Say what you want about the Great British Bake Off (actually please don’t; we really don’t care), but you can’t deny that the whole nation loves Nadiya Hussain. So much so that we doubt we have to explain who she is. However, being sticklers for detail, we’ll give you a quick refresher.
Nadiya won GBBO in 2015 much to the nation’s and Mary Berry’s delight. She is a Muslim and a mother from Luton, and her winning speech made us all believe again/cry tears of joy. So break out the tissues my guys because we’re about to go unnecessarily-indulgent-guitar-solo on your heartstrings and post that clip again!!!
Here it is in word form if you can’t hang with videos right now:
‘I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say, “I don’t think I can.” I can and I will.’
Because Nadiya is immensely likeable and incredibly enthusiastic about everything, she’s managed to parlay her GBBO victory into a budding baking/showbiz career. Along with publishing two cookbooks and a novel, Nadiya has made several TV appearances, her latest being as host of Nadiya’s British Food Adventure.
The premise of the show is simple: Nadiya travels to different parts of Britain and samples a dish or ingredient that the region is best known for. She then whips up a few of her own dishes using said ingredient. So far, two episodes have hit the air. Our verdict: we love it m8.
OK, it’s not exactly a Netflix box set of thrills, but anyone who’s watched Nadiya knows how her energy can turn even the driest bap into the most moreish tart. She’s basically lovely, and watching her pick asparagus in Oxfordshire or make oatcakes in the Peak District is a wonderful way to spend a Monday night.
However, we reckon Nadiya’s British Food Adventure plays an even bigger role in our cultural landscape. In each episode, Nadiya infuses a resolutely British recipe with ingredients and techniques gleaned from her Bangladeshi heritage. For instance, she took the prosaic qualities of an oat cake and transformed it into a samosa. She also made an Asparagus stir fry zinged-up with homemade five-spice.
These may not be the most groundbreaking culinary twists, but what they do represent is our truly multicultural Britain; where our acceptance of other cultures has lead to British staples like curry, kebabs, burgers and, yes, even the samosa.
The qualities of Britain’s diversity are best recognised in our favourite foods, and were it not for people like Nadiya spicing up our taste buds, the nation’s dinners would probably be very, very boring.
Nadiya’s British Food Adventure is on BBC TWO on Mondays at 20:30. Give it a try.
Featured image credit: BBC.