Saturday, November 10

Eating & Drinking UK Style

Apart from the foods being different and calling them other things, styles of eating between UK speakers and Americans is vastly different.

For example, one does NOT eat with just a fork over here, the knife remains in the right hand and the fork in the left. Where as when I was growing up in the states the knife was used to cut up meat, but then put down, and the fork replaced in the right hand so that the remainder of the meal was consumed with a fork only.

Over here we hold the fork "upside down", and push food onto the "bottom side" (now curving downwards) I know doesn't seem to make sense to any of you Americans but it's just the way it is done over here.

Another observation I've made is that chips (what US would call french fries) are often eaten with a fork and knife (again upside down style) and rarely with fingers - aside from maybe at a pub, but even then they give you fork & knife with the bowl of chips.

Americans drink lots of coffee (not me, even when in the US) and instant coffee is frowned upon! Few homes in the states would have electric kettles (again to my knowledge), while probably very very few home are without a coffee machine. In the UK however, instant coffee is more common. Tea over here is a hot drink served with milk (sugar optionally) and is a daily staple, while in America is probably primarily drunk cold with ice and sugar.

Eating out is another time where I've seen "differences between the US & UK. American restaurants are more typically "eat, pay and leave" places. For example, starters (appetizers in US terms) are out within 5-10 minutes with mains closely following . The check is brought as soon as the plates are cleared. While in the UK, starters are brought out, eaten, taken away, chatting period, mains, eating, chatting, possible clearing, chatting, chatting, chatting . . . you could wait days for your bill (aka check) to arrive & most of the time must ask for it if in any sort of hurry!

Along with this is a rather large difference in tipping and hours of operation!! Over here it is normal to tip your server 10% (some times at lunch you don't even actually leave one if you've just grabbed a jacket potato for £1.75), while in the US 15% is the minimum and if you like the service you can give more. Restaurant/pub kitchens only begin to open at 6 p.m. with reservations normally from 7.30 - 9.00 p.m, while in the US you'd probably start around 4.30/5pm and reserve tables for 6 and later.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home