A guide to traditional British food

bangers and mash

There is much to love about the UK, but very few people (especially travelers) would say that they share a passion for British cuisine. Unfortunately, traditional British cuisine has a reputation for being unhealthy, especially nowadays when healthy diets and nouvelle cuisine is all the rage. But every once in a while, it feels great to let go of your prejudices and just enjoy food for its taste, not its caloric value. So for all of you who are traveling to the UK but are a bit squeamish about the food, here’s a short guide to traditional British food that might change your mind.

What you have to know about British cuisine is that the age of fish and chips and meat pies is waning, but these traditional dishes haven’t disappeared yet. On the contrary, there are lots of new additions on the menu, for example curry, which is nowadays one of the most widely enjoyed dishes in the UK. Add some Chinese inspired stir-fries to the mix, and some Thai food, and you get a pretty much accurate overview of what may Brits eat today. But today we will talk about some dishes that have been around for ages.

Sunday Roast

photo by Edward

The Sunday roast used to be an important part of the the cuisine, although nowadays not everybody sticks to this custom. However, you can get Sunday roasts at most traditional pubs and restaurants. The roast was the highlight of the weekend in the past: roast or mashed potatoes, a roast joint of lamb, beef or pork, other boiled or roasted veggies and a good dollop of tasty gravy. Yorkshire pudding, a very old dish, usually accompanies beef.

Afternoon Tea

photo by Lucia H

Visiting the UK without stopping for a spot of tea at least once is a crime. The tradition of the afternoon tea is still very much a tradition in the UK, and if you go to a nice teahouse, this meal can be quite fancy too. Afternoon tea canĀ  consist of cream tea (scones, clotted cream and jam), butterfly cakes (cupcakes), biscuits and sandwiches, all washed down with fragrant black tea (usually drunk with milk).

Fish and Chips

photo by Gordon JolyFish and chips are probably the nightmare of those who are obsessed with dieting, but regardless of its calories, this dish is utterly delicious. Fish and chips is a simply dish, eaten as fast food (in the past, it was sold wrapped in newspapers), consisting of chips and deep fried fish covered in batter, or fishcakes (traditionally, a slice of fish sandwiched between two slices of potato), mushy peas and vinegar – this dish can’t possibly miss from any short guide to traditional British food!

In addition to these, there are many tasty dishes that you should try: bangers and mash (fried sausage with mashed potatoes), toad in the hole (sausage in Yorkshire pudding pastry), steak and kidney pie, and a wide array of deserts: spotted dick, jam rolly polly, treacle tart and trifle.

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