Americans, Brits talk turkey at RAF Lakenheath
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — A big American turkey or a quintessentially English figgy pudding — who does the holidays better when it comes to food?
It was one of many cross-cultural culinary questions raised during an episode of a British radio food show that was recorded on RAF Lakenheath before a mixed British and American audience.
The approximately hourlong BBC Radio 4 recording of “The Kitchen Cabinet” at RAF Lakenheath on Nov. 19, was meant to focus on the traditions surrounding the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, but the show covered a wide range of subjects that had little to do with this celebration.
Show host Jay Rayner posed questions from the audience to a panel of four experts. Questions ranged from, what is a good, mixed drink to have while cooking (martini seemed to be the winning answer) to how to thicken sauce in a slow cooker (add butter and flour).
But other queries focused on the different culinary approaches to American Thanksgiving and British Christmas.
Tim Anderson, a chef who lived in the U.S., described the Thanksgiving celebration as more of a feast than the English Christmas meal, which he said involves less food.
Are you saying that it is better than Christmas? Rayner asked.
“In so many words, yes,” Anderson replied.
Audience members also commented on some hard-to-comprehend English culinary preferences. “Mushy peas. Really? Why?” was one comment read by Rayner. Another summed up English cuisine this way: “No ranch dressing. Warm beer.”
The episode was scheduled to air two days before Thanksgiving.