Why Do We Brits Love American Food?
Appleton Sweets stock a wide selection of American candy, American chocolate and American soda. Why? Because American food products are in such high demand here in Blighty, their surging popularity is not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon. So it would be rude not to provide the public with what they are crying out for.
What is it about American food that those who inhabit this side of the Atlantic find so irresistible?
An Introduction to American Food
When you think of American food your mouth should start to water - big fat fluffy pancakes, apple pies, juicy cheeseburgers - there’s no denying it, American food is just fantastic. But that’s not to say that our food on this side of the pond isn’t equally as fab, it is, but there’s something about the ease of American cuisine that we Brits are finding more and more appealing.
Where once we would have turned our noses up at a hot dog in favour of a cumberland sausage, or opted for the humble Victoria sponge over a slice of red velvet cake any day, that isn’t the case any more.
When did this obsession with all things American begin? Probably around the time we watched one Miss Carrie Bradshaw tucking into a cupcake adorned with an inch thick layer of buttercream icing. Fast forward a few years and cupcake shops have not just sprung up on a few British highstreets, they are putting the traditional bakers to shame with their wide choice of pastel coloured cakes, whoopie pies and a rather bizarre craze for cake pops - chunks of cake dipped in icing and skewered on lolly pop sticks.
And we can’t forget the onslaught of burger joints, or the rise in the nation’s consumption of fried chicken and doughnuts either. Not that we eat doughnuts for breakfast, that American habit hasn’t caught on yet, however no self-respecting service station is complete without a certain doughnut stand, subtly placed next to the entrance doors to tempt hungry travellers.
Our Obsession With American Food
These trends aren’t unique to London either, or to a few other British cities. The obsession with buttercream icing, M&Ms and cheese slices is nationwide. Why? Because they taste just so darn good, that’s why. They’re innocuous, there’s no learning curve required to get acquainted with them as they’re instantly recognisable in their makeup, and best of all, they’re packed to the rafters with tasty fat and sugar - two items we all have a weakness for.
But we have foods here in the UK that can rival any American product for sugar content, and our pork pies could go toe to toe with a hamburger in fatness levels any day, so it isn’t just the taste that we can’t get enough of, there has to be more to it than that.
The Taste of America
And the answer is as simple as can be - eating the food of another country will transport you back there - the loud, colourful extremes of the United States are represented in their food.
Each item is unapologetic in its noisy nature - an array of brightly coloured cupcakes in a shop front in Shoreditch, for example, wouldn’t look out of place in New York’s Times Square. The artisanal burger an inch thick served up on a brioche bun in Manchester ,could be straight out of a Californian drive-thru. The rack of smokey BBQ ribs in an eatery in Edinburgh could well be served up in Louisiana. And who wouldn’t want Cap’n Crunch for breakfast in the comfort of your own home, or a Twinkie for a mid morning snack at your desk? A little bit of escapism when you need it the most.
American Food is Glamorous
In essence American food, for as long as it’s been imported to the UK, has provided consumers with a bite of glitz and glamour, a break from the hum drudgery of regular British cuisine. That and it’s affordable.
Unlike French cuisine with its cordon bleu elitism, or Japanese sushi with its acquired taste, the humble burger is something everyone can afford and enjoy, even during a recession, because it is so incredibly easy to get right - it’s an instant pick me up that can be consumed at any time of the day or night and it instantly makes the world an OK place again. So go ahead and tuck in, we are.