Britain’s Secret Food Culture

There is a secret food culture in Britain that most won’t know about and Britons won’t realise. What I’m referring to is food in the office place There are some very interesting food habits that are very different from the US.

Birthdays require the birthday girl/boy to bring in cakes/chocolate/sweets in to the office for everyone. Everyone does this when their birthday comes around. No one questions this or thinks of it. Everyone just does. This still confuses me. It’s my birthday so why do I have to treat everyone else? Of course if I didn’t buy the sweets who would be chosen to buy them for me? Certainly not the office. So yea, I get it. It just seems backwards.

Then there is the ingrained drink culture. The stereotype of Britons and tea has never been so true as it is in the office. Pretty much everyone drinks tea and usually in large quantities. There’s always instant coffee too, which is also drank in large amounts. Everyone takes turns getting the drinks in and the dishes clean-up is shared. If you don’t drink either tea or instant coffee in large quantities you get some of the weirdest look.

The other time food ends up in the office is when someone goes on holiday or just because. In a good office you’ll get people bringing in treats that they’ve made too, like cookies and cakes, just because. It’s pretty common though for people to bring sweets back from their holiday location. I’ve had some very interesting treats from abroad cause of this.

The whole thing about all this is that it’s normal for Britons. No one blinks an eye at it and they assume everyone knows the rules. This is the secret food culture of Britain. This is what everone is born knowing when they go to work in aan office. It’s like a big family if it’s a good office. Everyone says please and thank you and everyone is happy and friendly about sharing, both the work and the treats.

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~ by Donna on February 9, 2010.

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