Traditional British food would probably not be at the top of the list of what Britain is best known for. Our cuisine would probably find itself languishing behind the likes of the Royal Family, rolling countryside and red telephone boxes in the pecking order.
However, at British Corner Shop, we take huge pride in our British food and feel it should be considered amongst the finest in the world. So here is our whistle-stop guide to traditional British food – prepare yourself for some tasty foods and we defy you not to be licking your lips by the end!
Traditional British Food
Full English Breakfast
Where better to start than the traditional Full English Breakfast? As the ultimate way to kick off your day (particularly if you’ve been a touch merry the previous night), the official ‘Full English’ should contain the following ingredients: eggs (ideally fried), bacon (also ideally fried up nice and crispy), succulent pork sausages, cooked tomatoes, mushrooms (fried in butter and garlic), Heinz baked beans, black pudding, hash browns, and the all-important round of toast… or fried bread – it is a fry up, after all!
Given its unrivalled ability to hit the spot, this hearty meal need not be confined to breakfast time – the ‘all-day breakfast’ has become a fixture of cafes and pubs up and down the country, and can be enjoyed at any time of day when a satisfying pick-me-up is required.
Fish and Chips
Held in similarly high esteem is Britain’s world famous dish, Fish and Chips. Allegedly enjoyed by legendary Brits including Winston Churchill and John Lennon, the much-loved combination of deep fried fish and chips generously doused in salt and vinegar is synonymous with the British seaside. How better to enjoy a bracing walk along the promenade than with a generous helping of battered cod and chips wrapped in newspaper?
When it comes to traditional British dishes, the Sunday Roast is perhaps the most revered. The focal point of any roast will be the meat – typically beef, chicken, pork or lamb – with a generous helping of roast potatoes on the side along with a selection of vegetables, which can vary depending on the season.
Depending on the meat of choice, there are various accompaniments that should be served up alongside a British roast dinner: beef simply must be enjoyed with Yorkshire pudding (along with a dollop of horseradish and/or mustard); lamb is traditionally complemented with mint sauce or perhaps redcurrant jelly; pork goes perfectly with apple sauce and crackling; and finally, chicken is best served with stuffing and a helping of cranberry sauce. Oh, and don’t forget the delicious Bisto Gravy!
Bangers and Mash
Other classic British dishes use the much-loved sausage as a focal point. Bangers and mash is a hearty meal combining mashed potato with your choice of sausage, the nickname ‘banger’ inspired by the noise that sausages often make when cooking. Toad in the Hole brings together sausages and Yorkshire pudding in one mouth-watering feast, and the name of the dish supposedly drawn from its likeness to a toad’s head poking out of a hole. In both cases, it is once again vital to remember the gravy!
The British also love a good pudding. A number of traditional British sweet creations even bear the name of the town or region in which they were conceived, examples being Dundee Cakes, Bakewell Tart, Pontefract Cakes, Bath Buns, Eccles Cakes, and Welsh Cakes.
But perhaps our most famous British dessert is the trifle; an amazing creation featuring layers of sponge, custard and fruit, not to mention a generous splash of sherry… The trifle is believed to date back to the middle of the 18th century, and remains a feature of parties and Christmas dinners in Britain to this day.
More simple dessert options include bread and butter pudding, rhubarb crumble, spotted dick and jam roly-poly, all of which are best served with a jug of piping hot custard. Simply delicious.
And finally, all this talk of cake brings us naturally to the ultimate British pleasure – the cup of tea. Enjoying a nice hot cuppa is one of our favourite pastimes, whether it is in tandem with a spot of cake or a selection of suitable biscuits.
In the southern counties of Devon and Cornwall the ‘cream tea’ is a traditional afternoon treat involving the serving of tea with scones – the two regions famously differing in the order with which they like to apply the jam and clotted cream to the scones.
The British are clearly sticklers for tradition, and none more so than when it comes to our beloved food! If we have left you feeling a bit peckish then why not start shopping at British Corner Shop, the online home of traditional British food.