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Hope You Like Potatoes

No seriously. I really hope you do.

One of the first things to do when you arrive in a new place is to make sure you have your essentials down. Of those, it’s usually good to have at least a rough idea of where you can get food, water, or preferably both. Being the paranoid little blogger that I am, I took my time to take a leisurely stroll through the wild woods of Google to make sure I could get some form of sustenance from my trip to Cambridge, and frankly, take a good look at my fare. After all, this is a new country, a new culture. Despite the UK probably being the closest to the United States in terms of a lot of things, there are some decent differences in cuisine, so you do learn a few things coming here.

Here’s an example: let’s say you arrive, bleary eyed, at 8 in the morning at your college, which in my case is the fabulous Corpus Christi College (more on the collegiate system later; you can tell I have my priorities straight when I talk about food first). You’ve red-eyed your flight, the food there wasn’t that great so you just sort of nibbled at it, you’re all around grumpy. First thing you’re going to want to do is find some breakfast, which in Corpus’s case can be found in the relaxing bar connected to the college. You’ll notice some differences already: tomatoes will be present in your meal, since apparently that’s just a thing you eat with breakfast. Baked beans are a breakfast staple, so you shrug and dig into that too. You push around your oddly shaped bacon and regularly shaped eggs to find this blackened disk. Oh, what’s this? Oh, it tastes good! So you timidly make your first interaction and ask what this stuff is, oh black pudding, what’s that?It’s pig’s blood. Congealed pig’s blood.

So yeah, stuff’s different here, ranging from eggplant being called aubergine all the way to the existence of pate as an entire subsection of meat. Almost everyone eats almost everything with a knife and fork, even the things you’d usually use hands for, like hot dogs. More things will be in pies than you can imagine. AND POTATOES. POTATOES WITH EVERY MEAL. I HOPE YOU LIKE POTATOES CAUSE YOU GET A NICE MASSIVE COOKED PORTION FOR ONLY 70p ($1.12) IN HALL ITS RIDICULOUS.

Overall, though, I’d say the food’s pretty good at hall, even with the transition. Cambridge also has formal dinners once or twice a week, depending on college, and those are EXTREMELY good, several course meals that run the gambit. It’s definitely worth visiting several times while you’re here, so long as you think you can afford it.

Eating outside’s great too. Indian food abounds easily throughout, and small food stalls exist throughout market square, including food trucks. Search for a bit and you’ll find your Starbucks, your Subway, your McDonalds, though you’ll have enough options that you can pretty much ignore that part of America for a little while.

Its an easy transition. You occasionally ignore the pea mush, grab your oddly cooked beef, shrug and take a raspberry tart thing for dessert and really, its mostly the same. The little tiny differences, though, they’re sort of exciting; you have all this cuisine you’re familiar with, but just a tiny bit of new to explore and have fun with. None of its essential, really. Establishing your survivability essentials is incredibly easy in Cambridge, even if you want to stick to food you know. I think you’ll have fun if you just go out and try some stuff you haven’t seen before. The rewards worth the risk.

Even if that risk is congealed pig’s blood.


P.S. Rain! Rain and cobblestones! Rain and cobblestones and street stores! It all comes together, really