For a country with over a thousand years of history, you’d figure there would have been plenty of time to learn how to cook. Unfortunately, the early English people passed over cooking lessons in favor of learning how to build a more effective torture device. The truth is there really aren’t that many restaurants serving British cuisine anyway. London is ethnically diverse and the most popular foods are Chinese and Indian.
Outside of exotic cuisine, we can’t promise that your taste buds will be happy with English food. But here’s a short summary of what you can expect to eat if you dare. Enjoy and let us know!
1. Jellied eels are a well-known seafood dish made from freshwater silver eels. It has been part of British cuisine, particularly the English cuisine of London’s East End area, since the 18th century. Eels, which were found in plentiful quantities in the Thames river, were inexpensive and nutritious and eel dishes were very popular with the poor and working-class population of the East End. Many street vendors and pie and mash shops did a brisk business selling jellied eels and other eel dishes.
2. Pork pie: The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie is a family picnic favorite as it is usually eaten cold and can either be cut into slices or bought in individual portions. Roughly chopped cured pork and pork jelly is encased in pastry which has a characteristic, buttery crunch.
3. Potato bread: The Irish are known for a love of potatoes and this extends to the daily bread where leftover mashed potato is combined with flour to make potato bread. The potato bread is cooked on a griddle pan and is served hot with butter as part of a traditional Irish breakfast or with a piping hot stew. Yummy!
4. Haggis: The national dish of Scotland is always enjoyed on Burns Night but those with a weak stomach may be slightly put off by the ingredients which include sheep’s pluck encased in the stomach lining. For those brave enough to taste it – Enjoy!
5. Fish and chips: Is it good – definitely yes? It’s pretty hard to screw up anything fried. It includes battered deep fried white fish and fried potatoes. There are numerous variations on this dish, but the basic components remain the same. Don’t get English ‘chips’ confused with American chips, ‘chips’ are just French fries.
6. Shepherd’s pie recipes were first developed in England in the mid-19th century. Recipes differ from traditional meat pies because they do not involve meat enclosed in a pastry crust. Instead, shepherd’s pie consists of a layer of ground meat and a few vegetables topped with a creamy layer of mashed potatoes.
7. The full English breakfast: The traditional English breakfast consists of black pudding, baked beans, sausage, tomato, mushrooms, back bacon, eggs and toast.