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The Bits Of American Culture We Love In The UK

Big chunks of the US we would welcome in a heartbeat.

30/08/2017 11:13 | Updated 30 August 2017
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Cup after cup of milky tea. Fish and chips. Sunday roast dinners. Complaining about – and simultaneously loving - the NHS, London Underground and Royal Family.

Getting sunburnt at the first glimmer of sunshine in the year. Compulsively watching Love Island. Feeling as stressed about GBBO leaving the BBC as we do about the implications of Brexit. That world-famous self-deprecating humour.

And of course, the even more famous play-our-cards-close-to-our-chest stiff upper lip. Knowing, when all else fails, that at least sitting down for a nice quiet drink while it all blows over is probably the best option.

As Brits, these happen to be a few of our favourite pre-occupations.

British culture is just plain fabulous (don’t even get us started on how much we love the country’s national treasures, Dame Maggie Smith and Mary Berry), but sometimes, we have to admit we really enjoy those titbits of American culture that are creeping in… even though we pretend they’re totally crass.

Like American telly – and that includes the Kardashians. America’s music: country, rap, rockabilly, jazz, blues and so much more. Let’s not forget the mouth-watering American food scene: hamburgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, Buffalo chicken wings, S’mores, banana splits, cookie dough cafes (yep, they’re a thing and here: Naked Dough has popped up in London’s Old Street for the summer).

Here are the other bits of American culture we not so secretly want to see cross the pond.

Peter Muller via Getty Images

Random celebrations (for anything and everything)

If you happen to know an American who is getting married or having a baby, you might gawk at the number of celebrations they manage to cram into each singular event. From gender reveal parties (a sort-of surprise party you throw for yourself) to naming celebrations, by way of engagement parties, bridal luncheons and vow renewals, Americans have mastered the art of celebrating for the sake of celebrations.

And yes, 35 counts as a milestone birthday there, and you’re totally entitled to par-tay with a themed costume bash and/or trip to Vegas. Brits tend to downplay their birthdays – let alone throw a massive party to announce a successful mole removal. But you have to admit there’s something charming about all of these festive occasions, US-style (as long as you ignore the lengthy gift registries that tend to accompany each one).

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Massive portion sizes

What Brits consider a main course meal wouldn’t be fit to serve on the other side of the Atlantic.

Now, we’re aware that America’s reputation for enormous portion sizes has led to serious health ramifications, but sometimes, when you go out for a meal, it’s nice to be served a dish that could easily feed a family of five. Even better? When it just happens to be your starter.

This emphasis on large portions translates into drinks orders, from sodas to milkshakes. Same goes for bar drinks - give your bartender a good tip and your Jack & Cola will be the best you’ve ever tasted. In fact, fancy one tonight? Watch our expert mixologist rustle up a classic.

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Service with a smile

Every Brit knows America is the land of superior service. Of course, part of it might be that wait-staff in restaurants are paid entirely in tips and are therefore massively incentivised to smile at you and make every effort to help you enjoy your meal.

Guess what? We don’t care if it’s phony, it works. Your meal is about 200% much more enjoyable when you actually feel welcome in a restaurant (we’re pretty sure science says so, too). And when any issue – no matter how small - is resolved with a friendly smile, money off your bill and a voucher for your next visit. America’s awesome service culture extends everywhere from nail salons to stores with their amazing returns policies.

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US-style patriotism

It doesn’t need to be the 4th of July for Americans to go full-on patriotic (although the sheer number of red, white and blue foods people make for their Independence Day barbeques boggles the mind). Military parades, sporting events, stars and stripes flags perched in front yard after front yard: American patriotism is something Americans genuinely have fun with (and is quite the contrast to our own quiet embrace of Britishness).

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The Sports

Baseball. Basketball. American football. Ice hockey. American sports are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, and with good reason. They’re fun to watch, the players are seemingly superhuman (hello everyone in the NBA) and they go on for many, many hours.

They may not be football (sorry, soccer), rugby or even curling (for our Scottish brethren), but if you are looking for an excuse to gather lots of friends round for eating, drinking and having fun, then US sports are the way to go.

Look at Super Bowl Sunday for example – this year, 1.33 billion chicken wings were eaten in America. 1.33 billion! Surely, we would like a little bit of that action next February?

 

Embrace all flavours USA and get a Taste of Tennessee with Jack Daniel’s.

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