Birmingham’s culture and food

Minh My
Chia sẻ

(VOVWORLD) -Birmingham is the UK’s second-biggest city, but what makes Birmingham distinctive? Our guest today is John Hutton, a young teacher, who will tell us some interesting things about his home town. 

Hello, John! Welcome to today’s show!  Please tell us a little bit about your home town.

I’m from England in the UK, more specifically, Birmingham, which is right in the center of England. It’s the second-biggest city in England. Yeah, it’s an interesting place. It’s very different from Vietnam and it’s quite hard to explain. Birmingham always has a bit of an edge, I think, which, if you’re from there, makes you cocky and if you’re not from there and you visit, makes you a little bit on edge yourself. But no, it’s lovely. Yeah, I really like the town. It’s very multicultural so that’s probably my favorite fact about Birmingham. I think it was one of the first cities in Europe to be more than 50% non-white. Birmingham was one of the first ‘super diverse’ cities in the UK, where ethnic minorities make up more than half the population. I’m pretty sure Birmingham was one of the first in Europe. This is not a surprise and also one of the city’s biggest strengths. Birmingham is famous for the warm welcome it offers to all who come to our city. And that fits my family, too, because my family is a mixed race family, and so we’ve always had a feeling of equality in Birmingham for the most part.

That’s very interesting! Tell us more about your family. You say your family is non-white British?

 We’re British but we’re not white. There's not just white people who live in the UK. There are lots of different cultures and heritages there. My family heritage is white British, white Irish, and eastern Caribbean. My sisters’ heritage is all from Saint Kitts and Nevis, so we don't look like each other but we're still family and we're both British. It’s a very different idea of national identity than you have here in Vietnam.

Being one of the first ‘super diverse’ cities in the UK, I guess Birmingham’s food is quite diverse, too. Am I right?

Our food is good.  We have a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern food, which is fantastic. We also have a lot of Caribbean food. For Caribbean food, we have Saturday soup.  That’s when your grandma would usually cook a big pot of soup for everyone. It’s more of a stew, actually. You have a lot of different things in your Saturday soup – potatoes, plantains, chicken, sweet potatoes. It takes a long time to cook and it's quite spicy. Curry is a big thing. Birmingham is famous for curry. We have a lot of good Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern restaurants in Birmingham.

Birmingham’s culture and food - ảnh 1Birmingham Saturday soup

How about traditional British food in Birmingham?

We also have traditional British food. Fish and chips is probably my favorite. Sunday roast, too. Sunday roast is the best thing ever. Basically, every Sunday, your mom or your grandma cooks a roast. We roast some meats and we eat it with potatoes, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, new potatoes, some carrots, broccoli, mixed vegetables if you like, roasted parsnips and accompaniments such as Yorkshire pudding,  stuffing, gravy, and condiments such as apple sauce, mint sauce or redcurrant sauce. A wide range of vegetables can be served as part of a Sunday roast, which can be boiled, steamed, or roasted alongside the meat and potatoes.

Birmingham’s culture and food - ảnh 2The Great British Sunday Roast 

Do people still cook a Sunday roast at home or do they eat out?

Sunday roast is fantastic but it requires a lot of effort and takes half the day to cook, so we usually have it only on Sunday. I suppose because that's the day that everyone's free. If you go to a pub to have your Sunday lunch, if you get there after 2 p.m. most pubs won't have any Sunday roast left. They’ll have food, but they won't have any Sunday roast because it will be gone already.

In your family, who is in charge of cooking Sunday roast for family members?

In my family, it was usually my Nan who would cook on Sunday, and then she passed the job down to her daughter. Usually what would happen is my mum would cook it and, because we're quite busy, the door would be open and people would eat at different times, but a lot of people like to have the family all sit down and eat together so we do that, too. Basically Sunday roast finishes the week and it’s a time for the family to get together if they don’t have a chance during the week.

Thank you very much, John, for sharing some interesting things about your home town, Birmingham.