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When the UK joined the Common Market in1974, the country’s restaurants had a total of 26 Michelin stars, the industrystandard restaurant rating, in Britain. In 2019 there are 163, including fiverestaurants with three stars – the highest honour awarded. Is this acoincidence or has membership of the European Union enabled the development ofthe UK’s vibrant contemporary food scene?

英國1974年加入歐洲共同市場的時候,該國餐廳總共擁有26顆米其林星星(餐廳評級的產業標準)。到2019年,該數字變成了163顆,包括五家擁有3星的餐廳,這是能授予的最高榮譽了。這只是個巧合,還是歐盟成員國的身份使英國充滿活力的當代飲食盛況成為可能?



(圖解:英國對世界美食的貢獻是:薯條)

Despite what John Cleese might think, foodculture in the UK is booming – chefs are becoming superstars and prime-time TV slots are full ofcookery programmes, which are exported all over the world. What the quality ofrestaurants and the global profiles of its top chefs suggests about the UK in2019 is that it is not only a nation of foodies – but that the country hasbecome immersed into the food and drink culture of Europe.

不管John Cleese(約翰·克里斯)怎么想,英國的飲食文化正在繁榮發展,大廚們成了超級明星,黃金時段的電視節目充斥著出口到全世界的烹飪節目。餐廳的品質加上其全球矚目的頂級大廚表明的是:2019年的英國不僅是一個吃貨之國,而且這個國家已經漸漸沉浸于歐洲的飲食文化了。

European food and ingredients have becomestaple food choices for the British. The use of ingredients such as garlic,peppers, avocados, Parmesan cheese and all those other European ingredientsthat are now taken for granted are relatively new and were still rare in the1990s. When I was growing up in rural Devon in the 1970s, olive oil was onlyreally readily available in chemists as a cure for earache – now it is found inmost food cupboards. And wine drinking has permeated through all socialclasses.

歐洲的食品和原料已經成為了英國人主要的食品選擇。今天我們用起來理所當然的原料相對來說還是新鮮事物,諸如大蒜、胡椒、牛油果、帕瑪森干酪乃至其他所有來自歐洲的原料,而它們在90年代仍屬罕見。我成長在德文郡鄉村的70年代,想要輕松得到橄欖油只能去藥劑師那里,在那邊是用來治耳痛的,而如今,大部分食品柜中都能發現它。而喝紅酒已經滲透進了所有社會階層。



Spanish delicatessen in London’s Borough Market. Paolo Paradiso via Shutterstock

(圖解:倫敦博羅市場中的西班牙熟食店。)

So if Britain’s food is embedded inEuropean culture, what will the impact of Brexit have on the restaurantindustry in the UK? In order to answer this it’s necessary to identify howBritain’s ties to the EU have directly impacted upon UK restaurants.

那么,如果歐洲文化在英國食物中是根深蒂固的,英國脫歐對英國餐飲業的沖擊會怎樣呢?為了回答這個問題,有必要鑒識出英國和歐盟的聯系是如何直接影響英國餐館的。

Free movement of chefs

廚師的自由流動



What this demonstrates is that EU workersare key to the continued success of the UK restaurant industry. They are oftenportrayed as a source of cheap labour, but in fact are skilled, well-educatedindividuals who make a positive contribution to the sector. Even though many ofthe workers are highly skilled, wages remain low – so any move to place anincome threshold of £30,000 to earn a visa will exclude the majority of EUhospitality workers. But without the labour provided by EU immigrants it isdifficult to see how the sector can continue to thrive.

這些數字證明:歐盟勞工是英國餐飲業持續成功的關鍵。他們往往被描繪為廉價勞動力來源,但事實上卻是技能嫻熟、受過良好教育的個體,對該行業作出了積極的貢獻。哪怕很多勞工擁有高技能,薪水卻一直很低,因此,任何將拿到簽證的收入門檻設定為3萬歐元的舉措,都將把大多數歐盟酒店業勞工排除在外。但要是沒有歐盟移民提供的勞動力,很難看到該行業要如何繼續興旺。

Free movement of ingredients

原料的自由移動

Great chefs rely on great ingredients, andseamless trade ensures that food arrives in Britain in the freshest possible state.Food items such as strawberries, peppers or chillies are delivered tosupermarkets and restaurants throughout the year. Britain imports a huge amountof fresh produce from the EU – in fact, in terms of food security, through alack of investment in farming over the past two or three decades, the UK is notand cannot be self-sufficient.

偉大的廚師依靠偉大的原料,而無縫貿易確保了食物能以盡可能最新鮮的狀態運達英國。諸如草莓、胡椒或辣椒等食物品類在一整年中都要交付給超市和餐廳。英國從歐盟進口大量的生鮮食品,事實上,由于食品安全方面的條款,在過去二三十年中的投資是不足的,英國沒有也做不到自給自足。

The EU ensures that the UK can both importand export foodstuffs in an efficient manner, as there are no delays caused bycustom checks or embargoes on products. Unless the UK remains part of thecustoms union, it is difficult to see how the cuisine to which they have becomeaccustomed to can continue to enter the supply chain without disruption.

歐盟確保英國能夠有效地進口和出口食品,因為對產品的通關檢查或禁運造成的延誤是不存在的。除非英國仍是關稅同盟的一部分,不然,看不出他們已經習慣的菜肴如何能夠在不受阻礙的情況下繼續進入供應鏈。



Back to cheap sausages?

倒退回廉價香腸?

The vibrant food culture in the UK dependson the EU to provide innovation, influence, skilled labour and products. This isreflected all the way from the shelves of Aldi and Lidl to the five UKthree-star Michelin restaurants. If I am right in believing food and cuisine tobe an expression of culture, then Britons are European. As the writer andsocial commentator Robin Leach stated before his death in 2018:

英國充滿活力的飲食文化要依靠歐盟來提供創新、影響力、熟練勞動力和產品。這一點從Aldi和Lidl的貨架到英國的五家米其林三星餐廳,都能充分反映出來。如果我相信食物和佳肴是文化的一種表達是正確的,那么英國人就是歐洲人。正如作家和社會評論家羅賓·里奇2018年在去世前所說的那樣:

(譯注:Aldi和Lidl為兩家德國連鎖超市品牌)

Whoever would have guessed that in the landof cheap sausages and mashed potatoes there could be such a change which wouldactually bring the French from Paris every weekend to invade Britain en masseto eat great food and drink great wine.

有誰能想到,在這片廉價香腸和土豆泥的土地上會發生這樣的變化,真能在每個周末從巴黎帶來法國人入侵英國,同吃很棒的食物,共飲上好的紅酒。[/copy]

Perhaps Brexit will have a positive impacton British food culture and protect the future and integrity of the greatBritish chip rather than being replaced by the insidious pommes frite. It willbe interesting to see in the coming decade whether the number ofMichelin-starred restaurants increases further. I suspect it won’t.

也許英國脫歐會對英國飲食文化產生積極影響,并能保護偉大的英國薯條的未來和完整性,而不是被潛伏著的法式薯條取代。在接下來的十年中,看看米其林星級餐廳的數量是否會進一步增加會是很有趣的事。而我懷疑不會。