A really interesting survey on European fridge habits was published the other day.
The British press have majored on how the UK is the hummous capital of Europe - go chickpeas! - but I thought more surprising was the statement that a third of British people don't keep fruit in the fridge. Only a third? I suppose it depends on the type of fruit but I always think the default for fruit is that it's outside the fridge - certainly for things like apples/pears and citrus fruit.
Not surprising but still worth highlighting is that the French are better at exporting their cheeses than we are - 10% of British households have Roquefort in their fridge but only 1% of French/Spanish/German households have Stilton in theirs. Now, I love Roquefort, don't get me wrong (it is probably my very favourite cheese) but I always find it depressing that we're so bad at exporting our food and drink. I love the variety that you get in the UK - that pubs will have British real ale and Belgian fruit beers and American real ale and so on… but I also find it sad that it's so hard to find British stuff overseas. There's so much great stuff being made by small producers in the UK but their market is so much smaller than small producers in Europe. Why do we get Swedish sparkling cider but the Swedes don't get our fantastic (but lethal) still farmhouse cider?
I suspect it comes down to the general issue that the British find patriotism embarrassing and are more inclined to think that produce from overseas is better. It has its advantages - not just the big cities but the whole country has amazing variety and I love that - but it can sometimes be depressing. I visited, a while back, Rich's Cider Farm in Somerset (delicious cider, by the way, and you can order boxes online) and the pub closest to the farm (at the time of visiting) sold… Magners.