This is a follow-on from our conversation about which was more uniquely American — apple pie or blueberry. (Click here to read it.)
Shannon, Zoe and I had been out for a run at Point Reyes. We’d kept Zoe motivated with the promise of an early meal at a famous restaurant. “I’m ordering popovers and cornbread to start,” said Shannon. “I hope they still do popovers — you’ll love them.”
She needn’t have worried: instead of bread, the waitress put down a basket containing three pieces of cornbread and three Yorkshire puddings. “This is a Yorkshire pudding,” I told her, putting one on my side plate.
“It’s a popover,” she said, her voice tightening.
“It’s named after where they were invented. How can you possibly claim to be an Anglophile, and to have been to Britain fifteen times if you’ve not had roast beef and Yorkshire puddings?”
“It’s a popover.” Her eyes glistened dangerously.
“Perhaps if you were to ‘pop over’ to Yorkshire you’d find an angry mob waiting to lynch you?”
“They’re delicious!” said Zoe.
“Now, your American cornbread is delicious by itself. Yorkshire puddings are especially delicious when eaten properly, as an accompaniment to beef, especially if the gravy’s good.” The popover was the blandest Yorkshire pudding I’ve eaten in my life — almost as tasteless as fufu — made all the more so by being eaten on its own. I went for a slice of cornbread to put some flavour into my mouth.
“We are eating them properly,” said Shannon.
“They taste even better when they’re eaten with roast beef,” I told Zoe. “When we pop over to London England-land-shire at Christmas we’ll eat them properly with roast beef.”
“We’re eating them properly here,” said Shannon.
“As an Italian American, where would you go for a real pizza? Would you ‘Hit the Hut’ or go to Naples?”
“I can’t wait to go to London at Christmas!” exclaimed Zoe.
I flashed a victorious smile at Shannon’s withering look. The silence was as golden as a good Yorkshire pud.