Someday you might wonder whether or not you're in an English supermarket. You'll be striding along and suddenly blink and ask: Hey! Am I still in America, or is this an English supermarket?
Because, honestly, how can you know?
It's never easy. Other places could, with varying degrees of efficacy, masquerade as or be mistaken for English supermarkets. To save you from any such future confusion, I recently visited England in order to garner foolproof evidence that any American can use to prove that he or she is, indeed, in an English supermarket.
In America, flapjacks are pancakes. Of course they are. In England, flapjacks are granola bars.
Americans barely note that marmalade exists, much less employ it as an adjective.
In America, crumpets exist -- but only barely, not wielding enough significance to sometimes become giant.
Nor do Americans ever shrink hot-cross buns.
Nor do we miniaturize our pork-and-pickle pies. Which ... wait. Pork and pickles? In pies?
Of course we sell canned wieners in America. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. But canned wieners sold in America are tiny and -- probably to distance ourselves from them -- we call them Vienna sausages. We would certainly never can full-sized wieners and call them "American," then go on to proudly announce that they were floating in brine.
At every opportunity, England revels in displaying itself as a far oatier place than America.
Hot guys on American packages do not wear kilts.
In America, we have stews and we have steak. For the love of God, we do not stew steak.
In England, parsnips exist.
All images: Kristan Lawson