So I’m an American living in Singapore. Have been for the past year and a half-ish.
I haven’t encountered many Americans while living the expat life; plenty of Brits and Aussies though. So my husband and I actually hang out with a lot of English people, which is pretty awesome. Since we’re living in a foreign Asian country, that makes us all relatively similar. Kind of weird, right? And since we’ve been friends for quite a while now, a lot of the usual random questions we’ve had about each others’ countries have been covered. (One of their questions: do you really have yellow school buses? One of our questions: how do you have so many accents on such a small island?) We’ve gone through the usual vocabulary differences and I’ve added some surprising words to my British English lexicon, which is huge!!! (Aubergine=egg plant, that one that surprised me recently)
I can proudly say I can recognize the difference between the slightly north of middle all the way to a Northern English accent from a Southern English accent and a posh accent. …And now when talking to new English people, I categorize their accents by comparing them to my friends, lol. I.e. Oh, they sound like Bob, they must be from around Manchester. Or Game of Thrones. I use that, too 😛
Anyway, we were recently at a friend’s Christmas party sipping some mulled wine (which was awesome) when my friend brought around a plate of mince pies (which I also know to be minceMEAT pies).
(not my photo)
Important side note, American friends: mince is used in place of ground, so like minced beef instead of ground beef, which added to my presumed meat connotation in connection to mince, as that’s what they call it in Singapore, too). My husband loves meat pies, so he was quite excited (see, not just me!).
So we took a bite…
And there was dried fruit in it.
It was, what we polite Midwesterners would say, interesting…. It tasted kind of sweet and sour and dry and fruity I guess? No meat. The flavor kind of reminded me of maybe a fruit cake? Anyway, we shared our experience with some of our other English friends, and they thought it was pretty amusing. Apparently there is a little bit of beef suet (fat) in it though, so there’s that. I looked up the recipe. Dangggg those things are hard to make! Recipe calls for like 20 ingredients that are minced then left to sit for at least 3 days! I have a whole new appreciation for mince pies now.
After I wrapped my brain around it, I did like it though 😀 My husband, not so much. Shhhhh don’t tell my friend! Obviously, every culture has their own unique holiday foods with which they have strong, fond associations. Us Americans, we have pumpkin pie 😛
Have you ever had any interesting holiday food experiences?