Britain’s love their food and over the past 20 years there have been some incredible dishes created in England alone, some have taken off but some have failed miserably. In more recent times, Chefs such as Heston Blumenthal have ventured to great lengths in experimental food dishes, but in today’s article we wanted to look at the dishes that make England, England!
These are traditional food cultures of England that have lasted the lengths of time, but are a staple in our weekly diets now.
Let us introduce you to the food culture of England…
When you think of England and food you instantly think of the good old traditional English breakfast which is usually complimented with another English favorite, and that is a cup of tea. The English breakfast dates back years and usually includes the likes of hash browns, sausages, eggs, bacon, mushrooms, black pudding, tomatoes, beans and toast.
Wow, we are hungry just thinking about it!
Whilst most English people don’t eat this on a regular basis, i.e. each morning. It is more of a luxury that is left for weekend mornings or during vacations.
The side splitting, gut-busting meal will have you full and content until tea-time!
Still a very big tradition in England is families sitting down to dinner on a Sunday to be presented with a Sunday roast and all the trimmings. Whether its chicken, pork, beef or lamb this English food culture is a way of bringing all the family together at the end of the week, and before the new week commences.
A general Sunday roast will consist of Yorkshire pudding, plenty of vegetables, stuffing balls, pigs in blankets (bacon wrapped around sausages) and lashings of thick gravy.
As the years have moved on family sit downs have become fewer and the Sunday roast in some areas has spilled over to other weekdays, but the concept of the Sunday roast is still strong and a firm English tradition.
This is a wildcard entry as it isn’t a meal but then again we are talking about English food culture on a general basis. The tradition for years in England has been an 11am break time where people pour themselves a nice hot cup of tea, with some biscuits on a plate.
Although the “elevens” break has slowly phased out from the War time era, the tea and biscuit break has probably become more and more popular in the country. Not only does it give people the opportunity for a good natter but they get to drink and eat at the same time, this is always a good point in English tradition!
Whether it’s a stroll down the Blackpool promenade or a visit to your local chip shop, this dish is served in different forms up and down the country. Fish and chips is one of England’s go-to foods and because there are so many fish and chip shops around each street corner, you aren’t going to need to walk too far before you bump into one.
The fish and chip dinner is usually deep fried chips with a battered piece of fish (usually cod). Back in the mid-20th century these would be served in newspaper to form a cone, but as time has gone on you tend to see them served in either conventional white paper or polystyrene boxes.
Best of all, fish and chip dinners are usually quite inexpensive and you can feed a family of four one night in the week for less than £10, and you can even have some left over!
Finally we come to our fifth and final English tradition which is bubble and squeak, and let me tell you we don’t get more English than this recipe. Now if you have a sensitive stomach the likelihood is that this will make you feel a little queasy.
This English tradition stemmed from the days during World War II when rations and restrictions to food were in place. Families wouldn’t dream of casting out leftovers when they could find ways to create completely new dishes that the family could then go on to eat the following day. However, some 70 years later and this dish is still seen around many homes across the UK.
Bubble and squeak is essentially the leftovers from your Sunday roast, so potato’s and vegetables constitute a large part of this dish. Usually they are mashed together and then fried in a frying pan, then served. If you have meat leftover you can also throw this into the mix but make sure that you dice it up into chunks.
So next time you head to England, don’t be afraid to ask for one of these authentic culture dishes and see what you make of them!