This time I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about food. One thing that you miss a lot when you go to a different country is the food from your own country (and of course, your mum’s food!). But there is nothing to worry about, it’s good to give it a chance and to try the food of the new country, or if you really miss it, you can always attempt to cook the food from back home!
Our traditional dish for breakfast is “empanadas” or “arepas”. These are made from corn flour and filled with different things like beef, chicken, ham, cheese, black beans... basically whatever you like - you can make your own combination! Sometimes we also have things like sandwiches, scrambled eggs, etc. In England however, the traditional dish is the “full English breakfast” also called a “fry-up”. As its name implies, it contains a lot of fried things, usually eggs, bacon, sausages, black pudding, fried bread and beans. The first time I saw it I was a bit confused because back home we have black pudding and sausages in barbecues for lunch or dinner, but definitely not for breakfast! It is good to try it though, and there’s one thing for sure, you won’t need to eat much after that!
In Venezuela our main meal is lunch whereas in the UK it’s dinner (sometimes referred to as “tea” in the north of England). Our traditional dish for lunch is called “Pabellón” and it is a plate full with rice, black beans, fried plantain, shredded beef, white cheese and arepas (arepas are like bread for us and they will be in every Venezuelan home).This is usually accompanied with fresh fruit juice like passionfruit, watermelon, pineapple and tamarind. When we don’t have Pabellón, we tend to have soup and then meat with salad, rice, mash potato, etc. In England the main meal is dinner, and people tend to have something light for lunch like a sandwich, a jacket potato or salad... Then they have a big dinner early in the night like at 6 or 7pm. Dinner in the UK is usually beef, lamb, chicken or fish accompanied with veggies or rice. This is very different from home, we usually have dinner at some time between 7 and 9pm and it is usually something light, we might even have an arepa for dinner.
There is one thing I haven’t mentioned and it is the very famous “Sunday dinner”. It is extremely popular in the UK and most families will have it every Sunday at home or they will go to the pub to get it there. Although it is called Sunday dinner, it is usually served around lunch time or a bit later. It is very tasty, it consists of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, veggies and gravy on top. If you don’t feel like having beef you can also choose to have lamb with mint sauce on top and it is also a delicious option!
A good thing about food in England is that you can find “take-aways” from different nationalities, especially Chinese and Indian, so you can always find something you like! I can’t finish this blog without taking about “fish and chips”. You have probably heard of this before -it is very popular in the UK, and one thing makes this dish different from another part of the word is that you put vinegar on top of the chips, which surprisingly enough, is quite nice!
I love Venezuelan food and have even cooked it for my British friends who really enjoyed it, but regardless of all the differences in the food type and meal times between the UK and Venezuela, I now really like British food too!
Veggies: It is an informal term to refer to vegetables.
Take away: A type of “restaurant” that delivers the food to you or you can pick it up and eat it at home.