London UK: Odd Eats

In my opinion, one of the best parts of traveling far is sampling far-out foods and dishes.  Now, England is not usually known for its unusual food, which we will refer to as Odd Eats here on the Persistent Traveler Blog, however I did get to eat 2 unusual dishes while visiting London and I would like to share my experience with you.

If you were to ask anyone what first comes to mind when they hear the term “British Cuisine,” I guarantee you that most would blurt out “Fish and Chips.”  While Fish and Chips is definitely common in England, there are many more dishes that are also fit into British Cuisine.  While most of these dishes are not too unusual, a few of them are quite different.  Today I will focus on 2 Odd Eats that I had the pleasure of devouring while visiting London.

First, there is Blood Cake, also known Black Pudding, which is a mixture of pork fat, pork blood and oatmeal or barley, all put together in a circular cake.

Blood Cake:

It is commonly eating with a fried egg on top or it can be eaten by itself alongside other British breakfast food.  Blood Cake has a strong bloody, irony, and minerally flavor.  Its texture is somewhat dry, which is probably why eating it with egg is popular.  You take the mildness and moisture of the egg with the dryness and strong flavor of the blood cake, and they offset each other into a very satisfying and delicious dish that you cannot get enough of.

Second, there is Mushy Peas, also known as Pea Mash, which is commonly eaten with……………..you guessed it, Fish and Chips.  Mushy peas can be on the side, or directly under the fried fish.  It’s taste is not all too different than traditional American pea soup, it’s texture much more of a mush than a soup.  It has a similar texture to hummus or refried beans.  Basically mushy peas are to peas as hummus is to garbanzo beans.  Different flavors and tastes can be added to mushy peas such as mint and the dish varies per region throughout the United Kingdom.

Mushy peas under the fish:

In my opinion, mushy peas taste good eaten together with the fish and chips, but it tastes even better on its own.  Will you like this dish?  If you don’t like pea soup, you will probably not like mushy peas.  That’s the best answer I can give.

If you get an opportunity to visit England, or any other country, don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample Odd Eats.  Don’t be one of those Americans who eats at the local McDonalds or Subway while visiting abroad.  There is no better way to get to know a culture than to eat their unusual dishes.  The first time is hard, I’ve been there, but it gets easier the more you do it and it opens your curiosity to try even more unusual dishes, such as deep-fried honeybees in Thailand.

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