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Bad Teeth, Bad Food and Football Hooligans

british flag Bad Teeth, Bad Food and Football HooligansAsk an average American what the British are famous for and the common answers are bad teeth, bad food and hooligans. I’ve heard these stereotypes so many times in the 25 years since I moved to the States from Wales in 1984 that the jokes aren’t funny anymore. Well, at least not that funny.

Rather than write a dissertation on all three of these misconceptions, I thought I’d cover one of the topics. Sure, this is a soccer blog but we all know that hooliganism is practically extinct from the Premier League. So, instead, I’m focusing on a non-soccer topic and that’s the misconception that British food is bland. The post is a good accompaniment to EPL Talk’s free eBook, In Pursuit Of Real Football: The Soccer Fan’s Ultimate Travel Guide To Attending EPL Matches In England.

If you were a tourist visiting the USA and you ate most of your meals at fast food restaurants, you’d go home to your country thinking that American food was cheap, unhealthy and coated with sugar and salt. But while one out of three American children eat a fast food meal each day, we all know that there’s more to American food than McDonald’s.

The same applies to British food. So many people visit London and consider places like greasy fish and chip shops, cafes and Wimpy Restaurants as real British food. That couldn’t be much further from the truth.

To experience real British food, you either need to run to the countryside for some authentic pub grub, or do some research to find good food in the city. All food can be accompanied by a pint of real English ale, not that American piss water.

Here are just a few must-have British dishes to savor and enjoy:

  1. Traditional English roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, vegetables and gravy. This traditional Sunday dinner (usually served in the early afternoon for lunch) is a hearty mix of roast beef, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, carrots, peas, cauliflower and Yorkshire pudding — all topped with gravy.
  2. Chicken Tikka Masala. The most popular meal in Britain is a dish that was invented either in England, India or Pakistan. While it’s origins are disputed, Chicken Tikka Masala is a tasty dish of chicken chunks cooked in a tomato and curry sauce, and served atop rice with a side of Indian bread called Naan.
  3. Cottage Pie. Minced meat covered with mashed potatoes and often topped with cheese. Not to be confused with Shepherd’s Pie, which is traditionally served with minced lamb, cottage pie is a hearty meal that’s perfect on a cold night.
  4. Steak and chips with a side-salad. A simple dish that features a steak with fried potato wedges. Yum.
  5. Fish and Chips. There are few dishes as English as fish and chips, but it’s often very difficult to find them cooked to perfection. The dish consists of deep-friend fish (traditionally cod) in batter with deep-fried chips.

Don’t settle for imitations. Find pubs or restaurants that specialize in the dishes.

There are few things as good as British food, British beer and English football. Wherever you are in the world, let’s hope you can enjoy the trio and put the stereotype of bad British food to death.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

10 Responses to Bad Teeth, Bad Food and Football Hooligans

  1. TokyoToffee says:

    “There are few things as good as British food, British beer and English football.” – agree about the last two but can't recommend the stodgy samey food – there used to be ONE English restaurant here called '1066' – perhaps that was the last time our food was actually tasty nay edible.

  2. Sanderson says:

    Hooliganism extinct from the prem?

    Was that a joke?

    Boro? Spurs? Stoke? Hull? ICF? United? Guvnors?

  3. The Gaffer says:


    When was the last time hooligans clashed inside a Premier League ground?

    The Gaffer

  4. Weston says:

    Thanks a lot Gaffer, now Im starving and its only 9:00AM.

  5. Jeff says:

    Manchester City and Middlesboro supporters kicked it off last year up in the Riverside.

  6. The Gaffer says:


    I wouldn't describe what happened at the Riverside Stadium last May as hooliganism. The Man City fans were trying to verbally antagonize the police and Boro fans.

    See the video here:

    The Gaffer

  7. expat says:

    can we add British bacon to the list or recommendations? Delicious. After living in Britain for 2 years, I can testify that the bad food stereotype is way out of date. Unless you live in the boondocks, even the pub down the street usually has decent fare – and celebrity chefs have brought the importance of quality meat and produce to the fore. My only complaint was the lack of good Mexican and bagels…

  8. City Slicker says:

    Gaffer you are right about hooliganism at Premier League. However when there are problems and there have been plenty of reported problems at US stadia as well don't assume that its always the fans. As for American food we can all see what they have been eating as most of them are still wearing it. I have never seen so many seriously overweight people as I have seen in the US. As their opinion of Brits given that most of them never leave their own state let along country what can you expect them to know about anything.

  9. Jeff says:

    Hi Gaffer, check out this site for what happened at the Riverside.

  10. Liam says:

    Chicken Tikka Masala was invented in Glasgow.

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