The Great British Debate Off

Meg discusses the greatest food debates there are

Meg Blount
8th November 2019
Photo: Emily Morter
As students, we all know that the university lifestyle introduces us to a range of new experiences, especially as we are thrown into the deep end of the socialising pool: forced to make friends with strangers and flat share with random people.

Yet, as these relationships grow, we are constantly discovering various sayings and habits from around the country, contradicting with our own ideology. As a result, ongoing debates often occur within the flat family, threatening to end potential lifelong friendships with judgments made due to personal preferences. Furthermore, when the controversy revolves around food, the atmosphere becomes even more tense, and divides normally emerge as people pick a side of the argument and try to enforce their opinions on the opposing group.

There are several mainstream debates that are bound to make an appearance; one of the most common questions whether pineapple should be allowed a privileged place on top of pizza, a heavenly food. Many relish the sensation of the tropical fruit merging with the ham, cheese and tomato, introducing an exotic twist to the classic Italian delicacy. However, I myself refuse to accept this madness and, from my own experience of Italy, I am able to vouch that Italians traditionally made pizza with the intention of Margaritas only, meaning they disapprove of any additions, especially one as bizarre as pineapple – it is not a Piña Colada!

Ongoing debates often occur within the flat family, threatening to end potential lifelong friendships with judgments made due to personal preferences

Another major deliberation that cannot be ignored involves the Jaffa Cake. Biscuit or cake? For many years this philosophical question has been discussed. Some people argue it has the typical appearance of a biscuit and, if you were to browse a supermarket, you would stumble upon the controversial delight within the ‘biscuit’ aisle. Nonetheless, others claim that the sponge part of the Jaffa and the jelly like jam, clearly make it a cake. Plus, McVitie’s themselves made the decision to call the snack a Jaffa Cake, reiterating what they intended to advertise and what is really in the contents of the packet. As I like to rock the boat and to be even more controversial, I will slip in a sneaky side note: in my personal opinion, Jaffa Cakes are extremely overrated - I would never go out of my way to purposely purchases a packet. Despite this, if anyone offered me one, I probably would not decline…

Are you really a true Brit if you do not appreciate the wonderfully patriotic member of an afternoon tea: the scone? No matter if you pronounce it ‘sc-on’ (the correct way) or ‘sc-own’, the real debate is: jam first or cream? Typically, it is known that the people in Devon spread the clotted cream on first and then dollop the jam on top, whilst the Cornish population do the reverse, with the jam followed by the cream. I suggest you should all take a visit to Cornwall to do things the proper way.

Alongside these three universal disputes, a plethora of other food and drink debates exist, and many more are sure to develop in future years. My advice to everyone: stick to your guns and do your own thing - it does not matter what anyone else believes, and sometimes a good flat or house discussion is healthy. However, be right (like me), not wrong!

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