January 8, 2012

National English Toffee Day

“It is impossible to read English novels without realizing how important a part food plays in the mental as in the physical life of the Englishman.” – Elisabeth Luther Cary

It's National English Toffee Day!

One of the best parts about traveling is the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture - do what they do, speak how they speak, eat what they eat. It's that whole "When in Rome . . ." idea, which I totally think is valid (because if you play tourist all the time, you're never really going to get to know the rest of the world; which is a mighty shame if you have the ability to travel).

When I lived in England, I tried my best to fully adapt to a British lifestyle. One of my favorite parts was the food - which was, surprisingly, much different than what I was expecting.

Some it was awful: I was invited to a traditional Sunday dinner at my friend's (very, very elderly) grandparent's house. They made us steak and kidney pie.... which is definitely an acquired taste I found out. I believe I got through the meal mostly in thanks to overusing potent Coleman's mustard on every bite I took.

Some of it I ate every day and have tried to recreate since: at lunchtime I would eat a "Cheese Toastie" (don't be fooled: this is just two pieces of toast, slathered with butter, with layers of cut cheese that don't exactly melt between the toast, but gets softer/gooier) with Nairn's Oatcakes; while, midday I would have tea and Penguins. It was my routine.

And some of it I was totally obsessed with: I eventually became notorious for my obsession with sticky toffee pudding. I had never had it before then. So for me, today was a sweet meeting with an old lover!

Happy National English Toffee Day!