5 foods that are just better in the UK

From the perspective of a student from the US, which foods does the UK do better?

Elizabeth Meade
13th March 2022
Image Credit: Pixabay
When students study abroad, it’s almost a cliché that they will discover some great new food that makes their lives feel complete. However, being from the US, I didn’t expect this to happen. After all, many “American” foods are really just variations on dishes from the UK and Europe. As it turns out, I was wrong. There are a number of dishes and foods that the UK does infinitely better than the US.

1. Digestive biscuits

They’re kind of like graham crackers, but a whole lot better. They don’t have the dryness or the off-putting rectangular shape that forces one to question the cookie-cracker dichotomy. Also, digestive biscuits come in many flavours already, so I don’t have to melt a marshmallow on top to add interest.

2. Cheese sandwiches

Most cheese sandwiches in the US are either grilled cheese sandwiches, which get boring sometimes, or a lackluster effort that’s only made when someone needs a last-minute vegetarian option for an event. The UK has perfected the art of the cheese sandwich. Pairing cheese with top-quality ingredients like chutney and butter, UK cheese sandwiches feel like an actual meal and not the embodiment of disappointment.

3. Chips (aka “French fries”)

Not only are US “French” fries not even French, they aren’t even good a lot of the time. McDonald’s fries are too salty and Burger King’s have that sort of bready taste, and both are too small. Any UK chip shop, however, does much better. Going with a thicker model like that of skinless steak fries, UK chip shops also offer better toppings than ketchup, such as gravy, garlic sauce, chili sauce and curry sauce. This is largely due to the influence of kebab shops selling chips as a side, a winning combination I never knew of until the late age of 18.

4. Sponge cake

I love those fluffy cakes with jam in between the layers, and stuff like Battenbergs with a bit of marzipan as well. I can technically find these sorts of things in the US, but the subtlety is typically forgone for way too much frosting.

5. Boiled sweets

I enjoy a good Jolly Rancher every once in a while, especially the grape ones. Yes, I know, that’s horrifying. However, I never find combinations like raspberry and custard or blackberry and liquorice in the US. This is a shame, because they are excellent.

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AUTHOR: Elizabeth Meade
(she/her) Head of Current Affairs (News, Campus Comment, Comment, Science). Chemistry major. Avid reader. Chaos theorist. Amateur batrachologist and historian. Rock fan. Likes cybersecurity and cooking. Wrote the first article for Puzzles. Probably the first Courier writer to have work featured in one of Justin Whang's videos.

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