In keeping with the long-standing tradition of asserting independence from British rule, Americans have now escalated their efforts and attempted to insist that American culture is superior to that of their British counterparts.
This tradition typically encompasses such charming assertions as, ‘Americans got it right when we ditched y’all,’ ‘at least our food has flavour,’ and rejecting the metric system in favour of measuring everything by ‘McDonalds per freedom eagle.’ The American people have yet to grasp the irony of any implication of cultural superiority coming from people who commonly microwave tea. They were, however, shocked to discover that slathering everything in barbecue sauce is neither culture nor a substitute for a personality. Although barbecue sauce can often be found in many pubs as a complement to a burger or a dipping sauce for chicken strips, the UK has never been so bold as to put it on everything or assert that barbecue sauce constitutes culture.
However, an assessment of any American supermarket will reveal that barbecue sauce is the only personality trait most Americans have. When they are not putting it on their crisps or using it as a base for the baffling traditional ‘barbecue, bacon, and pineapple pizza,’ Americans can also be found dipping scrambled eggs, hot dogs, and biscuits in the stuff. In keeping with the appalling tradition of ‘Florida Man’ headlines, many Americans in Florida have taken this cultural staple to a horrifying new extreme by coating roadkill, alligators, and possums in barbecue sauce. Although I assumed this description was a stereotype that should be limited to American memes, I found that upon being confronted with the horror of their life choices, the response of my American interviewees can only be described as ‘barbecue-flavoured confusion.’ When asked why this dipping sauce had become such a rich cultural staple– and why it should be considered superior to British culture and cuisine– American correspondents replied that the separation from England had guaranteed their right to enjoy food with flavour and that at least barbecue sauce has more flavour than tea.
Any hopes that they were joking were quickly shot down; so far from acknowledging the grand irony of their assertion, the American people have remained steadfast in their beliefs, citing their rich heritage of crafting foods whose primary ingredients are colours. A quick review of any packet of McDonald’s honey mustard, for example, will reveal that honey mustard primarily contains ‘yellow food colouring,’ ‘modified starch,’ and an unidentified substance referred to only as ‘food thickener.’ A similarly ominous and unexplained component of this sauce is described as being ‘natural flavours enhanced with other natural flavours.’ (It is worth noting that these are also the primary ingredients of barbecue sauce). When I reached out to some American interviewees for clarity on this topic, their questions were simply met with the reply, ‘At least we’ve heard of honey mustard!’ A quick taste test of the sauce in question has prompted me to conclude that the UK is not missing out.