I know I’m late to the party but I just watched The Great British Baking Show on Netflix.


Prior to starting watching this I would have said that I liked baked goods.  Cupcakes are yummy.  I’m a fan of dessert in general.  Bread is good.

But I am disturbed by some things I saw on this show.  At first I was confused by the presence of eggs.  Eggs? People still cook with those?  I realized then that I’ve been living in my vegan cooking blog bubble for a long time.

Then they had a challenge about breadsticks.  I do love breadsticks.  I like soft garlicky ones.  I like soft pretzel ones dipped in cheese sauce when I’m cheating on my vegan cooking blogs.  You might see a theme here.  So I was quite taken aback when the judges said that their main criteria was that the breadsticks should snap in half.  Snap?  Crunchy breadsticks?  What fresh hell is this?  No one seemed to find this strange on the show.  Are soft, yummy breadsticks an American thing?  (Pixabay doesn’t have a picture of crunchy breadsticks available because they are an abomination.  Look at these proper breads instead.) bread-83242_1280

Then, then, I found out about tuile.  Tuile is basically bread shaped to look like a Pringle.  Why would anyone fuss about with these fiddly things that don’t really even have any flavor?  Life is too short for this.  I like Pringles but they have flavors.

As the series went on I started to realize that I wouldn’t eat a lot of things that were being presented if they were in a bakery shop window.  That got me thinking.  Maybe I’m not really a dessert lover after all?

  • I hate flaky pastry crust.  I can tolerate a shortbread crust.
  • Yorkshire pudding is not a descriptive term
  • British people eat some weird stuff

But I have learned some things too.

  • I’d never had a macaron.  I bought some the other day.  They are ok.  Mostly they seem to me to be a vehicle for carrying whatever flavor they have been infused with.
  • I never knew that cakes came in so many different types like genoise and victoria sponges and apparently these things are common British knowledge.
  • Strong flour and plain flours are things.  
  • I still really like desserts but I don’t like baked desserts.
  • The Great British Baking Show influence will be seen in my July Eat the World post.  Stay tuned for July 10.  

Have you watched the show?  Did you bake more in response?

8 Replies to “Why The Great British Baking Show is Making Me Question My Identity”

  1. I love the show! And I have had and like crunchy breadsticks … I like soft ones too. Fun post!

  2. I’m afraid to watch the show for fear that I’d want to eat all the time. But, I could see myself having your reaction, so that might turn out okay.

  3. I’ve never seen the show as we don’t have cable or satellite. BUT, someone reviewed a cookbook by Mary Berry (I think she is or was a host) and I checked the book out of the library. Some good recipes in that book, but I haven’t seen the show.
    I make my own bread and wouldn’t care for crunchy breadsticks at all.

  4. Your experience with GBBS is similar to mine in the discovery of many cake and pastry names that are very specific but only known to the British. I found it quite fascinating when I watched the show a while back.

    As for your other experience — little Mom & Pop Italian restaurants in the Midwestern US always used to have red and white checkered tablecloths with a little bowl of over-aged Parmesan cheese and a tallish vase full of crunchy bread sticks that were around 16″ long and 1/2″ in diameter. You can buy a six-ounce package of such bread sticks, Stella D’Oro brand, at Walmart today according to my google research. They are sort of like crackers. I’ve seen them in Italy as well.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  5. Crunchy breadsticks? What would be the point of those? And I’ve heard of self-raising flour, but what is strong flour? My long-standing British baking question is: what are cheese straws, and would I like them?

    1. I googled a whole explanation of the differences between British and U.S. flours which is not something I ever expected to do.

  6. Haha, I love this show and have been watching it for years. The food is pretty, but I probably wouldn’t like a lot of it. I always thought that’s because I’m American. Some of the flavor combinations seem weird to me. I have had crunchy breadsticks, though. Have you ever eaten the premade Chex Mix that you can buy in stores? Crunchy breadsticks are like big versions of the breadsticks in Chex Mix.

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