A few years ago I did a five month study-abroad stint in London. While they might be making great culinary strides, in general British food isn’t considered to be particularly delicious. There are, however, several things (food-wise) that I dearly miss about England.
At the top of the list is Wagamama, an “asian-inspired noodle restaurant” that makes me not feel guilty about eating at a chain. (We were supposed to get one in DC last year but it never happened; the only locations this side of the Atlantic are in Boston.) Just thinking about a steaming bowl of their noodle soup is making me want to run out and buy their cookbook.
Not far behind is the fact that British pubs always have cider on tap. I’m not a big beer drinker (I’m learning to appreciate some kinds; I can’t stand the taste of hops) but I love cider. Even better: snakebite (though apparently what I think of as a ‘snakebite’ is actually a ‘snakebite and black’).
Speaking of British pubs- there was a wonderful one around the corner from my flat. Willy IV was nothing fancy, but we could sit there on a rainy afternoon, playing games and drinking tea until it was an acceptable hour to consume other beverages. I asked for tea in a bar in Silver Spring once when I had a cold; they must have thought I was crazy.
My British food loving even extends to mushy peas. Honestly, I don’t enjoy peas. I find the way they kind of pop and squish when I bite into them to be revolting. Mushy peas solve that problem because they’re already smushed. For some reason, that little cup of peas on the side of my scampi and chips (not a huge fan of cod, huge fan of malt vinegar) just totally made the meal. I was therefore quite giddy when I discovered canned mushy peas at the British store in downtown Frederick.
I just pulled them out of the cabinet to heat up last night, thinking they would be the perfect antidote for our dreary, snowy weather.
Unfortunately, these peas were not what I remembered. Instead of being puréed to perfection, these were more like peas in a green goopy sauce. As Adam so eloquently put it, “It look[ed] like the Hulk vomited… How you expected that to taste good blows my mind a little bit.” One taste was more than enough for me. I promptly put down the fork and left the rest of the pot to languish untouched on the stove.
I’m not giving up on mushy peas, however. Given all the unhealthy things I love (bacon, cheese, butter) it makes sense to try to salvage my taste for something vitamin-rich. My new mission is to redeem mushy peas in my apartment, and I think the only way to do that is to try making them myself. Luckily, there are others who share my love, and who have recipes of their own to offer. It might be more complicated than opening a can, but I have a feeling the result will be worth the effort.