Because the cheeses available in England (and I’m certain the all of Europe) are to die for, and they’re cheap! Even considering the exchange rate, one round (200g) of brie or Camembert from the local grocer costs about £1. That’s $1.60 for the quality and amount of cheese that would in America cost me $5 to $8 for an equivalent amount (1/2 lb). American cheeses like cheddar are cheap to produce, and our dairy costs have actually gone down in the last 2 years, but the high quality molded cheeses are imported and usually only available in health food or specialty grocery stores in the US.
I am enjoying grocery shopping and cooking for myself in England, can you tell?! It’s probably because I’m still in vacation mode and have plenty of time to cook. I made a couple batches of cookies for my flat mates already and they were a big hit. I think that any type of cookies will score high compared to plain ol’ “biscuits”. The boys are thrilled that I like to bake and share. They are all pretty good cooks too, actually. I was surprised to see all my male flat mates cook – and I mean really cook, like getting out potatoes and olive oil and pesto and tomatoes and mushrooms and cheese and some sort of pork patté stuff, and onions and garlic and basil and oregano and creating something out of it. And they do this for most all meals! I was impressed. Also popular among my flat mates is making coffee in a cafetiérre (french press) each morning. I’m sticking to my tea, and yes, I drank tea before I came to England.
This is becoming the break I needed to get my eating habits back on track, plus the walk to the grocery store is a bonus for not having a gym. I already found ways to make some vegetarian dishes in our little kitchen like stuffed courgettes (zucchini), spinach quiche, sweet potato and split pea soup. Jack made some sort of mushroom pancakes or fritters… anyway, they were good. I ate one without thinking about it being mushrooms. I still need to make aubergine lasagna (eggplant). I’m learning some fun new names the British use for vegetables! The main food groups in my diet are quickly transforming into these: Nutella, fine cheeses, fruits and vegetables, olive oil and legumes, tea and coffee.