This past week, I started noticing a lot of memes with a lot of seemingly made-up nonsense words in it.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that we were making fun of the English again.  

(Side note- I’m going to try to exclusively say “English” instead of “British” here, because the Scots are innocent in all of this.  Their tweets might seem just as nonsensical, but at least they slap.  I can’t really speak for the Welsh or North Irish, but I think it’s safe to assume they don’t want to be lumped in with the English, either.)

Smack. Barm. Pey. Wet.  Those words have been haunting my nightmares for days now.  It’s fun to say but what the fuck is it.

Turns out, the video that became the reason these words came to prominence also does a fairly decent job of explaining what it is.

So, smack barm is a fried slab of potato on a bun, served with a dollop of pey wet, or the watery, gravy-like liquid leftover in the vat of peas that’s kept on the hot line, presumably after all the peas have been served as a side dish for other items.

What the fuck? 

Listen, y’all got a lot of nerve talking about “fat Americans” (which, looking at the KFC donut sandwich, isn’t necessarily inaccurate…) while sitting around eating fried potato sandwiches.  And why is it that peas always seem to be the only vegetable the English know exist?  

Some Twitter users were quick to point out that, with Northern England’s working class background, meals with high calorie counts on the cheap make sense for people doing hard labor.  Some further internet sleuthing found some random forum poster explaining that until recently, most English supermarkets didn’t have wide varieties of produce readily available.  With peas being easily grown in the English climate, easily harvested by immigrant workers, and easily canned, it quickly took over the culinary landscape.

But one would think that with globalization that more produce would become readily available. (or not, thanks Brexit).  And sure, a Wigan kebab might make for a quick snack to recharge after a long shift, but even when Englanders try to take pics of their best Sunday roast or the most lavish English breakfast, it all looks like a desert of beige, occasionally accented with blobs of olive-drab peas.  How, in the nation that conquered ⅓ of the world in search of spices, could the food end up being so bland?

What if I told you… it was because they’re too horny?

In search of further evidence as to how English food got Like That™, I stumbled upon an article that said that deep down, the English are just too sexually repressed to make good food.   Preparing food, especially for others, really does require a certain level of tenderness that the English just aren’t used to expressing, or at least when compared to just about any other culture’s attitude towards food. It’s hard to imagine that a culture that relies so heavily on pies fails to appreciate the sensuality of the delicate touch needed to roll a pie dough to the proper thickness.  But alas, the English are all about that stiff upper lip, even to the point where having the family gather around the dinner table for holidays seems more like an obligation than a celebration, only allowed to show each other affection after a few pints.

It doesn’t come across as that crazy to me, really.  If graham crackers were invented to suppress libido, it’s easy to assume that a culture of suppressed libidos would lead to a cuisine just as bland.       

2 thoughts on “Why is English Food Like That?

  1. RJG says:

    New category/tag – “Why is X like that” or maybe just “Like That”

    1. Riley Johnson says:

      Mayhaps I will…..

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