English tea time and cooking for myself in Cornwall
Cornwall is all about the pasties, but I'm embarrassed to say that the only pasty I ate was not in Cornwall (and subsequently, was not very good). Every culture has its form of filling wrapped in dough (i.e. dumplings in China, pierogies in Poland, empanadas in Columbia, etc.), and the pasty is no exception.
But I steered away from those while in Cornwall. We were at a self-catering condo, so I cooked for myself most of the time. Breakfast was eggs a lot of the time, and I even mustered up the energy to cook a full-fledged dinner one time with locally grown rainbow chard and locally caught fish.
I went out to dinner with my professors one time to a vegetarian restaurant in St. Ives — we actually saw our cook picking vegetables from their garden while we were hiking.
We ordered their take on "Indian" food — almond curry with new potatoes and sesame naan.
It was pretty good, but I do prefer traditional Indian food. I liked that it wasn't heavy or greasy though.
My favorite place, however, was this little health shop that opened up for lunch. Called "Good Health," it was run by this adorable hipster-looking couple that made delicious salad boxes and wraps. This wrap was a play on fajitas and was absolutely delicious. I ate it on the beach and loved life.
The best thing about Cornwall/England though? THE BACON.
I'm not the biggest fan of American bacon — it's slight too fatty and greasy for my taste. English bacon has all the delicious elements of American bacon but is sturdier and more "ham-like." So basically, the bacon fattiness ranking goes like this (most fatty to least fatty): American, Canadian, English.
The bacon is perfect in sandwiches. This bacon butty just goes to show that the simplest things are usually the most delicious. It's just a bacon and a fried egg on a tiger roll (a crusty white roll).
And another heavenly sandwich combo? Bacon + brie + cranberry chutney in a panini. It's gooey, melty, and the perfect mix of salty and sweet.
Speaking of simple, these doughnuts that we got at Land's End (which 100% saved me from being in a terrible mood) were the essence of simplicity. They were more like doughnut-shaped funnel cakes than the chewy doughnuts I usually prefer, but they light, airy, and freshly made. I watched as the guy took the hot doughnut and dipped it in the sugar.
And finally, to end off with a technically non-Cornish food, but one that's ubiquitous in the UK nonetheless — scones and cream tea.
Let me say a couple things about English tea time.
But English black tea is way too strong for me. The first time, I called myself weak and refused to add milk or sugar. The second time, I caved and added milk (my lactose-intolerant self cried a bit).
Surprisingly, it elevated the tea. I guess the milk is there for a reason.
Second, I don't like scones. They're buttery but kind of flavorless. If I'm going to eat a butter-laden pastry, it better be a croissant.
But the combination of scone, clotted cream (which is more appetizing than it sounds), homemade jam, and English tea makes for a perfect tea time. Especially when it's disgusting and rainy outside like it was on this day — my friend and I escaped into a cafe to drink tea while everyone else went and looked at stones.
I think we made the better choice.
Coming up next: Exeter: the food edition