Monday, June 06, 2011

As plain as fish and chips

In the past few years, I've been more immersed in cooking and baking, now that I have more free time in the evenings and weekends. I should be studying but after spending nearly nine years working my arse off for my mediocre medical degree, I think I deserve the opportunity to explore other avenues of pleasure. Some of my friends and work colleagues may have noticed my new found choice of hobby, by the pictures I post up of my culinary creations or even sampling some of my experiments themselves. The most indirect way they have noticed my recent fascination in food is the increasing size of my abdominal girth and my ever expanding cheeks. Clearly it is easier to gain weight than to lose weight.

I have tried all areas of culinary cuisine, apart from Chinese since I have my parents who can provide many dishes in this area. From chicken tagine to miso soup and mostly everything in between, I've tried a fair few recipes with some disasters and some successes. I do go back to my roots (kind of) by trying out typically British recipes, which include fish pie, cottage pie and roast chicken.

Now for all those non-English people out there, I know British food has a reputation of being bland and unoriginal. Even though I don't like nationalism and patriotism, I think I need to stand up for the humble chicken pie and toffee pudding. British cuisine may not be as exotic as Thai or Indian, or as delicate as the French or Italian. It doesn't try to be that way. British food is simple food or what I like to call "comfort food". It's not for ordering at a fancy restaurant. It's suppose to be easy to make at home and fills up your stomach.

Neither do I like people calling British food 'roast meat and potatoes'. To the naive person, what they usually order in most British pubs and restaurants may be roast beef and potatoes with gravy but there is a wide variation of British dishes if you just explore. Calling British food just roast meat and potatoes is like calling Chinese food just rice and noodles, Italian food just pasta and pizza and calling Indian food just curries. Each cuisine has its own variation and it is up to the eater to explore for him/herself the diversity.

So please, give the humble fish and chips a chance. Just don't try the pickled egg.

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