I’ve always had a fascination for anything British. Now that I’ll be living in the cosmopolitan city that is London*, I’m so excited to learn about the culture through the city’s food.
I’ve been spending my summer in Europe and, for about a month and a half now, I’ve been warming up to my Westminster flat with my parents. Luckily, we have about half a dozen pubs around our building, all within five minutes from each other.
I visited one of the pubs recently and, because I absolutely love pies, I ordered a steak and ale pie. I had ordered the same dish at another pub when I first came to London and I remember it being extremely delicious. The cute, little pie came loaded with tender, juicy bits of beef and a thick gravy made of a beer base. Crisp peas and carrots accompanied the dish along with a mound of tender, light mashed potatoes complete with a miniature jug of gravy. How precious!
As I cut the piping hot pie, I let the contents ooze onto the mashed potatoes and poured a bit of the gravy from the jug on top of the peas and carrots. What a feast! This meal was, of course, properly accompanied by a pub classic- a pint of beer, Stella Artois to be exact.
It’s meals like these that teach me about the culture and lifestyle of a country. The veggies and the beef in this dish are in place to remind people of the UK’s humble countryside and its ardent love of fresh ingredients. Having this dish in the pub made it so much better, with a cool brew and some bustling happy hour chatter, I knew I was enjoying proper british fare.
*UPDATE – November 2012: As of last month, I will no longer be living in London next year 🙁 I am staying in Miami and will hopefully travel to London and other exciting destinations very, very soon!