When you visit a new country one of the best ways to learn about their culture is to sample the food. You get an impression of the sort of place you're in when you eat the local food, for example, any Brit visiting South Africa will be surprised by the amount of meat in the diet. Where our plates are filled up with veggies because the meat is the most expensive ingredient of the meal, in South Africa meat is eaten as a snack. What sort of British foods do tourists to our green and pleasant land find odd, amusing or downright disgusting?
We have some odd sounding foods like Spotted Dick and Yorkshire Puddings (that aren't offered as dessert) and Welsh rarebit and scotched eggs but none look weird or disgusting when placed on a plate. You can't say the same for Haggis, can you? Scotland's national dish looks odd enough when served up but if a tourist to these isles asks what the food in front of them contains, they'll be told that it's a combination of oatmeal, onion, and seasoning (which sound OK) mixed with the heart, liver, and lungs from sheep. Traditional places might even cook the dish in the animal's stomach rather than using sausage casings, which are more commonly used nowadays. If they do, let's hope they don't tell the unsuspecting tourist exactly how the dish was made.
Have you ever eaten eel? If you Google "eel dishes" you get 9.7 million pages on the web about them. That sounds like a lot but it's only a tenth of the number of results you get when you search for "chicken dishes". There's a very good reason for that – people don't eat eels. It's not that we're not meant to eat them. It's just that people don't tend to so why would anyone, whether a tourist or a local, want to eat jellied eels?
We've already broached the subject of British food called "pudding" that aren't served for dessert. Getting a Yorkshire pudding on the side of your dinner plate would be fine for most people. It's only the name that's a little odd with that one. You can't say the same for black pudding. First of all, it looks pretty odd on the plate, then there's the name that's a little confusing but if you tell the hungry diner what's on his plate, anyone with any sense would sweep it aside. Who wants to eat a "blood sausage"? Some consider black pudding to be a perfect accompaniment to a full English breakfast but you're eating congealed blood. Why? What about a white pudding? Have you heard of them? They're made up from pork fat. Again, who wants that on the side of their plate? Someone from outside of the British Isles or Ireland will find that even stranger than we do.
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