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An American tourist declared all British food was 'terrible' despite being taken to all the local favorites, but British people say she has still not tried the right places

Kieran Press-Reynolds   

An American tourist declared all British food was 'terrible' despite being taken to all the local favorites, but British people say she has still not tried the right places
  • A woman's TikTok denouncing all British food has gained traction and drawn pushback from Brits.
  • While many fellow travelers agreed with her, others said she went to the wrong places.

An American woman has divided TikTok with a video calling all British food "terrible" after she said she was shown around by locals and enjoyed almost nothing she ate. While many fellow tourists agreed with her, a number of British people have hit back, saying she went to the wrong places and ate the wrong food.

In a video posted Thursday that's been viewed almost 1 million times, the TikToker @lunchpailgin shared her less-than-satisfying experience with British cuisine. She captioned the video with on-screen text as "a southern american woman's review of british food."

@lunchpailgin #ukfood #uk #europe #european #ukfoodtok #ukchinese #nandos #british #britishfood #britishfoodreview #fyp #foryou #fypシ #british #american #americans #food #foodie #nightmare ♬ original sound - charlie

She began the TikTok by saying it's been really popular to attack British food this year. On TikTok, several non-British people have made videos reacting to the food or simply making fun of it. (A debate around whether British food is terrible or "exhilarating", as some critics have argued, has raged for years.)

Instead of disrupting that narrative, she affirmed it.

"I'm here to tell you that you're not wrong," @lunchpailgin said. She explained that she recently visited the United Kingdom and tasted a variety of food suggested by locals.

"For all you Brits out there, I did go to Wetherspoons, I did go to Toby's," she said, referencing two popular food chains in England. She added, in a fake British accent, that she even had a "proper Chinese" meal.

"All terrible," she concluded.

She explained further, saying that while some British people think the US doesn't offer enough carveries, they have better places than Toby's. She said Toby's couldn't touch a Brazilian steakhouse in the US.

"Nando's?" she said, referencing another popular British food chain. "Nando's is like a mild version of Chipotle… it's not that special."

Still, she said Nando's was the only thing that she could "consistently" eat while she was there; she said everything else was "a fucking gamble."

The TikToker said she tried British Chinese food in Bath, England, and called it "suicide."

"There's no other word," she said while making a horrified expression. "It's not good." She said that even the worst Chinese food she's had in America couldn't compare to the "awfulness" of what she tasted.

@Lunchpailgin also claimed that British people do not put enough seasoning on their food. Her one blind spot, she noted, was that she did not get a chance to try any Indian cuisines there, which she's heard stellar reviews about.

"It's really as bad as you think," she concluded her TikTok.

Many viewers agreed with the TikToker's takes. Top comments with thousands of likes concurred that Nando's is the "most tolerable" food option. One person asked, in a comment with 4,000 likes, how British food can manage to be "simultaneously soggy and dry."

"They literally conquered the spice trades JUST TO NOT USE ANY OF THEMMMMM," a comment with over 13,000 likes said.

A contingent of other viewers, however, rebuked her opinions. A handful of Americans said they enjoyed the cuisine, and commenters who identified as Brits said she tried the wrong food and should've eaten British staples like fish and chips or Sunday roast dinner. (A handful of Brits said the suggestion that Wetherspoon's was the best of their offerings was laughable.)

A fellow TikToker who said she's lived in the UK for half of her life stitched @lunchpailgin's video and, while holding back giggles, said that if any British person told her to go to Wetherspoons or Toby's to experience real British cuisine, was pulling a prank on her.

@elisheva.abramson #stitch with @charlie #americantouristsinthewild #atitw ♬ original sound - Elisheva

"You've been punked, you have been had," the TikToker @elisheva.abramson said.

A number of others who identified as British agreed in the comments and compared the chains to places in the US like Olive Garden and Applebee's.

"As a Brit I would not eat in Wetherspoons/Toby Carvery. Much better places to eat," one person wrote. "Spoons and Toby's are for when you're violently hungover. Or still drunk," another viewer said.

Another poster @iamnobirdnet, who said they've lived in the UK for eight years, also pushed back against @lunchpailgin's argument and said you can't get a sense of a country's cuisine unless you stay there for a while.

The poster hypothesized that many American palates could not handle British food because it has fewer additives than American food.

@iamnobirdnet #stitch with @charlie I’ve liked the food here for a long time now, but I didnt when I first arrived. The food is good in the UK, but I understand why many Americans dont like it. #usa #usvsamerica #americaninuk ♬ original sound - Sam

@Iamnobirdnet added that the norm in England is that people are expected to season their food themselves and that if you go to a British person's house, chances are they will use more seasoning.

"British food to me is at its core hearty and comforting, good quality ingredients for good food," one top comment said on their video.

@Lunchpailgin did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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