The Truth About British Food

London, Travels

2016-07-24 13.54.32

Dog and Gun: True to it's name

Dog and Gun: True to it’s name

British cuisine has a bad rap.  No one ever says they are going to England for the food.  How could this really be the case with things like lamb pie, succulent gravy and lightly fried fish are national staples?  This past weekend we traveled to the Lake District and northern England and committed indulging in only British fare.  Here are a few samplings from my favorite pub in Keswick, the Dog & Gun.  Todd got their famous goulash, which was fantastic, but undersalted.

Famous goulash! Fantastic. Needs salt.

Famous goulash! Fantastic. Needs salt.

Honestly, it was delicious.  Though I’m not a big fan of peas, I really enjoyed all of my meals, English breakfasts included.  Even a fast food meat and onion pie near the train station in Penrith was delicious.

Sunday roast: Mash, veggies, beef, yorkshire pudding (like a chunk of bready goodness). Not enough gravy.

Sunday roast: Mash, veggies, beef, yorkshire pudding (like a chunk of bready goodness).                                                                                       Not enough gravy.

What are the roots of this negative British culinary reputation?  I actually had this conversation today with someone.  Likely this stems from war time when the country was rationing every ounce of nourishment and had no capacity to focus on cooking.  I would imagine hunkering down in an air raid shelter during WWII, no one was thinking, “Man, that was a bland dinner.”

So I’m here to say, British food is misunderstood.  It’s delicious and I’ll be having a lot more while I’m here in London this year.  And don’t forget that Indian, one of the best cuisines of all time, is in fact considered British cuisine.    Cheerio.


Mash Ups: A North Carolinian’s take on an Indian burrito in London

Food Reviews, London

Hi!  My name is Amanda from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and I am excited to join Epic Portions.  For the next five and a half months, my husband and I are living in London.   I hope to document this experience through food – the good, the bad and the weird.

So far I’ve been in London town one week and have already had some food highs and lows.  One of my more positive experiences combines two cuisines I adore – Mexican and Indian.  This mash up seemed suspect so I had to try it.  I choose the warm, flour tortilla filled with tandoori chicken, grilled paneer, topped with a tikka masala sauce.  I then added chana masala (chickpeas), pilau rice and crispy onions.  The burrito was finished with Raita (Mint yoghurt) and then expertly rolled in tin foil and packaged for me to take home.  In a fast paced city like London, the “take away” shops are buzzing around lunch time with a bit of Seinfeld soup Nazi mentality.

So how was it? Verdict: delicious and satisfying.  Even better, Bombay Burrito delivers and I will have many opportunities to indulge in different combinations in the future – even on those rainy London days that I can’t fathom leaving the house. They offer tacos, salad bowls and curry bowls as well, all mixing different Indian flavors with the Mexican plating.

I’m excited for the adventures in food in and out of London over the next few months.  Yelp, food apps and other online tools make it easy for you to find exactly what you want to eat and within a comfortable travel radius.  Deliveroo and other services will bring basically anything you want to your front door.  Stay tuned for more on this culinary exploration.

Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza

Beer/Drinks, Funny, Randoms

Oh…hi there. Sorry if I startled you. I know it’s been a long time. Quite frankly I’m surprised how often many of you still visit. All of us are flattered. Truly. I’m personally proud of about 68% of what I wrote for this site. That makes me more popular on Rotten Tomatoes than season two of True Detective.jollypumpkinoro

Anyway, I stopped by to speak to you of a beer, a beer so glorious that its name must be shouted from the rooftops of the now abandoned Epic Portions building. That beer is Oro de Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin. Oro de Calabaza has been around for a while, but it struck me that I still have a forum to spread a measure of joy in this world. Why not do something for the good of society for once?

Since I long ago gave up trying to describe the nuances of beer, I’ll let the good people at Jolly Pumpkin do the talking:

Brewed in the Franco-Belgian tradition of strong golden ales. Spicy and peppery with a gentle hop bouquet and beguiling influence of wild yeast.

Now, normally I would not let use of the word “beguiling” go unchallenged. But upon reflection, I can think of no other word that better describes the influence of the wild yeast. (I think the wild yeast adds deliciousness.) If it is for sale in your area, consider yourself fortunate. That is all. Good night and good luck.

P.S. — Oro de Calabaza translates as “Golden Pumpkin.” Due to the awesomeness of this beer, I hereby claim that the act of pouring this beer on your partner during the act of intercourse be called a Golden Pumpkin.