Monday, December 26, 2005

An English Christmas.

I'm spending the holidays with my sister's family outside of London. A bit damp and cold, of course, but completely charming.

One thing I've noticed over the course of my visits during the 15-plus years that my sister has lived in the U.K. is how dramatically English food has evolved and improved. Any jokes about it are now wildly off the mark. This afternoon, for instance, I had an incredible parsnip and chestnut soup in the local pub, washed down with my usual Fuller's London Pride.

This pub was a bit of a step up, but definitely a pub. Nary a can of soggy peas to be seen, and definitely nothing on the menu akin to a Bennigan's fried mozzarella stick.

Even basic foodstuffs in the large supermarkets have packaging that feels premium. It seems as though even the biggest food companies are driven to tout freshness and a commitment to common sense agriculture.

I'm not sure when The Tipping Point occurred, but at some point it seems this entire country stopped accepting crap food.

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