Culinary Crimes

Culinary crimes, a very serious issue causing arguments throughout the country, but what is right and what is wrong?

Milk before tea? Tea before milk? Jam before cream or cream before jam? Brown sauce or Ketchup? Sprouts or no sprouts?

How about some of these stranger food choices –

  • Chips in yoghurt or milkshakes
  • Crisps in lemonade
  • Toast in tea
  • Tomato ketchup sandwiches
  • Mashed sprouts on toast

Food choices are a divisive subject with some of the debates in UK food traditions lasting for a long time. What is it that makes us feel so strongly about a particular thing? Personal preference, or do making these vital decisions actually impact the overall taste of the item we put in our mouths.

Let’s be honest, tea is a staple in most peoples diets, it is a long-running British tradition to drink a good old cuppa. Kelly-Anne Knight, Café Manager, said: “Tea is so popular, we serve our tea in teapots with a separate jug of milk. We also sell takeaway cups, most people choose to put their own milk in and will specify what order they want it done in too!”

The issue of tea before milk or milk before tea is a long-running one and is divisive too. Scientifically there have been numerous studies investigating what is best, and the last study by Dr Andrew Stapley,  11 years ago, came to the conclusion that milk should be first. Interestingly though, these studies mention taste has a big part to play, the problem being taste is extremely subjective and therefore difficult to study and examine.

In the survey conducted by UoGlosLive, 85% of people chose tea before milk, proving that those who put the milk in first are a lonesome minority. Food and drink habits seem to combine a lot of things which include taste, age, where the person is from, and their parent’s habits making each of us truly unique in the choices we make. Arguably some of our choices are learnt behaviours for example if our parents and siblings have always made scones a certain way (I will save pronunciation of scones for another article!) Then because we have always seen scones made this way then we will usually make them the same way too. Age has a part to play in the choices we make too, as we grow up and get older our tastes change. We also learn to make decisions like not having sprouts on Christmas dinner, or for some people, choosing to have mashed sprouts on toast.

Surely that must be one of the worst culinary crimes.

The winning culinary crime definitely being people that don’t know how to make a good cup of tea, putting milk in first. Either way, it is very subjective and each to their own, the beauty of today being you are never too far away from a Starbucks or a food outlet so the choice is your own to make.The next and new challenge now is choosing which outlet to buy from, and then what you want! So can too much choice be a bad thing?

(Again, a whole new article could be written on that!)

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