What to Eat in England - The Knutsford Example
"A Brief History of English Food - 1"
English food has a poor reputation around the world, even in England. Some of the criticism is fair, but some isn't, and that is because it is misunderstood or forgotten. England has many of the world's top restaurants and chefs, but they mostly offer "International" food, based on French cuisine. The famous seafood chef Rick Stein is one of the few who celebrate traditional English, and British, food.
English food has developed from from the following influences:
1. England is a cool and often wet place. Farming produces good root vegetables and grain - wheat, barley, turnips, carrots - and good meat stock. Traditional food is therefore meaty, thick with vegetables and accompanied with bread or pastry.
2. England was the first country to industrialise, which led to factory farming and simplified meals for the masses. This has been the English diet for the last 50 years.
3. England has a very multinational population, so there are influences from Africa, India, China, Italy, Greece and so on. The choice of multi-national restaurants and take-aways is staggering.
4. Modern English people are told that their food is awful and unhealthy, so have changed their diets to more mediterranean or mixed menus.
"Traditional English Foods"
1.Roast Meat. The French call the English "les Rosbifs". Sunday lunch is traditionally a roast, with roast potatoes and vegetables such as peas, and with gravy (which the French would call "jus").
2. Fish and chips. White seafish in a wheat flour batter, accompanied by deep-fried large potato chips. Very traditional take-away food.
3. Pies and Puddings. Meat and vegetable stews with pastry or suet coverings. Very tasty and very fattening.
4. Pies and Puddings. Not the same as the meat puddings, but sweet puddings. The world's best, sweetest, most fattening, with names like Bread & Butter, Spotted Dick, Sticky Toffee and Rhubarb Pie.
5. Breakfast. The world's most famous breakfast (An Irish Breakfast is simiilar). Traditional English cured bacon is as good as any prosciutto, and served with fried eggs, sausage, black pudding, mushrooms and anything else that is available, is often enough food for the whole day.
6. Curry. The general name for Indian influenced meals, now the most popular in England. A very spicy meat stew served with rice or Naan.
7. Bread and Cakes. The English are good at bread and cakes, though the popular factory stuff is not very special. Bakers now offer French and Italian alongside traidional Cobs, Barms and Loafs.
"Knutsford - A place to eat"
Knutsford is a great place to eat like the English - there are high quality restaurants and pubs along the main streets. A few, mainly pubs, serve traditional English food, but there is also a a high class French restaurant (La Belle Epoque), numerous Italians, Spanish, an excellent Indian and a Chinese. There are Wine Bars and Steak Restaurants, Fish & Chip shops and Kebab take-aways.
Some of these places offer high quality menus, at a high price, while others are more affordable.