Posts tagged "U.K."
Artificial preservatives have gone from being a triumph of modern science to, in many people’s opinions, a poison that is affecting us all from the inside out. When I first came to England, I had no idea the British limit the amount of preservatives in their food. After a few meals, I started to notice a common logo on all the packages announcing a lack of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
My first bite of a candy bar had me instantly falling in love with the light chocolate taste and thinking this is the best chocolate I have ever tasted. Although the loaf of bread I bought only lasted about four days, why is it as Americans we have to have our food preserved for such a long time? Are preservatives actually necessary? I am now very fond of the idea of ONLY buying what I will eat in the next few days, and don’t waste as much food as I would back home.
I’m very concerned about recent research showing health problems associated with certain artificial preservatives. I may have to go to the grocery store more then once every two weeks, but I am falling madly in love with idea of only eating natural preservatives and living a healthier life. I mean, do we really need more studies to prove to us that natural is always more beneficial then man-made alternatives?
Last week at the Selfridges (like a British Macy’s) in Birmingham, I stumbled upon a huge food-court display of Frosted Flakes and Pop-Tarts that was entirely surrounded by American flags. It sat next to a sushi bar and a French bakery, and I think it was supposed to represent our national cuisine.
I guess they weren’t wrong.
But the U.K. also has quite a selection of deliciously crappy (or crappily delicious?) treats just waiting to be discovered, and being a good American I have tested many of them. Look for these, my favorites, in groceries, convenience stores and anywhere empty calories are sold:
1. Cadbury Digestives. You can find these at home, in the Meijer international aisle, but they cost like 6 bucks. Here they’re for sale at Poundland (insert off-color joke here). They’re dry, slightly sweet cookies with delicious milk chocolate on one side, and my 4-year-old calls them “Mommy’s special cookies” because I bribe her through art museums and bus rides with them. The same form of bribery also will work on me.
2. Cadbury anything. Yes, we have it at home, but IT DOESN’T TASTE THE SAME. It is a mystery as to why. No preservatives, superior British cows, I don’t know. I don’t even like chocolate that much, and the Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel bar makes me want to write a poem or maybe cry a little.
3. Weird crisps. A crisp is an adorable British way to say potato chip, and they have very weird flavors here, like Thai Curry and T-Bone Steak. No matter the flavor, they all taste vaguely of ketchup. They’re fantastic.
4. Maynards Wine Gums. These are like gummi bears only more delicious, round and sold rolled up in a little tube. Why does so much British candy sound like the title of a PBS sitcom your grandma watches?
5. Jammie Dodgers. These are just little sandwich cookies with cherry or maybe strawberry jam in the middle, but it’s fun to say Jammie Dodger. I keep them in my purse for British-food emergencies, like when all the deli sandwiches have butter on them, all the salad dressing is really mayonnaise, or the pudding turns out to actually be bread with some sort of gravy on it.
You’ll see when you get here.
Colleen Steffen | Features Editor