Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The British are Definitely Sweeter

After days of pondering the relative sweetness of British food and American food, I have concluded that American food is more intense while British food is sweeter.  Americans prefer strong flavors.  Whether sweet, savory, spicy, fruity, the American version will be more, hence baked beans in the US are sweeter than in the UK.   If, however, Brits choose to flavor a food at all, they tend to sweet.  

This is especially noticeable in food that Americans make spicy. If we would use chili, Brits will use Sweet chili sauce.  They use sweet peppers for most things we would use spicy peppers for--including sushi.  No, I am not kidding.  You might find sweet bell peppers in the middle of your tuna roll.  And the spicy sauce that makes spicy tuna rolls--that is sweet, too.  Yesterday, I bought some Tyrrells "Spicy Coated Peanuts".  They looked like wasabi peanuts.  They aspire to be.  I tasted a mere hint of horseradish before they went sweet in my mouth.  The ingredients: "Peanuts, Wheat Flour, Corn Starch, Sugar, Tapioca Starch, Rice Starch, Salt, Horseradish Powder..."  Not only do Brits put sugar in wasabi, but also it is the third ingredient in the coating--right before tapioca.  Take a peek at places like Eat or Pret, as well.  Many of the sandwiches contain fruit.  Pret has a sweet potato hummus.  In the past few days, both Vilvy and I ate the goat cheese and pepper relish with rocket sandwich.  It tasted like a dessert to us.  There is a similar cream cheese and raspberry chipolte jam concoction currently popular in Texas.  The jam is far more spicy than sweet and it is served as an appetizer, not a meal.  The Texas Embassy serves quesadillas with Thousand Island dressing.  Kettle has two versions of BBQ chips, Smokey Barbecue, a slightly sweeter, less spicy version of BBQ flavoring in the US, and Honey Barbecue, a much sweeter version.  The most commonly found--in my experience the only found, save occasional chorizo on a pizza--non-plain sausage in pubs: pork and apple.  Order a hamburger in a pub, it it likely comes with a sweet tomato or onion relish.  You often have to request things like mustard.   

The good news is the excessive sweetness of the British palate broke me from using sugar in my tea, which is a good thing consider how much tea I consume.  

Xander: "Here's your coffee, brewed from the finest Colombian lighter fluid."
Giles: "Thank you. Horrible."
Xander: "Aren't you Brits supposed to be drinking tea, anyway?"
Giles: "Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense."
--Xander and Giles, before the second Apocalypi in Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Sarah B said...

Yuck. I'm a savory girl all the way. *sigh*

AHLondon said...

Be aware when you bite then. It takes some getting used to. When is the big trip over anyway?

Kacie said...

A British friend that came to visit the US had such a hard time eating out here.... she said everything was overwhelmingly salty.

AHLondon said...

Not surprised. I'm sure the food was overwhelming across the board. If she was choosing typical things a Brit would like, then with the exception of bacon which is a salt lick over here, I'm sure it is saltier.