Food in Northern Ireland by Michelle Taylor

Food is a somewhat different experience in Belfast than it was at the College of Charleston. First of all, all of the student accommodations at Queen’s University are self-catered, which means that students have to cook all of their own food. The freedom of being able to choose what you want to make for dinner is very nice to have, but having to make your own food does mean that if you haven’t found time to go to the grocery store, cooking becomes quite a challenge during a busy week. One notable difference about food that I buy at Tescos (the local grocery store) and food I would buy here is a lack of preservatives. Food is much fresher and doesn’t last as long. If you forget about a bag of shredded cheese in the back of your fridge for a week, chances are you can no longer use it. Choices for ingredients also tend to be less varied though you can certainly find anything you would need. You may just only be able to find a brand or two, while you would be able to find a half dozen different kinds of chicken soup, for example, in an American grocery store. That being said, the food is quite tasty though I have found the frozen meals to be a bit bland. Another interesting thing I have found is the quality of food you can find at a gas station. There is a BP station right outside my residence with a Spar for the store at the station. It was quite surprising to me that I could go to a gas station and not only find milk, juice and other beverages, but ready-made lunches, hot lunches, and even fresh fruit. The Spar is essentially a miniature grocery store with good quality food. Given that it is a gas station and the only shop in the vicinity open 24/7, it is a bit pricey, but it is quite a handy place to stop on the way home from class or the gym to grab dinner if I don’t feel like cooking. Overall I have found freedom in being able to cook my own food but I do have to make sure to keep an eye on my bread so it doesn’t start growing things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *