The British have some of the richest food traditions going.
From the cuisine it stole when it colonised half of the world to the cuisine brought over by immigrants and co-opted by chain pubs, we’ve got it all.
We’ve even got our very own classic, the Sunday Roast.
But there’s an elephant in the room.
That’s right, the pub Sunday Roast is garbage and always has been.
Picture the scene. You’ve gone along to your favourite pub for lunch. They do great burgers, brilliant BBQ wings and ribs, and quality steaks with some of the best chips you’ve ever tasted. And to go with all that, they even got a proper pizza chef in last month.
You head in, order the perfect beer to complement your rib-eye, take your seat and check the menu just in case there are any new additions.
But wait; as you pick it up it feels lighter, somehow less substantial. Glancing down, the paper seems slightly smaller than usual, with less text and more blank space on the page.
Oh shit, it’s Sunday, and that means the Sunday menu.
Waited an hour for this... Worst "Sunday Roast" in a restaurant we've ever seen. Avoid Henry's bar and cafe pic.twitter.com/MT5F7KGDip— 96ONEDREAM🌸 (@_96onedream) December 20, 2015
There are two types of pub: the one that can do proper food well, and the one where you barely trust them to serve scampi fries without contracting something or other.
If you’re at the first kind, you don’t need them to bin off their glorious regular menu. As for the alternative, if they can’t do the basics then what makes you think they could get their head around something that requires multiple pans on the go at once?
At best, you’re eating good versions of vegetables that you’d normally leave on the supermarket shelves, just because they’re cooked well. At worst, it’s sub-school dinner fare at a pub where you really know you need to stick to marginally less ruinable options like chips and microwaved curry.
A Sunday Roast at home is a different story, of course. Many of us find it therapeutic to spend hours working on an intricate combination of meat, potatoes and veg, and this method provides all of the plus points without any of the elements that make the pub equivalent such a shitshow.
It gives you the combination of ingredients you want, rather than leaving you stuck with filler vegetables where you could have more meat, more spuds or even an extra Yorkshire pudding, and all at a fraction of the price.
What’s more, you can serve it up with the drink you want, rather than weak lager or £6 pints of slightly nicer stuff, depending on your location.
And, most importantly, you get to share it with people you actively want to see, rather than surrounding yourself with the sort of people who only go to the pub for a roast. Stop kidding yourselves that these people are tolerable – they’re one rung up from the folks who only go for pints at Christmas and spend 15 minutes ordering ridiculously complicated rounds one drink at a time.
We need a dividing line: roasts at home, other meals at the pub. We’ve been lying to ourselves all this time, but it’s not too late to turn things around.
(Images: Pixabay/Rex Features)