Differences in eating habits and eating out between US & UK!

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by 2BoysMum&Dad, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. 2BoysMum&Dad

    2BoysMum&Dad Mouseketeer

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    Whenever I have posted messages about the differences between the Brits and the Americans, it has aroused a lot of interest. We have so many similarities that it is often fun to also spot the many little things in life we love to spot which are different.

    When it comes to eating habits, there is the one obvious one people always know. That's how us Brits will hang on to our knives throughout the meal and cut as we go along. Where as in the US, it is customary to cut your food up first, then dispense with the knife and move the fork to the right hand to eat.

    What other big differences are there and what other customs are different regarding eating in restaurants or any other food related subject? What about portion size and mixing savoury and sweet things on one plate - something the Brits find amuzing! Don't you sometimes do that with your breakfasts?

    2BoysMum&Dad


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  3. bubblefactory

    bubblefactory DIS Veteran

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    Hi,

    I have seen it many times but just can't understand the bacon / pancakes / maple syrup combo - yuk !! and don't even mention the grits.

    Having said all that I love eating out in Orlando - it would be a long post if I listed everything I did like - but the steaks at Le Cellier would be near the top of the list.

    Alec
     
  4. graygables

    graygables <font color=blue>Doesn't like to discuss the Y2K P

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    I remember getting some funny looks in a London Pizza Hut in 1983 when I ate with my fingers! LOL! I also had no clue what "white" tea was and learned I definitely prefer mine black, sorry!

    That said, I spent a month in England in 1976 (commemoration of the "Rebellion" ;) and I noticed that it seemed the Brits were more aware of their ingredients. We Americans have sugar, powdered sugar and brown sugar, but in Europe, there was also castor sugar, berry sugar, turbinado, and those really cool multi-colored crystals, etc, not to mention the varities of flours and herbs!

    Most people I know don't ever even compare savory and sweet and don't think about it. I'm originally a Southern girl, so sweet/meat was a common combination (apples and chicken, graham cracker coating on pork chops) as well as grits with butter/sugar (*never* cheese at my house! ) I was taught to add sugar to green beans (string beans) as well as when cooking corn on the cob (another American-ism).

    As far as breakfast goes, many people do the eggs, bacon/sausage (even maple-flavored sausage) alongside pancakes/waffles with syrup. My DH absolutely *hates* savory and sweet together, so he has to eat his bacon/eggs/ potatoes before having pancakes with blueberries, which he calls "breakfast dessert".

    I would dearly *love* a Continental breakfast right now, especially with REAL European butter...yummm!

    BTW, my 18 & 15yo DDs are heading "across the pond" next week for a vacation w/ my parents. Dad and 18yo can only stay a week b/c of school holidays, but 15yo and Mom are staying until the end of the month...I'm so jealous! I've been trying to prepare my unadventurous DDs to try new things, so I hope they enjoy the British hospitality as much as I did!
     
  5. tar heel

    tar heel <font color=royalblue>Where will we get our news i

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    If we are minding our manners, we are cutting up our food as we go and continuing to use our knives through the whole meal here, too! It is a definite no-no to cut up everything than ditch the knife.

    I didn't know that Brits don't mix sweet and savory (American spelling:D). I thought you ate those wonderful Indian chutnies with meat and curries. Yum.
     
  6. 2BoysMum&Dad

    2BoysMum&Dad Mouseketeer

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    Well, these messages have reminded me that there are actually instances where we do mix our savoury and sweet, but maybe just in different ways and often the sweet part is especially made as an accompaniment to a savoury dish. Brits like apple sauce with roast pork for instance - do you do that in the US? But as a general rule, I don't think we will add a complete sweet item and a complete savoury item on the same plate.

    There are a few recipies where oranges or prunes are added like "duck a la orange", pronounced with a French accent - so really a French meal which the British like. And prunes can be an added ingredient to savoury dishes which add a certain something to the overall flavour of the meal.

    You will not find many British people putting pancakes with maple syrup on the same plate as sausages!

    Bacon is another thing! In Britain, we like lean bacon with little fat on it (not streaky bacon) and may have this with grilled tomatoes, fried eggs, fried bread, black pudding, baked beans and cooked mushrooms. It is possible to buy streaky bacon too but would be used mostly for laying across the top of a chicken or turkey before roasting it in the oven.

    2BoysMum&Dad
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  7. GEM

    GEM Mommy to Paul - 1lb 7oz wonder

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    Wow. How interesting. I'm an American and I have never, ever seen anyone take their knife and cut everything up at one time. :confused: I always cut as a I got, and I've never noticed anyone dong it differently. The only excpetion I've ever noticed is when a parent cuts up everything at once for a child.

    Now, having spent a lot of time in England, my only complaint with their food is that they have an appalling lack of ice in their beverages! :tongue: I remember being in London one unusually hot summer, and I would have KILLED for a coke with more than two ice cubes in it!
     
  8. 2BoysMum&Dad

    2BoysMum&Dad Mouseketeer

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    And there's me thinking all Americans cut food at the beginning and then discarded their knife! I came across this a lot when I visited a friend in Houston a couple of times and another friend in Philadelphia. It must be something that isn't country-wide, but have noticed it and others seem to have noticed it too. Very interesting.

    Generally, regarding ice in soft drinks served in UK pubs - you will be asked if you want ice - won't assume you want it automatically. Maybe it's just the climate here, we are not used to hot weather for more than two weeks in 52!

    2BoysMum&Dad
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  9. helenk

    helenk I wish I was in Disney World

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    I have never cut up all my meat and then set aside my knife, you are correct in that we do not hold our knife through out the meal. Generally, we cut a few pieces, set the knife aside and then when thiose few pieces are done, cut some more.
    I do like my bacon on the plate with my pancakes and syrup though, yum...
     
  10. 2BoysMum&Dad

    2BoysMum&Dad Mouseketeer

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    Sounds a bit fiddly to me - swapping cutlery around all the time. It seems far easier just to pick up your knife and fork and keep it like that for the whole meal! But, I guess it's just what you are used to!

    Regarding bacon, pancakes and syrup on the same plate - just can't do that. EEEK! Sorry!

    2BoysMum&Dad
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  11. Disney Ella

    Disney Ella DIS Veteran

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    I think I must really be British because I have never understood how anyone can put something as sweet as syrup on pancakes and waffles. Yuck. Everyone here thinks it's strange that I won't use syrup, but I guess I'll fit in very well when I travel to England in a few years.
     
  12. 2BoysMum&Dad

    2BoysMum&Dad Mouseketeer

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    Sorry to say this, Disney Ella, but the syrup with pancakes or waffles is not the problem as these are very acceptable combinations in this country!

    Pancakes and waffles are normally regarded as part of a sweet dish but can be part of savoury too as both of these can be neutral items (depending exactly on the ingredients in the pancakes or waffles). But generally speaking, if you ask someone what they would put with their pancakes, they would probably say lemon and sugar, syrup, fruit or even all of these and maybe even whipped cream and chocolate sauce too.

    The problem for most of us (and I think I do speak for most Brits) is the maple syrup (which happens to be with the pancake) on the same plate as the sausages and other similar savoury stuff.

    But, we are not all alike anyway! Everyone has their own tastes whatever country they come from.

    2BoysMum&Dad
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  13. pirateofthecarolinas

    pirateofthecarolinas <font color=FF00CC>AIN'T ain't a word!<br><font co

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    When I was studying in London one summer, the bed & breakfast would serve baked beans with our eggs. That is something we would never eat for breakfast.

    Bone china was also used everyday, whereas here it is mainly used on holidays and special occasions.

    When I returned, my mother asked what she could fix for my first dinner home. Steak! I was craving a big steak. I also needed some sweet tea.

    Lori
     
  14. Mary Ellen

    Mary Ellen DIS Veteran

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    We haven't been to the UK (yet), but some of my cousins from Cambridge came to visit us last summer. Based on their reactions:

    They were appalled at the thought of iced tea.

    They couldn't get over the size (huge) of American restaurant portions.

    They also mentioned (happily) how friendly US servers (waiters) are.

    BBQ (barbeque) means different things on each side of the pond. My cousins considered barbeque to be anything grilled on a barbeque. In the US (particularly in the South/Texas/Kansas City), it is something WAY beyond that. They didn't particularly care for our BBQ.

    They were very happy with the steaks they had here (and we didn't even go out to a fancy steakhouse).

    They also had concerns that the apple pie they bought might be 'too spicy' for their tastes (cinnamon).


    You also asked about the combination of roast pork and applesauce. I can't imagine having pork (roast or chops) without cold applesauce. Now asked, I don't know if it is an 'American' thing or because 1 grandfather, and 6 of my 8 great-grandparents, were born in England and I just grew up with that tradition.

    Bacon - if you are looking for the type of bacon you have at home, you'll want to order what is known as Canadian bacon here.
     
  15. k&a&c'smom

    k&a&c'smom DIS Veteran

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    LOL!! Doesn't anyone remember the old Brady Bunch episode where Bobby said "Pork chops and applesauce!!" - my kids love to say that!!

    For the knife and fork thing, I think some people may not understand exactly what you mean. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Brits put their knife in their right hand to cut their food(if you're right-handed) using the fork in their left hand upside down to pierce the food and eat it. After seeing this in movies (what a hick I am!) I started doing it, too, as it seems so much easier than switching the fork and knife repeatedly.

    I also chuckle when I watch an old Miss Marple movie with Joan Hickson, where a friend states she has been to America, and eaten a "muffin" which is not a muffin at all!! Here, muffins are great big (usually) cake-like breads with various ingredients, like chocolate chips, blueberries, banana-nut, etc. Not the same as your muffins at all, however, we only have our store-bought "English muffins" to compare them to.:teeth:
     
  16. k&a&c'smom

    k&a&c'smom DIS Veteran

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    Oh, I forgot, I never eat pancakes without sausage on the side, if I can help it. And, I want the syrup on the sausage as well!!:rolleyes:
     
  17. pamlet

    pamlet DIS Veteran

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    and I LOVE mushrooms - and I could get them ANYTIME!!:bounce:

    I was there for about 8 weeks a few years back, and was the "taxi" from our place of work in Croughton to Oxford. I would have to pick up folks at the bus station in Oxford nearly every Saturday I was there... I would get there early and sit in a cute little restaurant and have DELICIOUS coffee and Mushrooms and Toast... I was in heaven!! :tongue:

    Also as to applesauce w/pork I don't think it's a British thing as I grew up having applesauce with pork, and my relatives are Polish, Norwegian and German. When I was in England there was a pub we'd go to for dinner that would have the most wonderful pork loin served with various fruit sauces... apricot, apple, plum.... oh my!!!

    The bacon was hard for me to get used to... I did not eat a lot of beef, as I think the cows are fed differently and I didn't care for the taste. But there was so much else to eat! One pub would have jacket potatoes cooked right in the fireplace.. and I'd have that with... you guessed it... MUSHROOMS!!!!!!
     
  18. Pooh Girl 71

    Pooh Girl 71 <font color=red>Good looking, half naked men and c

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    I have to dip the sausages in the syrup. Otherwise the sausage is too spicy for me.
     
  19. chobie

    chobie <font color=teal>Fish are friends, not food<br><fo

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    I have been to England twice and I love those big breakfasts you get at the B&B's. The best thing, though, was scones and Devonshire cream. I can buy that here, but it costs about $7 for a tiny little jar. I never ate Indian food until I went to the UK, but now I have it about once a month. This thread makes me want to go back...
     
  20. two-foxes

    two-foxes DIS Veteran

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    Reading the OP's first post reminded me of a somewhat frightening moment in my younger adult life about the whole knife thing.....

    I was dating an English man who was attending my university in the States. We had flown to England over our winter break so I could meet his family. His father, who is/was a celebrity of sorts in England (think on the level of Hulk Hogan here) was a bit intimidating to say the least. We were eating at this pub, and my BF's father was yelling out complaints (quite embarrassing for me!) such as "your lager is flat!!" to the bartender. I thought he was beginning another complaint to the staff, as he started raising his voice, yelling "every bloody American!!!" He then proceeded to correct me (loudly, needless to say) on my eating utensil operation! Well, two good things came of this....my BF was soon an ex as I realized "like father, like son" and I have gotten many compliments on my very polite table manners!;)
     
  21. 2BoysMum&Dad

    2BoysMum&Dad Mouseketeer

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    two-foxes, sounded like you had a not very good experience with some English men! I hope you find the rest of us ok!

    Devon or Cornish "Cream Teas" are worth a trip to the other side of the world and back! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    2BoysMum&Dad
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