There are certain types of dishes in this world that have long surpassed the geographic boundaries of their places of origin and have become favourites of people all over the world. This means that a person can love pasta without ever having been to Italy or burger without ever having set foot in the US. The same goes for some signature British dishes which you may have heard about or even had a chance to try in a different corner of the world.
But could you miss out on the opportunity to eat them in their place of birth and see firsthand how they are supposed to taste like? Some dishes tend to get a local flavor and to move away from the original recipe.
Here are 12 of the most popular British dishes
This is probably the most recognisable of English meals. It is a take away food, popular among the working classes since the 19th century. The fried fish was introduced to the British by Spanish Jews and the local flavor added to it was the replacement of the wheat flour of the fish batter with cornmeal flour. During WWII, this was one of the very few meals which were not rationed.
2. Yorkshire Pudding
The Yorkshire pudding is part of the Sunday roast and is a type of food made from batter consisting of flour, eggs and water or milk. It is supposed to be a puff pastry that goes amazingly well with gravy and steak.
3. Sunday Roast
This is a traditional British meal served on Sundays. The roast can be beef, lamb or pork and it is served with a side of vegetables and with Yorkshire pudding. Does it seem plentiful? Then know that this is the weekly version of a grand Christmas dinner, so… yes, it is.
4. Bangers and mash
Bangers and mash, or simply said, sausages and mashed potatoes, are a traditional British meal often served with a side of onions, peas, beans and gravy. The dish is normally sold in gastropubs or made at home and it is quite delicious and filling.
This recipe is from India but it was introduced in the British Victorian kitchens and suffered some alterations. It is now boiled rice, flaked fish, hard boiled eggs, parley and curry powder with butter or cream. For the fish, you can use haddock, tuna, salmon or shrimp to the mix.
6. Lancashire Hotpot
Fancy a British stew? Then this is the dish for you. It consists of lamb or mutton meat with onions, covered by potato slices, slow cooked in a heavy pot. Do not be scared to try regional variations of the original recipe, which include the addition of vegetables to the meat.
7. English breakfast
Sure, you can find it in most restaurants and pubs all over the world. And it probably does not taste any differently, especially since the elements are cooked separately and the flavors only combine on the plate. But how could you miss out on the chance to have an English breakfast in the heart of an English town?
8. Sticky Toffee Pudding
This delicious dessert will be a serious threat to your waistline. It is a very moist sponge cake containing finely chopped dates, served with toffee sauce and vanilla custard or ice-cream. The recipe has been around since the 1970s, making it pretty new compared to other English traditional dishes, but it compensates in taste what is lacks in years.
Haggis is a pudding containing sheep’s heart, lungs and liver, spices, oatmeal and onion wrapped in an animal stomach. The dish is thought to be a Scottish one, but there are no documents to attest this origin. It is usually served with neeps and tatties.
Scones are small quick bread desserts made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, baked on sheet pans. They are usually served with tea.
11. Mince pies
The British like their mince pies. Traditionally, mincemeat pies were served on Christmas morning. They used to be filled with lamb meat but now the fruit filled variations are just as appreciated. You will have a chance to taste the original if you travel to Britain around the holidays.
12. Eton Mess
The Eton mess is an English dessert originated at Eton College. It was first mentioned as being served at an annual cricket match in 1893. In the 1930s, the tradition of the Eton mess was already under way. It consisted of strawberries and bananas, mixed with cream or ice cream. The recipe was changed a bit in time as it can also be served with other fruit and the meringue was added.
We travel to discover a whole civilization, to experience firsthand the contrast between what the books and the media present to us, how things used to be and how they are in reality. These things might just be easier when it comes to food. You taste it and immediately see if your expectations are met.