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Ethnic Interpretation?

It's always fun to see how foods that you are familiar with and love at home are "intepreted" in foreign countires - things are not quite the same, not bad, not wrong, just... different.

Ketchup, for example, has been different in every country I've been in -- you'd think that it would be a pretty common condiment - tomatos, vinegar, spices. It's sweeter in the UK that it is at home. It's fun to pick through the little packets of offered sauces in a pub, to see what is "normal" - we discovered 'salad cream' and 'brown sauce', for example

Indian food was almost universally good, when we ventured in to try it (it's not Mark's favorite), and the ubiquitous fish-n-chips was never disappointing. I probably had a plate of fried fish and crispy chips a couple of time a week, either for lunch or dinner. Good, filling, hot, and the fish is so fresh it practically still swims. A 'fish supper", by the way, is a fried fish filet, chips, and peas, at least in the restaurants where I saw it.

Italian food is a bit more consistent than we found in Ireland -- things tended to be a bit bland, but the execution of pizza and pasta were all good.

Most of the 'fancy" restaurants we went to were of the 'french-scottish' sort -- a heavy influence of French cooking with a distinctive Scottish flair. This seems to be a very popular mode, and the fresh food and Slow Food movements are very popular here as well. Nearly everywhere we ate (except the 'tourist pub lunches'), the ingredients were sourced locally and fresh.

Mexican Food Adventures

Why we didn't listen to the little voice that said eating Mexican food in Scotland would be a bad idea, and instead listened to the hotel clerk's suggestion that we try the local Mexican place in Dundee, I'll never know.

Let me state up front, that the food was good, but I spent the whole evening giggling at the rather odd interpretation that Mexican food had.

To whit -

The ubiquitous tortilla chips and salsa, staple of every Mexican restaurant that I've been to: yes, they did arrive. The salsa, though, instead of being tangy or spicy was..sweet. With cucumbers in it., and no fresh tomatoes. More like Italian dressing than tomato salsa. Still, tasty - I scarfed down the bowl in a few minutes.

I ordered a beef burrito - the menu descriptoin said, "A large flour tortilla stuffed with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes and smothered in our Mexican sauce and topped with Monterey Jack Cheese, served with rice", Sounds pretty normal.

When it arrived, my first bite contained...a lima bean.

Yes, you read it right. A LIMA BEAN.

Further inspection revealed peas, cubed carrots, and halves of cherry tomatoes in there along with lettuce and beef. Tasty, but ...lima beans and peas? Not what I was expecting!

I coudln't stop giggling once we left the restaurant.

Lima beans. I may have seen everything.