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UK & Paris: What foods & beverages to try

UK & Paris: What foods & beverages to try

Old Oct 29th, 1998, 12:31 PM
  #1  
Kim
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UK & Paris: What foods & beverages to try

Hi,
I'll be going to Scotland, norther England, London & Paris. I like to try different foods and drinks. What should I absolutely try?
 
Old Oct 29th, 1998, 12:43 PM
  #2  
Tony Hughes
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Kim, when you come to Scotland you must, of course, try haggis - that's the obvious one but you must also try porridge (oats, for breakfast) and red or white pudding and chips(fries) - don't ask me, just try them. Scotland is one of the few(if only) countries on this planet where Coke or pepsi isn't the leading soft drink. In Scotland we have a home-produced drink called irn-bru (prounounced iron brew) and you MUST try it, as the slogan goes its 'Scotland's other national drink'.
 
Old Oct 29th, 1998, 12:59 PM
  #3  
wes fowler
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Kim,
In northern England, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, for sure. Try Wensleydale cheese, as well. If you're in the Lake District, try Goosnargh cakes, the area's gingerbread. In addition to its beef, lamb and mutton, Scotland has an excellent crab soup called Partan Bree. Recognize, too, that Great Britain has a lengthy coastline. As a result, you can find interesting fish and shellfish on most menus, char in Cumbria, salmon in Scotland, mussels in cider and vinegar in Norfolk.
 
Old Oct 29th, 1998, 03:42 PM
  #4  
kam
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frites (French fries, but oh so much better) in a French brasserie, creme brulee, charcroute, foie gras, almost anything on the menu is delicious in France. The French do a lot with local fish (which don't really translate), oysters, hundreds of types of cheese, tarte Tatin, and lovely duck dishes. Yum!! Gained a lot of weight just lately. Of course, the only thing to drink with all of this is wine!
 
Old Oct 29th, 1998, 04:58 PM
  #5  
Donna
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In France, be sure to try any salad. They are works of art. Imaginative ingredients, wonderful combinations of flavors and incredible dressings. If you've never had a warm goat cheese salad, you'll be hooked. I'm also very fond of foie gras.
 
Old Oct 29th, 1998, 08:35 PM
  #6  
Raeona
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And kippers for breakfast in Scotland? (Smoked herring; quite good). And Scottish shortbread -- Walkers!
 
Old Oct 29th, 1998, 09:37 PM
  #7  
NIGEL DORAN
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Hello

In northern England, definitely try to go to an Indian restaurant {which are, in fact, usually run by Bangladeshis or Pakistanis} to find out why we Brits love curry. There are a lot of indifferent ones around, but ask around or check out the local guide books or local opinion. Starters are usually around 2-3 and main courses, with rice or nan bread, around 4-6. Be adventurous, and if you have never had curry before, ask them to explain.
If in Yorkshire, try tea and cakes at Betty's. They have branches in York and Ilkley and Harrogate, and are very old-school. Lots of doilies and silverware. Try the Fat Rascal, a cake rather like a scone. It can be a bit expensive to eat in, so you could just have a cuppa and then take away other goodies.
Also try fish and chips, but once again, be warned that there are many indifferent 'chippies'.
If you like alcohol, try the local bitters. Boddington's is widely available, especially in the north, as is Tetley's. They are bitter in taste, but not gut-wrenchingly so! Each large town or city has its own brew, and there are good independent brewers. If you are here in autumn/winter, try to get some parkin. It is a moist, dark cake made with molasses and treacle and is available around Bonfire Night {5th November when fires are lit and fireworks let off to remember the capture of Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1603.} It is usually only available in the north. Once again, Betty's has good stuff.
 
Old Oct 30th, 1998, 02:30 AM
  #8  
Kim Donohue
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Hi Kim, you have to get Bangers & Mash!Also, if you like beer, try to make it to the "Black Sheep Brewery" they have a wonderful selection of beer, try the riggwelter(a strong Yorkshire Ale). You can also get a tour of the brewery. My husband & I lived in England the last few months and enjoyed the variety of traditional food. Chicken Kiev is really popular and is served in many different ways, try it! Have fun and remember to try the scotch in Scotland.
 
Old Oct 30th, 1998, 08:06 AM
  #9  
Bill Irving
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My all time favorite when I go to England is Steak & Kidney Pie. It is mostly a Pub food. The flavor is very good (in spite of the name). When I was there 2 years ago, the problem with the Mad cow disease appeared to be gone, so that wasn't a worry. Also, Shepard's pie is real good -- topped with a layer of mashed potatoes. For something quick & different, you may want to take a look at the various sandwich shops in many of the train stations is the UK. They have some different ones - like cucumber sandwich. I also like all the types of sandwiches, omlettes in Paris. Some of those things can be very rich in taste, so if you are not used to it, don't go overboard or you may end up wasting a day by having to stay at your hotel. 1 thing that I also really liked in Paris is the various ways they prepare duck. If you like duck (canard), try some in Paris. It is excellent.
 
Old Oct 30th, 1998, 08:12 AM
  #10  
Bill Irving
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Just remembered another thing you may want to try in PARIS, besides all the different wines & cheeses, is Escargot. It may be touristy or the typical thing to do there. But they really do taste good when cooked the proper way, & are still in the shell when served. I have never had tough or rubbery Escargot in Paris.
 
Old Oct 30th, 1998, 08:46 AM
  #11  
Ann
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In Paris don't forget to try the crepes at the sidewalk stands. They're a great quick, inexpensive snack or lunch. My husband said the Nutella, banana and Grand Marnier crepe he had was the best thing he'd ever tasted (it was a dinner substitute when we were in a hurry).
 
Old Oct 30th, 1998, 12:42 PM
  #12  
Ben Haines
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When I eat out it's usually in a pub.

Starters. Egg mayonnaise, prawn cocktail, pate and toast, mushroom soup, oxtail soup, Mulligatawny, Scotch broth

Main. As people have said, bangers and mash and shepherd's pie. Also steak and kidney pudding (better than s and k pie), fish cakes, stew, casserole, and liver and bacon. All these are better with boiled or new potatoes (not chips or French fries), and hot vegetables (not the modern fashion of salad: you can negotiate to have frozen peas when you order). If you're in a carvery, you can have slices from joints of beef, lamb, or pork, with gravy and hot vegetables. Most fish: trout with almonds and grilled plaice are especially good. Cold, ploughman's lunch, and pork pie with salad. Don't let anyone serve you chips with these: they don't need them.

Pudding. Not ice cream, nor anything cold. I prefer pies and sponges, made with fruit or jam, and served with custard (not with cream nor ice cream).

Outside pubs, fish and chips are good if they're cooked fresh, but not if they're reheated: you should check before you order. They need sauce tartare, and a bottleof white wine, bought at the nearest wine shop, helps a lot. (You need to negotiate with the chippy first to be sure that he or she doesn't mind). As somebody has said, curry is good, and cheap. (London's curry capital is Brick Lane, north east of Whitechapel tube station: the staff are Bengali, from Sylhet). Also Chinese. In Italian I like non-pasta better, so head for Escaloppe Milanese.

When I am splashing out, in a restaurant, I tend to roast duck with green peas and boiled potaoes (not chips: you want to soak up all that delicious grease).

In Scotland, herring in rolled oats, and as people have said, haggis. Any dish in Scotland with Scottish rasperries is worth attention.

As people have said, you should try a local bitter. The thing to do is walk into the pub, look for pump handles, and read the labels. Then order what takes your fancy. Avoid Courage Bitter and Courage Directors, which are poor. You can explain to the bartender (who will be from the Commonwewalth or France) that you want the most local bitter they have. On the whol;e, the lower the alcohiol content the more interesting the taste. Lager in Britain is like lager anywhere else, boring.

For a change you might try a cider. You could taste both scrumpy and the ubiquitous Strongbow, and decide what takes your fancy. Wine is too expensive in British pubs, and not good (it's poor in wine bars, too). You can buy better in a wine merchant's shop: Hungarian and Bulgarian are cheap, but need careful choosing. On the whole, leave wine till you're in France.

While in London, you could work your way through the menu at the Founders Arms pub, at the southern end of Blackfriars Bridge, drink Young's bitter (London's best), and never go wrong. Meals with pints are about nine pounds. If you order fish cakes ask for extra sauce: they do it well. Order only one dish: their idea of your appetite is heroic.

Please write again if I can help further. Not about Paris, of course.

Ben Haines, London
 
Old Oct 30th, 1998, 12:58 PM
  #13  
B.Irving
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To: Ben
You have peaked my interest with your talk of steak & kidney pudding. How is that different from steak & kidney pie? Can you get that in most pubs? Almost all the pubs I have been in have the pie. I would like to try the pie next time. I can second your taste for sponge cake for dessert, especially the trickle.
 
Old Oct 31st, 1998, 04:04 AM
  #14  
Ben Haines
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Steak and kidney pie comes with a pastry cover made in the usual way. Even with there are two kinds, a flaky pastry concoction that is made in a factory somewhere and is especially poor, as the flakiness prevents the pastry picking up anmy of the flavours of the meat below, and a solid pastry cover.

The pudding comes wholly contained in a cover of suet, a heavy and savoury soft pastry that during cooking soaks up the taste of the meat, with delicious results.

I'm afraid most pubs have the pie, but a few do have the pudding. Or, if you have a friendly hotel cook you could go to a supermarket and buy there a ready-made, tinned, steak and kidney pudding. They come in two sizes, for one person or for two. Then have it cooked and served: the instructions are on the tin.

You are quite right: the sponge sweet course is indeed made with just the same recipe as cake. But tradition gives the result a different name: it's a treacle pudding, not a treacle cake.

I think my earlier message missed a range of food I like, namely sponges made with raisins or dates, a bit of rum in the mix, and served with custard.

Please write again if I can help further

Ben Haines
 
Old Oct 31st, 1998, 09:58 AM
  #15  
NIGEL DORAN
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Hello

I have had a few more ideas since my last message.
If you have a sweet tooth, try to find treacle toffee. It is sweet and dark and can be hard or chewy. You could also try chocolate bars like Crunchie, Boost, Flake, Twirl and Bounty, all of which do not exist in the U S. Don't expect them to be amazingly mouth-watering, but they are good and they are what we eat very regularly.
You could also try spotted dick, served with custard, or treacle tart with custard as deserts. Manchester Tart is good too, but not very common these days. Bakewell Tart/Pie has a nice almond taste to it.
Cheeses are very popular, and there is a wide variety. Cheshire and Lancashire are mild and crumbly, and go well served with rich fruit cake.
But be warned: Some 'pub grub' can be awful, and prepared by students working for less than minimum wage! Hope you don't chance upon one of these places!
 
Old Oct 31st, 1998, 04:16 PM
  #16  
Tom
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In Scotland, do not forget the salmon.I believe it is the best in the world! Wash it down with some Tenants Lager or Belhaven Ale. Also, try the haggis with neeps and tatties...unless you absolutely detest liver.
 
Old Nov 2nd, 1998, 10:01 AM
  #17  
Kim
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Thanks to everyone for all of the ideas! My mouth is watering already.
 
Old Nov 12th, 1998, 01:29 PM
  #18  
Candaca
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I would also like to recommend you try cider. I just got back from my first trip to London. This my sound strange but my favorite dining experience was at the salad bar at J Sainsbury (a grocery store). I love fresh vegetables and after a few days eating in pubs I was up to my ears in chips! We picked up salads, fresh bread, and a delicious cider in a black bottle called "K". It was very strong (alcohol content 8.4%) so beware!
 
Old Nov 14th, 1998, 12:30 AM
  #19  
Lori
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Go to a pub and have a Shandy (half-pint). It's half ale and half lemonade (English lemonade, that is). Sound awful? It's great! Also, the English make wonderful soup. Make sure you have Leek & Potato soup. It will warm you to your toes.
 
Old Nov 14th, 1998, 08:21 AM
  #20  
BIJIME
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DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN ENGLAND, BUT.... IN PARIS HAVE THE LENTIL AND FOIS GRAS SOUP AT CREMERIE POLIDOR ON RUE MONSIEUR LE PRINCE (?), CROQUE MONSIEURS AT ANY SIDEWALK STAND, AND CAFE CREME AT ANY SIDEWALK CAFE. THE FOOD IS NOT GREAT IN LONDON BUT YOU MUST TRY THE TREACLE SPONGE WITH CUSTARD AT THE WESTMINSTER ARMS NEAR WESTMINSTER.
 

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