels for breakfast, so, unlike other Americans, am comfortable with the UK breakfast of kippers, but viewed the UK practice of baked beans as a morning egg side dish with horror.

  2. fishwithoutbicycle

    I can’t get along with the whole mashed potatoes for breakfast thing either.

    There’s a sushi place called Ginger on 1st Ave and 6th St which does a divine spicy crunchy tuna and banana roll though 😉

  3. Alison

    My American husband puts maple syrup on his scrambled eggs (if they come with pancakes).

    Just typing that turns my stomach!

  4. Karen

    I had a big laugh to this post 🙂 I do so love mashed potatoes, yes I’m Irish, but they are just so good. My sense of portions is terrible so I always make too much for me and my other half, so we fridge it and fry it up the next day with some rashers and eggs! oops haha

    Up until two weeks ago, I would stare in disgust at my colleagues (who are mainly of eastern european origin) as they ate their breakfast of toast with cheese AND jam on top!! That was until I tried it myself and find it extremely yummy 😀

  5. Expatmum

    I’m with you on mixing sweet and savoury items – even is it’s a bag of crisps. The horror of sausages dranched in maple syrup at breakfast is enough to make me go running for the toast and Marmite.

  6. Zen

    “I don’t put tomato ketchup on macaroni cheese”

    When I visited London a few years ago, I was really surprised to see ketchup on the table in a Chinese restaurant!

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