Curious to find out if British drugstore sweet treats had much to boast beyond their novelty factor, we set out to sample nearly two dozen varieties. While some were doozies — one candy prompted the exclamation that "it tastes like I licked an old lady" — we found some delightful new favorites and a few improved versions of American analogues. Find out what we'll be buying in bulk.
The original motherland, the United Kingdom has a lot to offer culinarily, despite its somewhat trod-upon reputation. Serving up many comfort (or, in British speak, "nursery") food favorites, we've broken down a whole host of dishes as a guide for the uninitiated, or those looking to reminisce.
British food customs can seem, well, a bit wonky to the uninitiated. Just as "afternoon tea" refers to a ritualistic midday meal rather than the consumption of the actual beverage, an English full breakfast, as it's known, has its own set of guidelines. More hearty than dainty, full breakfast is comfort food at its finest and is generally reserved for weekends — perhaps after a night of indulgence — much like the American custom of brunch.
While the exact offerings may vary from establishment to establishment, we've broken the usual suspects down:
- Eggs: Generally fried or poached; either way, we'd argue that a runny yolk is imperative.
- Back bacon: Thick and fried til crisp-tender, it's often referred to simply as "bacon" but is in fact a different cut from what is customary stateside. Back bacon is leaner (similar to Canadian bacon), as it's cut from the back of a pig, rather than the fattier pork belly.
Keep reading for sausage, toast, and all that jazz.
From Nigella's bubbly laugh and tongue-in-cheek tomes on home cookery to the high-brow molecular gastronomy creations from Heston Blumenthal, we're pretty smitten with the current British food scene. We tend to lean toward Anglophilia, but with good reason: the British Isles are nearly bursting with culinary talent. Read on to find out some of our current favorites.
With Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, British culinary celebrity Jamie Oliver has made a name for himself as an advocate for healthier American eating. The show's first season, shot in obesity-stricken Huntington, WV, received critical acclaim and garnered a Primetime Emmy in 2010.
Food Revolution's second season returns to ABC April 12 at 8 p.m. The comeback takes place in Los Angeles and faces an entirely new set of challenges, including resistance from the city's public school system.
While in South Beach, Katie and I took a minute to ask the chef about season two, his troubles with the Los Angeles school system, and what he thought of Huntington losing its school funding. His surprising answers, when you read more.
One month before their nuptials are set to take place, the world is abuzz with curiosity about details of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. Today we've learned what their regal wedding cakes will look like. Kate has chosen a fruitcake to be the main wedding cake — perhaps an odd choice in America, but a traditional one across the pond. Its designer will be Fiona Cairns, a well-respected cake creator known for her bold designs. Although further details of the cake "will be a surprise," says Cairns, we do know this: It'll be tall and tiered, and covered in cream-and-white decorative flowers that not only mimic the architecture of Buckingham Palace but also each represent something meaningful. For instance, the cake will include roses for England, shamrocks for Ireland, acorns for strength, and sweet William flowers as well.
Just like at Prince Charles's and Princess Diana's wedding, pieces of the cake will be cut up and put into little boxes. Because of fruitcake's density, the dessert will stand the test of time, serving as a memoir for the 600 guests. As for William? He'll buck tradition with a groom's cake, a top-secret royal family chocolate cake recipe that's made out of McVitie's biscuits, a digestive biscuit enjoyed at tea.
Although both sound incredible, I'd spring for William's in a heartbeat. Which cake would you rather eat?
Next time you're at the grocery store, would you consider picking up a wedge of Jamie Oliver-branded cheese? That's what the UK chef is banking on. At London's International Food & Drink Expo this coming weekend, the British chef will launch the Jamie Oliver Continental Cheese Range.
The cheese line includes the likes of parmigiano-reggiano wedges aged for two years in the hills of Parma, Italy; cave-aged gorgonzola and mascarpone layered cheese from the Italian Alps; barrel aged-feta; Fior di Latte mozzarella; and tubs of ricotta and mascarpone. The cheeses will be a continuation of Oliver's existing pasta, meat, sauce, snack, and spice lines, which are available worldwide in countries from Holland to Brazil.
Looks like the food revolutionary, restaurateur, TV host, cookbook author, and media personality can add "cheesemonger" to his growing list of titles. In fact, the Naked Chef has fallen under fire from fellow UK culinary personality Marco Pierre White, who criticized him for not being a "real chef." Where do you stand? Would you buy Jamie's line of cheese products if you saw it at your local grocery store?
This is what happens when people have too much money! A British millionaire is offering £100,000 (about $162,000) to the person with his favorite money-winning idea. Despite 160 entries, somehow Karl Dorn has made it to the top 10 with Help For Husbands, a Livestrong-like bracelet meets mood ring that changes color to warn men when to stay away.
"Through my research I've found out that women's body temperatures increase at certain times of the month," Karl said. "This little wristband would be temperature sensitive and change color." He seems to think "certain times of the month" are PMS, when women are supposedly extra emotional, but it's actually when women ovulate. You know when we dress extra sexy and want sex the most? And why shame a woman with a scarlet bracelet when there are apps and websites for tracking periods.
So if this wasn't senseless enough, the best part is this "invention" is anything but novel. A company in Norway makes women wear red bracelets when they have their periods, which we found absurd enough to make the headline a top question on a Real or Fake quiz. At least they're using the bracelets at the right time of the month.
When it comes to divorce, a new survey says, revenge is a dish best served on the operating table. I prefer revenge to be creative, meme-worthy, and raging, so a boob job, moob job, and something known as the "yummy mummy package" don't really make the cut.
The results, also, don't exactly represent the average divorcée. The survey was done at Transform Cosmetic Surgery in the UK, and it found 62 percent of its clients were newly divorced and 11 percent of them were men. Of course, it could be that clients are looking to prep for reentering the dating world or their divorce settlements are just begging to be spent, but 48 percent said they had plastic surgery to make their exes jealous.
So maybe there is some truth to it, but isn't it just like the pricier, more painful, and slightly crazier version of looking hot when you see an ex?