Saturday, 28 November 2009

Dressing Britain (This is not about fashion)

Dressing Britain (This is not about fashion)

English cuisine. British culinary. What comes to mind?

Fish and Chips? Full English Breakfast? Steak Pies and Cornish Pastry? Slow Cooked Stews and Heavily worked out oven with our long list of roasts dinners. And a country full of potatoes- Crisps, Chips, Mashed, Roasted, and Adored.

Some regarded it as unassuming bordering on uncreative, sidelining on boring(quoted), others say its nonexistent. Look it up on the wiki and comes a snappy and nonchalantly short article turns up.

I beg to disagree with boring and uncreative. It’s probably just too practical, too convenient, and too sensible. But it’s not synonymous to nonexistent and nonapealling.

Imagine all cuisine coming to a gala. The French comes in the exuberance and elegance of a tuxedo with a Champagne that magically tops up itself, Italians on loafers and Armani, Americans come in a dressed up Abercrombie and Fitch, Indians come in their beads and spiced colored sarong and kurta, and Thai comes, well, in Chilis, no Thai comes in their zen outfits. The English Cuisine comes in a simple coat and black tie, not forgetting his overcoat/mac as it might rain or snow, or probably it’s just one of those days we have 4 seasons in 24 hours. It’s neither showy, nor luxurious.

He’s one of those who you know have weathered a storm or a hail. He’s reserved and simple. He’s not without depth, but he reacts to certain situations, and when he opens his mouth it’s of something very important and salient. He’s not the life the party, but he’s the season of the crowd. And I lost you there didn’t I. Now you’re thinking of an Englishman than my roast dinner metaphor.

The English cuisine have to battle great depression, recession, and rationing, not that the rest of the world didn’t, but the rest of the world have better climates, more choices of ingredients, and a less destructive weather. Raw ingredients, food, and wine have been more generous to other nations, they have it at default. They inherited it. They have trust funds of ingredients, and vegetations, and vineyards, and plantations, and rice terraces.

But Britain dig deep and cultivated cuisine based on its means, not on the glorious expectations of the world to an Imperialist. A Cuisine that specializes on food that is filling, succulent, and supplementative, flexible and durable to the whips and lashes of mama nature. Hence comes, the substanstial and stodgy stews and steak and ale, bangers and mash, full English and monty. Hence comes the fish and chips wrapped in newspaper for practicality and mobility of a workforce behind a country that fought for peace and for pride. Hence comes the beautiful cocktail of summer greens and vege and the warming and then comforting winter roots. Hence come the Jersey new potatoes at the start of the season, and the big sister maris piper of the colder months.

We change dress for the weather, but not as sensitive as the British cuisine. It is in their blood, in their markets, in their household talks, it’s in the paper, in the pub. And it stays, “it’s indeed passed on, love” as what a kind Englishman would say. It may have had adopted the curry as its co-national dish but this is an exemplification of its good nature to take steward of a foreign food of a country it helped developed.

The British cuisine in a gala is the one you go to when you need something reliably stuffing and fresh, one that you would eat with unassuming appetite but with grace. Whether it’s chips in your hand or curry in a naan, or roast on your fork.

The charm of the British Cuisine is in its heritage, reliability and its dignified weathered stance, it has provided for a country and a culture a food ethos that would definitely weather a hundred more recession, great depression, and rationing. It is a veteran. And with that British Cuisine indeed deserves respect, recognition, and a longer Wikipedia entry.

Comes the end of the gala, the French are elegantly tipsy, Italians have 2 buttons down their gorgeous Armani, the Americans on their Hoodie, but the English Cuisine is still Dressed in Crisp White and Black Tie, a trench coat on its hand in case his darling needs the shed from the storm. Even though the Gala is in Africa.

No comments:

Post a Comment