British Food-Good or Bad?

It isn’t bad, but some of it is funny and some of it makes you say hmm.

Case in point: Tonight’s dinner-Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole for those who don’t know, is sausages and Yorkshire Pudding batter. Yorkshire Pudding, unlike most British puddings is savory and made from equal parts flour, eggs and milk. Onion gravy is poured over the Toad in the Hole after it’s baked and it really is quite tasty.

Then you have another sausage dish, Bangers and Mash or sausages and mashed potatoes again, with gravy. Bubble and Squeak is a mixture of mashed potatoes and cabbage, leftovers from traditional Sunday dinner which are combined and fried, thus bubbling and making squeaky noises as it cooks.The Scots have Cock-a-Leekie which is chicken and leek soup as one would imagine.

English: Fish, chips and mushy peas Português:...

Image via Wikipedia

My husband always liked mushy peas with his fish and chips (chips are french fries and crisps are chips!). Mushy peas are a combination of green peas and Sodium Bicarbonate-as if peas aren’t gassy enough!

A full English breakfast with scrambled eggs, ...

A Full English Breakfast. Wikipedia

A fry up or a Full English is a breakfast platter of (big intake of air here) fried eggs, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, black pudding (pudding made from-gag-blood!) or white pudding or no pudding at all, mushrooms, bacon rashers (larger pieces of meat, little fat) and finally toast!

Haggis, neeps an tatties

Image via Wikipedia

Haggis. Ooooh the Haggis. The holy grail of Scottish cuisine. Now the name is unusual yes. However it is the items that make up haggis that make it seem ridiculous indeed. Feeling hungry? Well have I got a treat for you. Let’s take all the major organs of a sheep, yes, yes including the lungs, heart, liver and whatever else they decide to throw in there. Sigh. Now as if that weren’t bad enough, chop that all up, throw in some oats and seasoning and now stuff it in the stomach lining of said sheep and cook for, I don’t know, a while….and voila, it’s time to eat. It is traditionally served with neeps and tatties or turnips and potatoes to you and me. Wash it down with some Irn Bru. Still hungry? Not me. I hate to say it but I did force down a forktip full when honeymooning in Scotland, you know, just to say I had it, and I can say with hand on heart that it actually didn’t taste bad. But no, I never had it again and I never will. Och Aye The Noo! I don’t even eat lamb.

English: Scotch quail egg, halved.

Scotch quail egg, halved. Wikipedia

If you haven’t guessed by now, Brits love their sausage so this next delight is another treat known throughout the kingdom, the Scotch Egg. Now eggs are good right? Tasty with a bit of salt and full of vitamins and minerals. But someone had the bright idea to wrap it in sausage meat, roll it in bread crumbs and cook it up! They are great for a quick bite or as part of a picnic lunch.

Marmite

Marmite (Photo credit: celestehodges)

Marmite is, what is it? Marmite is…you know when you cook a big piece of meat for a long time and there are those caramalized bits on the bottom of the pan that have very concentrated flavor but in a sickening way? Marmite seems to be a jarful of that stuff. However, that’s not what it is at all, it’s a yeast product. This is where the men are separated from the boys and Brits are separated from wannabes. Most Brits I’ve met love this stuff. It is spread on a cracker or bread as a”treat” or snack and will put hair on your chest! (I spit mine out)

Spotted dick and custard.

Spotted dick and custard. Wikipedia

The desserts are no better in the name department. Spotted Dick is always a favorite, though Americans might mistake it for a disease before seeing it in all it’s speckled splendor. It is a steamed concoction made up of fruits and suet pudding. Oh the Brits love their steamed puddings: Christmas Pudding, Plum Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Treacle Pudding, Jam Roly-Poly, Bread and Butter Pudding (buttered bread baked in custard-nothing wrong with that)…and the base of steamed puddings is suet (raw animal fat). Most of these are drizzled with custard and nothing tastes bad with custard. As I said before, no one said they didn’t taste good but funny names, questionable ingredients!

There is plenty to say about British food and so many dishes I have not covered like: Ploughman’s lunch, Cornish Pasties, Lancashire Hot Pots, Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, Shepherd’s Pie and the piece de resistance, Sunday Dinner or Roast, my favorite! I will save those for another day. Today I leave you a bit hungrier than when you arrived and maybe a bit nauseous from my descriptions however the food is good and partaking means enjoying a part of British history and culture. It is homey and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside-meant for those damp, cold English or Scottish days and nights.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “British Food-Good or Bad?

  1. Jean

    What a good way to turn around my “Snarky” Day! Love you Dana. I’ve had a few laughs with my ex-sister in law from England about the names of foods. She’s an excellent cook but has expanded a bit and more toward healthy foods. I was suprosed at how similar this is to the food we had in Ireland. Lots of sausage, tomatoes and beans for breakfast. I’ll never forget her talking about a reticulated Lorrie and not being able to say aluminum…See you soon I hope. glad you’ve found a good outlet.
    Jean

    • Thanks Jean, so glad you liked it! The language differences is another blog entirely and I look forward to writing it! Hope your day improved since yesterday! Big hugs!!

  2. Dave N

    Excellent read, now have to think of another ‘Brit Dish’ to follow on from the ‘Toad-in-the-hole’. You didn’t mention how much Brits love their crumpet nudge nudge wink wink, but maybe that’s a whole other subject.

    Hmmmm Aluminum, shame about the spelling over here, pronounced Al-oo-min-ee-um because that’s how we Brits pronounce Aluminium (so spelled because it’s one of a group of metals that all end in ium – selenium, chromium, etc)………sorry, couldn’t resist!

  3. Rosy

    Oh Dana all our favourites!! Gonna cook up a storm now!

  4. fullwellytillitgoesbang

    Fried porridge and spud (potato)….. or fried porridge in with a bubble ‘n’ squeak mix……. mmmmnnnn a bleddy lurvely Cornish thing.
    And Marmite….. one of the measures of Manhood, and Britishness….. {:o)

    • I had a lovely Cornish pasty and cream tea when I visited Cornwall/Tintagel. It was better than any I’d had before or since. Fried porridge???? Never saw that. I’m assuming it’s savory? Thanks for reading the post!

      • fullwellytillitgoesbang

        Yup, you can’t beat a proper good pasty, m’dear. Legislation has recently been passed at last, that it can’t be called a Cornish Pasty unless ‘tis made proper and in Cornwall.
        Here’s a recipie….
        http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/CORNISH/2000-06/0960458991
        (‘Proper’ is kinda Cornish…. As in ‘’tis a proper job, boy’ (It is well done/made/good)…… similar is ‘Handsome’….. ‘Tis ‘ansom’ job, boy’ can be combined….. ‘’Tis a proper ‘ansom’ job, boy.
        Aching is another one….. ‘Tis a bleddy achin’ job, boy…. ‘Tis Achin’ weather, boy’ This can cover anything from hot sun to lashing down with rain….. ‘proper rainin’, you’
        Sentences often end with ‘boy’ (all males are ‘boy’…. Kinda pronounced more like a cross between buy and buoy) or ‘you’
        Chicks are called ‘maids’ or ‘maid’
        I could go on……
        Fried porridge….. my dear Aunty Ruth used to cook it for me once in a while….. the morning’s left-over porridge…(deliberately make too much)… heave (put) it in a frying pan with some tiddys (potatoes, pronounced like teddies) or whatever else you have left over from meals…. Aka bubble and squeak …. And fry the bleddy lot up, ….proper good, boy.
        K.x {:o)

      • How on earth did I miss this last comment of yours! I absolutely love it and it belongs on my A Word About Words post! Fried porridge now sounds a proper Cornish treat, boy! How was that lol I love that you call women maids, how sweet. The first time the Fed Ex guy said “hello my love” I almost passed out. Unfortunately men in the States do not have all the lovely nicknames for women that you blokes do (Pet, Petal, Flower, My Heart, Me Duck, Love, Luv-my love is catching on here, more mother’s to children, but it’s just not the same without a British accent of one kind or another). And this legislation, wow! So the humble pasty is in the same league as Champagne now? What do they call them then? I only lived there for 3 years but can’t imagine not calling it a Cornish pasty : (

  5. purpleowltree1234

    Ahhh, you’ve helped finally make sense of some of these things I’ve heard about but never encountered on a plate. Thank you! Would like to hear about the other foods you mentioned too. I’m Australian and grew up mostly in the Philippines, and lived in an international community there- friends from USA, Canada, UK, Japan, Sth Africa, Sweden, Norway, Austria, etc etc. So I’ve got a lot of odd bits of info in my head that you’re finally helping put together and make sense of. ;o)
    Rach.

  6. Wow, sounds like a great experience, having been exposed to so much. Happy to help out however I can. I do need to do a follow up to that as there are plenty more I can include.

  7. I am a Brit living in Italy and you’ve just made me crave everything I miss! Hehe, I won’t hold it against you, nice to know someone else appreciates our unique cuisine 😉

    Daisy

    • Awww, I know! I don’t know what it is about it but it gets a hold of your soul somehow. I’m an Italian living in the States. Feel free to get your own back by sending pix of gorgeous Italian food : )

  8. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on
    websites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be interesting to read
    articles from other authors and practice a little something from other
    web sites.

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