Hot Pot, Wot!

In today’s post I take a look at some of the differences between the United States and England, without taking anyone’s side, whatsoever, even though it should be obvious by now that England shall emerge victorious. But I’m not biased.

I may have, once or twice, in the past, many years ago, said a disparaging thing or two about Kentucky Fried Chicken. It might be safe to say that if, someday, there was a reverse, deep-fried Rapture in which every KFC outlet in the world were taken up, leaving only a few scattered pools of congealing grease to mark their late, unlamented locations, I might give a quiet, understated fist pump. And maybe a little victory dance shuffle.

Although I feel that KFC’s version of fried chicken is mostly just sad, their bowls reach the level of crimes against humanity atrociousness. The Mashed Potato Bowl consists almost entirely of starch, grease, more starch, some undifferentiated protein that’s covered in fried starch, and ‘gravy’ that, as far as I can tell, is a solution of cornstarch with just a soupçon of artificial meat flavoring. And topped off with some cheese, possibly in the mistaken belief that what this dish really needed was some more fat.

Then I get to London. I know they have KFC’s here too, but I haven’t seen one yet, though the ads are ubiquitous. Looking at their menu though, they haven’t seen fit to bring the starch-fest bowls over here, yet. Instead, other companies have stepped into the breach, and come up with some offerings, which are sort of mind boggling, but in a good way.

For instance, this is a ‘Christmas Hot Pot’ from EAT, a popular sandwich chain. Consider the differences:

KFC – Mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, bite-sized deep fried chicken pieces, and cheese.




EAT – Turkey with Bacon, Leeks and Parsnips in a Light Creamy Sauce seasoned with Sage & Thyme, spiced up with a splash of Sherry. Served with Creamy Mashed Potato, a dollop of Cranberry Sauce and a Puff Pastry lid.

Can you imagine, leeks and parsnips? Sherry?!? Dear god, this country is going to the dogs!

Leon, another fast food chain also offers meals in a bucket, I mean, pot (if you get the reference from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, award yourself 50 points and drink one very large tumbler of Crimson Assurance grog). Even better, they have breakfasts-in-a-pot. I haven’t had the chance to actually try this yet, but a couple of brother-in-laws are coming soon, and I’m sure in the spirit of testosteronally silly things men are prone to, we can dare each other to try the Full English Pot.   Then I’ll be able to report on it.

Full English Pot

Poached egg topped with Cumberland sausage, British back bacon and saucy beans, for those who love both breakfast and England. And who doesn’t love England?

It was Thanksgiving yesterday, and we didn’t have any plans like overcooking a turkey, watching football, having a bit too much to drink, and then having a huge row with the in-laws, after which a third of the assembled family members storm off (and it’s always the third I like) in a huff, so it wasn’t really like Thanksgiving at all. I decided, just in the spirit of scientific inquiry, to go and get the Christmas Hot Pot. But I thought of it, just for today, as the Thanksgiving Hot Pot, even though there was no stuffing. Or pumpkin pie for that matter.

Here’s a picture. Yeah it doesn’t look that much like the picture on the website. But I am happy to say, that unlike many things in life, the Hot Pot actually did taste better than it looked. And, bonus, I don’t have any cleaning up to do. Or in-laws to kick out of the house. So Happy Thanksgiving to us!



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