Introduction to British Cuisine
Whenever people visit the British Isles, they just cannot get over the wonderful taste of British cuisine. Although it has been the subject of much ridicule from its European counterparts, British cuisine has one of the longest histories besides being a great dining experience. Some of the finest restaurants in the world serve British cuisine. With the increasing diversity of the population, many new cultures and influences have penetrated the preparation of British food in the country.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Supper
You cannot really start your day in Britain without having the traditional full English breakfast. This staple of British cuisine has been the standard starting meal for the British throughout their history. A full English breakfast comprise of bacon, sausages, fried tomatoes, fried eggs and toast. Some may select scrambled eggs instead of fried ones and modern versions of the meal do include mushrooms and baked beans. Another item found on the dish but is definitely not for the faint hearted is black pudding, a blood sausage that is made to look like pudding. Some love it, some hate it, it is a matter of personal choice.
After breakfast is done, we move on to the traditional lunch. Lunch is somewhat similar to the Sunday dinner in an American home where it is a big occasion for the whole family. There is often the all-important roast which is a piece of roast meat from either chicken, pork, beef or lamb, served with roast potatoes and boiled cabbages. A favorite accompaniment for the dish is Yorkshire pudding, a kind of roasted bread made from baked dough. Other veg also accompany the dish including the British favorite – roast potatoes!
When the clock strikes five, it signals the start of tea-time. Given the British’s penchant for drinking tea, you can imagine this is a favorite meal for them. Tea-time usually consists of biscuits and cakes to go with the tea. There are many traditional biscuits and cakes that are usually served such as scones, shortbread biscuits and jam tarts. Traditionally these items are made from scratch but you can also buy them in bakeries and supermarkets. Be warned though, you can never beat the taste and flavor or homemade scones.
Supper is a small meal just before you go to bed. Some people would just have cocoa and cheese while others might have bread with ham and a cup of tea. Whatever it is, you just can’t ignore supper time when you look for influences on British cuisine.
There are a few traditional dishes that have made British cuisine popular the world over. How many times have you encountered fish and chips or steak and kidney pie on your travels around the world. However, you may not know that the traditional fish and chips in Britain are eaten with salt and vinegar whereas in its overseas version ketchup and tartar sauce are the usual dips that accompany the meal.
Traditional British Dishes
There are many other dishes that make up traditional British cuisine: Here is a small selection of the best:
- Bangers and Mash – Sausages served with mash potatoes.
- Shepherd’s Pie – A layer of minced lamb covered with mash potatoes. There are many variations for this dish with the minced lamb replaced by either ground beef or seafood.
- Steak and Kidney Pie – Needs no explanation, the name says it all.
- Fish and Chips – An old British favorite.
- Chicken Tikka Masala – It might sound Indian but this is a British dish born and bred.