The Guardian

Porridge and boiled mutton? New York foodies still love trolling London | Mina Holland

Britain made its transition to globalised food a long time ago – yet outdated stereotyping is the fixed menu of some critics
Mark Lester in Oliver! (1968). ‘One Twitter user commented: “What is this WEIRD obsession Americans have with London having bad food? Was his last visit during the Victorian era?”’ Photograph: Allstar/Romulus

The New York Times recently published, “Beyond Porridge and Boiled Mutton: A Taste of London”, in praise of four London restaurants. Travel writer Robert Draper, who had rekindled a relationship with the city after a 10-year hiatus, was pleasantly surprised by the evaporation of a once “drab baseline” and “sallow and predictable dining experience”, and applauded our “recent flowering as a culinary destination”.

Let’s talk about this. London’s emergence as a restaurant destination is not especially recent (“flowering” suggests we are at training-bra stage), so why do many, often Americans, continue to peddle such a dim put it in , an essay in 1992’s Home Cooking, her compatriots are “apt to sneer and tell you that it is impossible to get a decent meal in the British Isles and that the English know nothing about cooking.”

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian13 min read
Jennifer Hudson: 'How Do You Be A Cat? I Sat With That For Ever'
The Cats star was the only choice to sing Memory in the new film. She talks about lucky breaks, her 26 siblings – and being picked by Aretha Franklin to star in her biopic
The Guardian6 min readTech
Uncovered: Reality Of How Smartphones Turned Election News Into Chaos
Groundbreaking research gives snapshot of world in which politics coverage is warped by social media algorithms and friendship groups
The Guardian2 min read
What Is An App? I Honestly Have No Idea | Adrian Chiles
I’m trying to get my dad to use his iPhone. Being hard of hearing – and I’m going the same way on that front – it would be so much easier to communicate if he could text better. A problem he and my mum have is that their screens don’t seem to respond