Reasons To Be Cheerful #39: The Great British Takeaway

25 Jul

Before the spurt in culinary activity initiated by Jamie Oliver and co., Britain was seen as a nation that was almost without a mainstream food culture. I say ‘almost’ because the ever-present exception has to be the takeaway. Granted, most of the nation’s favourites – including those loved by skinheads – are confirmedly foreign, but as with Kylie Minogue, we have adopted them and made them our own. Reasons to be cheerful then…

Rice, spice and all things nice

Rice, spice and all things nice

1. Variety

is the spice of life, yes, but what of those of milder tongue? Well, not to worry because as well as the leader of the bunch (Indian, obvs) there are fish and chips, Chinese, pizza and Turkish; and that’s just the start. To live in a country where on a mere whim, you can opt between at least five types of international takeaway; well, that’s when you realise that maybe Iraq and Afghanistan weren’t such big mistakes. It’s when you feel good to live in a democracy.

2. Meal Flexibility

If you’ve never woken up with half a pizza, the best part of a saag aloo or even just naan bread and a bit of dipping masala in your fridge, then you’re either a liar or really really fat. The great news is, these leftovers are ideal breakfast or lunch fare (depending on what time you get up). Yes, you might feel a bit of self loathing as you wolf down last night’s pizza with congealed bits of pineapple flaking all over the place, but be honest. You bladdy loved it.



3. Community Links

If, like me, you have a favourite local curry house/chippie/whatever, then you will know what it is to be part of the local community. You may never have seen your neighbours, or you might be avoiding them because they have a brood of offensive children, but you do know Paz who takes your orders at the local Indian. You might even have a special relationship because of that time you called Paz every 10 minutes after an hour’s waiting to enquire on the progress of your delivery; and then when it finally arrived he let you pay just a fiver for £20’s worth of food because he’s a bit scared of hysterical, hungry women. A friend to for life.

4. Widening Horizons

Who says you have to own a Le Creuset set to be an experimental eater? Down at the kebab shop you can choose between around 30-50 options on any given night. Whether its doner kebab or shish kebab; chapati or Peshwari naan; thin crust or thick crust. THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER. TO EAT.

Forget Ottolenghis

A la carte. Right here


2 Responses to “Reasons To Be Cheerful #39: The Great British Takeaway”

  1. tdizzledum July 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    I used to live in London and totally miss the amazing variety of delicious food! Fortunately NYC isn’t too far behind, but the Indian food in the UK is especially top notch– great and funny post!

    • lbellinlondon July 30, 2013 at 11:47 am #

      Thanks! I think we’re a bit behind in terms of bagels and pizza slices though. Swings and roundabouts and all that

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