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Salad? I think not.

I was a bit confused when I went into a small sandwich shop in Kensington. I got a ham and cheese on a bun. The clerk asked if I wanted 'salad' for an extra Pound. Sure, I thought, a side salad might be nice. Well, the "salad" turned out to be cucumber, lettuce and tomato ON my sandwich. Strange. Normally free in North America.

Posted by
2007 posts

Dennis -- it seems like you are encountering a lot of European cultural experiences -- first the Moulin Rouge sex shows and now London salads!
You know, Rick covers a lot of these things in his guidebooks, too.

Posted by
5671 posts

Calling the addition of lettuce and tomato in a sandwich salad is standard in the UK They have all sorts of interesting sandwhiches which we never dream of here. I don't know that it's always standard to charge extra.

Posted by
780 posts

Also in the UK, if you order an egg salad sandwich, you will not get american style egg salad (mustard, mayo, pickles,chopped egg) - you will get sliced boiled egg with lettuce and tomato and mayonaisse. You have to ask for "egg mayo butty" to get the american style egg salad. Ditto for chicken salad!!

Posted by
57 posts

I was surprised to find they charge for ketchup packets. Not that I bought any, I don't care for ketchup on my chips.

Posted by
2007 posts

I find going to Pret a Manger or other sandwich place and just viewing the sandwich selections to be a major cultural revelation in London!

Posted by
359 posts

Salad, shmalad; the real breakfast of champions is a 'chip butty' (french fry sandwich) with a side of pickled onions and a pint. Most of the food groups included (pretty much vegetarian, actually) and if you're lucky they'll use thick, fresh bread slices with just a drop of malt vinegar and a pinch of salt.

Posted by
11991 posts

On the first day of my first trip to London, I was very tired and didn't want to sit in a restaurant. I decided to get some food "to go." When i asked for it "to go," they just looked at me and said, "what?" I repeated , I wanted it "to go." Again, a look of bewilderment. "You know," I said, "I want to take it with me." "Oh," he said, "you want a "take away."

And thus I learned that "take away" was the British equivalent of "to go."

When I first heard the term "Jacket Potato," I had images of spuds in tuxedos.

And it was years before anyone would tell me what the "Parson's nose" was.

Posted by
102 posts

The other way around, when I first came to the U.S., I ordered a tuna salad sandwich and to my horror it was this mushy stuff between what I called 2 slices of toast. Let me tell you, that was 21 years ago and I have never ordered one since. Different cultures have different ideas for food. I happen to like the idea of lettuce, cucumber and tomato. I do not know, if I would pay an extra pound for it. Then again, recently I ate at a restaurant here in Springfield, MO where I was asked if I would like tomatoes and cheese on my salad. When I got the bill, I saw that I was charged a dollar for each of them.

Posted by
658 posts

Well all I can say Dennis is - IT WAS YOUR OWN FAULT.

You were asked a trick question ( probably because being from Canada you were polite and also you pronounced your aitches and didn't ask for a 'Am 'n Cheeeze doorstep' )

The correct response to the question 'Would you like salad for an extra pound ?' is any of the following:

'A quid for salad ???? You're 'avin a laff ain't ya ?'

'Salad ???? Are yoo callin' me a poof ?'

'Wot for ? Are yoo tryin' to 'ide the mould on the cheeeze or summat ?'

'Wodja fink I am some rich yank - you nonse ?'

'A quid ! Am I made of money ? Stone me I can remember the days when a quid would get you a taxi down to 'Ammersmith Palais, five pints of bitter with whisky chasers, a bit of slap 'n tickle with a Chelsea totty and a bus ride 'ome. AND you still 'ad enough change for a bag of chips!'

Posted by
964 posts

Al, that's just about the best answer I've ever seen on this site!!

Posted by
769 posts

try ordering a "pepperoni pizza" in italy, switzerland etc! Hope you like Bell-Peppers since thats what you'll get as the main toping...youd have to ask for "salame"~

Posted by
800 posts

But that is because the word for peppers in Italian is peperoni. Your pasta that comes with peperoni is also pasta with peppers.

Posted by
11450 posts

Al,that was hilarious.. well done!!

Dennis, I admit I knew that salad meant greens in your sandwich, but, I am surprised they charged extra for it,, oh well, live and learn eh.

Posted by
60 posts

Tom - that exact thing happened to me. I think I was staying close to Lake Como in some smaller city, can't remember the name. We wandered out in the afternoon to find a laundromat and saw the pizza place along the way and decided to order one to eat while doing our laundry. Being by then in a not-touristy kind of place that was apparently filled with locals, everyone seemed to notice the difficulty I had ordering - and apparently no one there spoke english or wanted to help out. About 45 minutes later he hands me a pizza in a box with a bunch of yellow peppers on it. We then proceed to have one of those one-word-and-point conversations, where I point a the pizza and say "pepperoni?!" and he points at the pizza and says "peperoni!" Then I point at a picture of a correct pizza and say "pepperoni!" and he says "salami!". Finally I understand and apologize, accepting my pizza. He shrugs, smiles and says "Ah, Italia!"

Posted by
196 posts

What fun! I love it! My first sandwich expierenece in Galway I ordered Ham sandwich w/mustard and got an ODD look from the take-a-way clerk. We all were having such a great time & had got lunch to go to enjoy the square. Imagine how SURPRISED I was when were all sitting there chatting and I bite into my sandmwich and STOPPED. One of my local cousins asked what was wrong; as I opened up my sandwich and saw that not only WAS there mustard on one slice and on the other slice there was BUTTER! My first reaction was YUCK & then I was like 'what the heck' when in Rome! My cousins explained that most sandwiches the condiment is butter. I have learned to really love those sandwiches! In regards, to the salad issue. I had a friend of the family on a trip one time & explained the 'salad' before going into pub and she was still surprised that when she ordred 'ham salas' she got sliced ham, some greens and potato salad. .... some people NEVER listen. :)

Posted by
196 posts

Oh, and the take-a-way issue. Ever since my first trip to Ireland in 1994, I am constantly calling 'carry out' here in the US 'take-a-way'. It drives 'me' nuts and is very frustrating for me, especially when I am ordering on the phone. Oh, and ordering face to face ... I feel like an idiot! My cousin says I must be unconsiously wanting to be in Ireland!

she may have a point.

Posted by
102 posts

On the flipside with the butter, as a Euro, after 17 years in the States, I still eat my sandwiches with butter! I still do not get the mayo or the mustard. Most of Europe eats butter on their sandwiches, so expect it when you are in Europe.

Posted by
11450 posts

Gosh, as a Canadain we always butter our bread first, otherwise sandwich gets soggy,, we were taught that in home ec . too. I then may or may not add mustard or mayo depending on who sandwich is for( one kid eats only butter, the other butter and mustard and the other mayo and butter ) .

It always seems like whatever we grew up with is " normal" but then you find out your own neighbors do things completely differently.

Posted by
445 posts

We always buttered the bread on our sandwiches when I was growing up. Maybe they don't do it anymore because people are always calorie conscious????