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Saturday, June 25, 2016

England vs. Europe explained by dining habits

     The recent UK vote on leaving the European Union reminded me of the real cultural differences between the European countries and England.  No where is this difference seen more than in the differences when it comes to meals.  When traveling through Europe breakfast is like what is pictured above.  Fruit, yogurt and a croissant.  I remember the steaming milk that frequently replaced my usual morning coffee.
     Arriving in England after a couple of weeks in Europe brought back the breakfast with which we Americans were familiar.  Pancakes, fried potatoes, eggs and bacon.  Yes, much of what we consider American is really English.  American culture has deep roots from England.  Our language isn't the only thing we got from England.
      Even more than the food influences is the meal times we share with England.  American visitors to Europe have a hard time adjusting to the European meal times.  Who ever heard of lunch at 2 pm and dinner starting at 8 pm?  In Italy many employees go home for a late lunch which creates lunch time traffic jams.  England has what we would consider normal meal times and no one goes home for lunch.
      England and the Continent may only be separated by a narrow Channel but as customs go the Channel is as wide as an ocean.

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