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London Olympics menu details revealed: Is it time to overcome British stereotypes?

Sheryl Nadler
Shine On
May 31, 2012

The British have long fought the stereotype that their homegrown dishes are bland and tasteless, but the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is determined to change all that.

On Wednesday they released some tasty details regarding the food and drinks that will be made available to athletes and visitors at some 833 concessions, this summer, says Reuters. And if you're into British fare, you're in luck.

Of course, these days, British fare includes the multicultural flavours of many different cuisines, says the LOCOG. So visitors will find Italian cuisine, Indian curries, seafood and salads right next to more traditional fare like fish and chips and mash. Other traditional items include lamb from Wales, charcuterie from Perthshire and sourdough bread from Tower Hamlets made in a traditional brick oven lined with peat from the Thames.

For one ex-pat living in Hudson, Quebec, nothing in the world beats a big old serving of real British fish and chips.

"When I go back to England, on the way to my mum's from the airport, we usually pick up fish and chips from the fish and chips shop because we dream about it," says Maxine Clarence, owner of Clarence and Cripps British Foods, based in Hudson, Quebec. "We can't even talk about it at our house unless we're going back to England soon because it's torturous."

Also see: World's first 'sourdough hotel' housed in Stockholm

She maintains the deliciousness of British food is the U.K.'s best-kept secret. And that Canadians heading to the Olympic Games this summer can look forward to many authentic treats, including sausage rolls, cheese and Cornish pasties (enclosed pastries with various fillings) and, of course, her beloved fish and chips, which she maintains the British do better than anyone else.

But visitors to London should also drink in the city's multiculturalism, she advises. Indian food is a must.

"After you've had a few beers, you've got to go to the Indian restaurant on a Friday night," she says.

Also see: Alcoholic energy drink sales increased 300 per cent

The LOCOG says 14 million meals will be served during the games, 1.2 million to the 15,000 athletes alone, comprising of 1300 dishes native to countries around the world.

"On the busiest day of the Games, 65,000 meals will be fed to hungry athletes, many of them eating in the 5,000-seater dining room at the heart of the Olympic Village, a sprawling cathedral of food split into British, European, Mediterranean and African/Caribbean themed zones," reports Reuters.

But while LOCOG insists their pricing will take into consideration the current global economic climate, The Telegraph takes them to task for overpricing underwhelming food

"Most spectators might accept the higher prices if the quality and consistency was apparent, but if the catering at the Olympic test events were a taster then prepare to be underwhelmed," says Olympics Editor Jacquelin Magnay.

Watch the video below for how to make a British favourite, steak and kidney pie.

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