Despite severing our colonial ties with Great Britain hundreds of years ago, Americans are still fascinated by the Brits: the accents, the royals, the Doctor! So many cultural phenomenon have come from our tiny mother island. In today's age, BBC's "The Great British Baking Show" has made landfall in the US. With some old seasons available on Netflix and others on PBS, Americans are catching up on the polite and delicious show. But what exactly is going on? What is a pudding and who the heck is Mary Berry? It is worth noting that the UK version of the show has gone through a transition this season but as the US is playing catch up, the following applies to seasons 1-7.

So who exactly are the judges and what is a soggy bottom?

Mary Berry is the Martha Stewart of Britain. Sassy in her own right, her most popular criticism is to avoid a 'soggy bottom' when creating pie shells and pastries. She has written a number of cookbooks and has been a host on the show since the beginning. Paul Hollywood is the bad cop to Mary's good grandmother cop, and resident bread whisperer. Having previously been a pro-baker, his favorite week is bread week when he can simply tap on a loaf and know what's gone a-rye. He is the more critical of the two: if he fixes you with a firm stare, it is likely he is vastly disappointed in your proving time (how long you let bread dough rise before baking).

But if he gives you a handshake--you're golden.

Where do they find these people and how do they do so much in a day?

"Bake-Off" (as it's known in the UK as "The Great British Bake-Off" or GBBO) is specifically designed for amateur bakers. No professionals or even pseudo-professionals allowed! They usually spend the first episode showing the back story of each contestant and like any good reality show, these range from the lovable grandmother to the engineer-turned-unlikely-baker.

The challenges are broken into three rounds: the first is a standard challenge which the bakers have been given ahead of time so they are able to bring items from home and plan their bakes. The second round is a blind challenge where the contestants must follow a recipe provided by Mary or Paul but key pieces are often missing such as baking time or temperature.

The judging is also conducted blind, based solely on how close the bake is to the real thing. The last round is also prepared ahead of time and is known as the showstopper. This is where the audience and judges are left in awe as the bakers create very intricate and often precariously built cakes, pies, or biscuit constructions.

At the end of the episode, one contestant is crowned Star Baker which gives them bragging rights and bragging rights only: no private suite or immunity in the next week. Then someone is sent home and that's that!

Season 8 saw the show sold by BBC to a competitor channel, Channel 4, which brought with it new hosts and judges. But for now, enjoy the early years of puddings, pies and perfect bottoms.