There’s a tasty debate sizzling away on the Cruise Critic forum but for once, it’s not about single supplements. Or whether Britain should leave the EU. Not even dress codes on formal night. The topic of the moment? Bacon.
The discussion all began when member CrusinCaren moaned that bacon had been served ‘raw’ on a recent MSC cruise. The reality is, it was probably just not served frazzled, American-style; raw pork would be seriously contravening health and safety regulations and in any event, this particular member had not enjoyed much about MSC. The bacon was the tip of the iceberg, as it were.
If you’re a Brit (which I am), or Antipodean, or even Canadian, the ensuing discussion goes, bacon should be nicely grilled but you should still be able to bend it and cut off the fat if you’re even a tiny bit concerned about your health. It should fit into a sandwich that oozes ketchup (or brown sauce if you’re so inclined). It shouldn’t snap or crumble when you bite into the sandwich. It certainly shouldn’t be dark brown and crunchy.
If you’re American, bacon, it seems, should be the opposite; what we Brits would see as sad little strips of unrecognizable burnt stuff, disintegrating (or worse, flying across the breakfast table) when you spear it with your fork. You can’t tell the fat from the meat as it’s all cremated anyway so you just down the lot. Hello cholesterol!
I might add here that MSC is an Italian-owned cruise line, and what do Italians know about cooking bacon for breakfast in any case? But as it often the case in these inter-cultural debates, the issue isn’t really the bacon. The bacon is only a metaphor. The real question is, when traveling outside your own country, should you demand the same standards (bacon) as you have at home, or should you accept that things might be a bit different?
The thread remains good-natured, so bear in mind member Legion3 (American) is being tongue-in-cheek when saying: “So you guys don’t tip much if any and resent it while traveling here but we just have to have open minds when eating your raw bacon?”
While Out_to_Sea! (also American) adds: “When Americans are in other countries and don’t follow the social norms there, they are considered ‘Ugly Americans’. Yet when others come to America and don’t follow our social norms (or bitch about it while doing so) they rationalize it because our ways are wrong (in their eyes).”
Food for thought! And now, on to the next topic: Why can’t Americans make a decent cup of tea? Discuss.