What the US gave up when it achieved independence

Today is independence day in the US. John Oliver takes a moment to remind Americans what they gave up when they broke their bonds with England. I can do without almost everything he lists but the one thing that I regret not being able to find in the US are the savory pastries. In the US, pastries tend to be very sticky and sweet, like doughnuts and Danishes.

In the UK (or its former colonies like Australia or New Zealand), there are plenty of small stores, almost as ubiquitous as hamburger stands in the US, that sell these pastries that are tasty and great for snacks or a quick meal. In Sri Lanka and India one can find samosas or patties or cutlets that are the equivalent.


  1. Some Old Programmer says

    If you have a filipino bakery nearby (which seems a reasonable chance, given the size of Cleveland) you should try the empanadas.

  2. Bruce H says

    If you ever come to Texas, try the kolaches. Instead of jellies and fruits (although you can get those, too), we use small sausages with or without cheese and jalapeños, ham, and even boudin. They’re delicious.

  3. Mano Singham says

    Thanks for the food tips. Empanadas seem to be just like the patties that I grew up with in Sri Lanka and absolute love. I have never had kolaches before but I’ll see if I can get them around here.

  4. Dunc says

    The most obvious thing: a decent cup of tea. The Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser on the Starship Heart Of Gold makes better tea.

  5. flex says

    Do you mean pasty or pastry? Both are used in English for the traditional meat pie, but I prefer pasty because of the confusion with sweet cake. There are places even in Cleveland where you can get pasties (and I don’t mean the nipple-covering). Doing a quick search, there is a place called Reilly’s Bakery at the West Side Market.

    But I share your disappointment in the lack of street-food in America. There are few street vendors. We are not a particularly pedestrian nation. Well, we may be pedestrian in one sense, but we don’t walk about much.

    I’ve made empanadas and pasties myself, but I’ve never heard of kolaches. I’ll have to give them a look-see.

  6. Raucous Indignation says

    Mano, you just need to move to New York City. We have all those things and a whole world of cuisine more. The melting pot (or the salad bowl if you prefer) is delicious!

  7. Mano Singham says


    Unfortunately, I dislike many of the other features of living in New York!

  8. Mano Singham says


    I agree. I drink tea only when I am at home and make it myself and ask for coffee when I am somewhere else.

  9. says

    The usual ‘indecent cup of tea’ over here always tastes to me like it came out of Boston Harbour, and it’s taken me about 30 years before I found an American beer that didn’t give weight to that the old saying “You don’t buy our beer, you rent it”.

  10. Henry Gale says


    In Cleveland’s Asiantown there is a small bakery called KoKo Bakery with delightful pastries. My favorite is the steamed buns with red bean paste.

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