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Two Americans tried 'traditional English food' - this is what they thought

Indy 100 logo Indy 100 10/04/2022 Breanna Robinson and Ariana Baio
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As part of the US team here at Indy100, we have a duty to stay in the know regarding UK news and culture. We read about UK news, politics, and entertainment all day long but when it comes to experiencing the customs of a citizen, we’re out in left field.

So our editor got us to try out some popular British foods and sweets and we must say, they were interesting.

He picked eight different foods for us to try from New York City-based UK store, Myers of Keswick, and blindly had us taste-test them.

From Mars Bars to Scotch Eggs, read on to find out what we thought of those foods.

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Scotch Egg

Upon cutting into the scotch egg, we realized it was far from what we anticipated (The Independent) © Provided by Indy 100 Upon cutting into the scotch egg, we realized it was far from what we anticipated (The Independent)

Breanna Robinson: I didn’t know how to place this at all. Looking at the ball of breaded dough, I first wanted to give it a sniff - and was shocked that it didn’t have much of a smell. That all changed once I cut into the dough to reveal a hardboiled egg and what looked like uncooked sausage meat, releasing a distinctive smell. Putting my fear aside, I took a small bite - and I wasn’t impressed.

BR’s Verdict: Not a fan.

Ariana Baio: I am a vegetarian so I did not try this, but I can attest the smell of the scotch egg upon cutting into it was horrendous.

AB’s verdict: Would not serve this to friends.

Cheese Onion Potato Pasty

BR: It reminded me of both a Jamaican patty and empanada, which brought me back to tasty, childhood quick eats.

BR’s verdict: I would eat again, no questions asked.

AB: Big empanada vibes. It looked inviting and seems like a convenient way to eat your favourite savoury meal on the go.

AB’s verdict: Pretty good, would eat again.

Homemade raisin scone

BR: The scone reminded me of American biscuits, which are sold at Southern-style restaurants. Cutting off a piece of the scone, it had a fluffy texture filled with opaque-coloured raisins. When I did take a bite, it had a buttery taste with the slightest sprinkle of sweetness.

BR’s verdict: Based on the raisins alone, I assumed the scone would’ve been sweeter. Regardless, I would definitely eat it with eggs and potatoes as part of my breakfast.

AB: The buttery and fluffy texture immediately reminded me of a biscuit, which is always enjoyable. However, the sight of raisins was slightly offensive as raisins are gross. Otherwise, this feels like a great accompaniment with a cup of tea.

AB’s verdict: I would not eat the raisin scone again but I'd eat a different type of scone.

Sticky Toffee pudding

Breanna found the sticky toffee pudding enjoyable, Ariana not so much (The Independent) © Provided by Indy 100 Breanna found the sticky toffee pudding enjoyable, Ariana not so much (The Independent)

BR: The pudding, which gets warmed up for around 30 seconds in the microwave reminded me of a cupcake. The texture also reminded me of a sponge. However, towards the bottom of the pudding was a toffee/ molasses flavoured liquid that made it super sweet.

BR's verdict: I can see myself eating this once in a while with family after Sunday dinner.

AB: Similar to Breanna, I thought this was a cake or cupcake upon first glance. The packaging reminded me of rice pudding or Jello which made me sceptical of the texture but I was surprised to find the sponge-like cake firm. I did not find the sticky caramel substance at the bottom of the cup exciting. In fact, it made me feel sad because it was wet and made the cake soggy.

AB’s verdict: Would not eat again.

Terry's Chocolate orange

BR: Although it’s not uncommon to have chocolate-coated fruit, the idea of an orange and chocolate was perplexing. When we opened it up, it was definitely a pleasant surprise to reveal orange slice-shaped pieces of chocolate that had just the right amount of orange flavouring.

BR’s verdict: Highly considering getting my hands on more orange-chocolate candy!

AB: This was a delight to un-package! Both Breanna and I thought ‘chocolate orange’ would be an orange covered in chocolate but it was amusing to find chocolate in the shape of an orange. I enjoyed the smell of this and it tasted pretty good. Unlike most US chocolate it was not too sweet.

AB’s verdict: Would eat again.

Mars Bars

BR: Before opening the package, I assumed it was a Snicker’s bar. But tearing the chocolatey bar in half to reveal the oozing whipped mousse - it was the same as an American 3 Musketeers bar.

BR’s verdict: I’m familiar with the taste so it’s not too exciting.

AB: The combination of caramel, nougat, and chocolate was like a Snickers and 3 Musketeers stuck together. As Breanna said, it’s a familiar taste so it doesn’t feel too outlandish.

AB’s verdict: Would eat again if it was the only available candy bar and I had a hankering for sweets.

Smarties

BR: The name alone reminded me of the sweet and fruity candy of the same name we have in the US. But these Smarties tasted like the off-brand, less sweet version of M&Ms.

BR’s verdict: I’m not particularly interested in purchasing again.

AB: Here in the US we have Smarties, but they’re chalk-like tangy candies so it was interesting to find UK Smarties are candy-coated chocolate. I enjoyed the colors - this feels like it would be a popular children’s candy. But if I had to choose a candy-coated chocolate snack I’d stick with mini M&Ms.

AB’s verdict: I could see myself eating this again if it was available to me, and I was bored.

Walkers Marmite Crisps

Marmite Chips were a completely new flavor profile for us (The Independent) © Provided by Indy 100 Marmite Chips were a completely new flavor profile for us (The Independent)

BR: Going by the name “marmite,” my mind immediately thought of “vegemite.” the Australian savory spread. But when I smelled the bag of crisps, it reminded me of honey or BBQ sauce. The smell didn’t match the actual tangy-spice flavour coating.

BR’s verdict: I would definitely purchase at the store if available.

AB: Upon the first sniff, the chips seemed like they'd be equivalent to Lay's Barbecue Chips. I was mistaken. My taste buds were shocked to discover Marmite chips taste peppery and bitter with a hint of mustard.

AB’s verdict: Likely will not eat again, unless I was starving on a small deserted island.

Overall, this was a fun experiment and helped us learn more about traditional UK snacks. Are we still lost upon people eating the scotch egg? Sure. But we all have our flaws.

Let us know if there are any more UK foods you’d like to see us try.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

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