Conservatism and perfectionism are characteristic qualities of all Britons. They are manifested not only in their behavior and appearance, but also in gastronomic preferences. Individual dishes of England deserve special attention of tourists who plan to visit this country.
Characteristics of the national cuisine of England
British cuisine is not original, because traditional dishes do not stand out for their refined taste or luxurious appearance. Residents of Foggy Albion prefer simple recipes and cooking without special frills. In most cases, to obtain delicious dishes, ingredients of our own production, which are grown in the UK, are used. Exotic products are not welcome here.
In addition, there are almost no sauces in the local cuisine. For comparison: on the territory of neighboring France, they are quite popular.
Since British food is not famous for its special refinement and taste, the number of restaurants with the cuisine of England in different countries of the world is limited. But traditions such as the signature breakfast and the family lunch at Christmas are familiar to many. This also applies to the tea party at 17.00.
In England, family festive dinners and an evening tea party are traditional.
The basis of the daily diet of the British is baked fish, grilled meat, pudding, Cheshire cheese, etc.
Among the British, pies are popular, while not necessarily sweet. Locals love meat options that are seasoned with onions, spices and mushrooms.
The visiting card of the local cuisine includes pudding. It is made here according to various recipes: boiled, fried, baked, etc. The traditional option is to prepare pudding in a water bath. At the same time, many housewives prefer to use an oven or microwave.
The British strictly adhere to the meal schedule and prefer to eat environmentally friendly products grown with their own hands. The British have the idea of a second breakfast, when it is customary to serve oatmeal. Dozens of recipes using this cereal are common in the country.
According to nutritionists, an important advantage of the cuisine of England is a large number of seafood and meat dishes, as well as the presence of cereals and vegetables in the diet. Vitamin D deficiency in children due to lack of sunlight is compensated by healthy food.
During a period of particular prosperity, the British Empire was divided into a large number of colonies, including India. From the Far East, a chicken dish tikka masala was brought to the archipelago. This recipe was so liked by the British that it soon became an integral part of the national cuisine.
The usual appearance of the culinary industry in England was formed in the Middle Ages. For centuries, the British have used milk, fish, meat, flour and eggs for cooking.
English traditions of eating
The British are pedantic and conservative in their gastronomic preferences. Their eating habits have not changed for centuries and have survived to the present day.
The morning meal schedule in England is in many ways reminiscent of the regime in neighboring countries. It starts from 7.00 to 9.00 and by default includes oatmeal with milk and sugar to taste. If desired, cream, raisins and other ingredients are added. The homeland of the dish is Scotland. But the inhabitants of this part of the island do not contribute sugar to the porridge. An additional object on the table is bacon with an egg and toast with jam. At the end of breakfast, the classic tea party begins. To diversify the diet, the British eat boiled eggs, chilled ham, and occasionally fish.
Traditional English lunch (lunch) resembles the number and type of products of dinner. Locals prefer to dine at 13.00. If they fail to get home for lunch, they go to a café or restaurant. At the same time, the British strictly adhere to the schedule, so they do not miss the lunch meal. It is the most caloric and nutritious. The menu includes fish and meat dishes, potatoes, puddings and various salads. After 2-3 hours after lunch, the British drink tea with a cake, a cake or 2-3 pieces of bread with butter.
Tea is a national treasure of the country. Most of the population loves a strong, freshly brewed drink.
The standard dinner time is 18.30-19.00. In some cities of England, this is the main meal. It starts with soup, then eats fish, fried chicken, potatoes and vegetable salads.
In other homes, they prefer to eat only light food in the evening, for example, bread with cheese and coffee, as well as fruit desserts.
Main Products and Ingredients
The British can not imagine their diet without such products:
Meat dishes are prepared from veal, pork, lamb, beef, rabbit, etc. They are offered with sauce, vegetable salad and baked potatoes. Of the fish in the country, salmon, cod and kalkan are popular, as well as seafood: lobster, squid, etc.
Cooking methods in England
Radical changes in cooking methods occurred during the reign of Queen Victoria, who was on the throne for more than 60 years. Since 1861, meat began to be cooled and frozen, which was achieved after the discovery of a simple method of ice production.
After 20 years, the process was perfected to the point that refrigeration and freezing became a common culinary practice.
Today, such methods of cooking are popular in the country:
- Cooking over low heat.
- Pan and deep frying.
- Baking in the oven.
The most popular English dishes
Despite the conservatism in the gastronomic preferences of the British, their cuisine has a wide range of dishes. There are dozens of recipes from meat, vegetables and seafood.
Fish and chips
Fish and chips is a popular dish among the country’s population and visitors. It is offered in street eateries or pubs, and in restaurants with a Michelin star. The British refer food to the main culinary masterpieces of the country.
Fish and french fries are one of the most popular dishes in England.
For cooking, fish and potatoes are used, which are deep-fried, pork fat or vegetable oils. A feature of this method is the use of a specific batter with the inclusion of ale or craft beer.
In the classic recipe, cod is used, but as an alternative, it is allowed to use pollock, halibut, flounder or haddock. In some establishments, unusual variations are offered, where the visitor himself chooses the ingredients for his dish.
Roast beef (Roast beef)
Roast beef refers to a piece of beef meat baked in the oven or grilled. The history of the dish began in the XVI century, then meat was already popular in local cuisine. At the same time, only influential people could afford such a culinary masterpiece.
Meat and kidney pudding (Steak and kidney pudding)
For the first time, this recipe began to be talked about in the XIX century. then housewives practiced different formats of the usual pudding, because it was not considered a dessert, but was a common high-calorie food for everyday use.
For cooking, you need a chopped beef chop and small pieces of lamb or pork kidneys. Dough based on internal fat is combined with meat, onions and bone broth. The cooking process takes about 4 hours. Mashed potatoes, vegetable side dish and pudding are placed on the plate. The dish should be eaten hot.
Toad in the hole/sausage toad
Contrary to the non-standard name, there is no frog meat in the recipe. At the same time, there is no official version of the origin of such an appellation. The facts of using the first recipes were registered in the XVIII century In those days, food was prepared from the carcasses of pigeons, and not from sausages.
A similar variant was called “Pigeons in a Mink”.
Today, the dish is made from pork sausages baked in a liquid dough like pudding. The result is distinguished by splendor, pleasant aroma and lightness. On the table, the dish is served with a vegetable side dish and a sauce of onions.
The dish demonstrates the close intertwining of traditional English and Indian cuisines. It is believed that local stewed rice was taken as a basis, to which fried vegetables and spices were added. At the same time, the original recipe has long been lost. In modern versions there are parsley, chicken boiled eggs, raisins and cream.
Leicestershire Pork Pie (Melton Mowbray pork pie)
The famous dish appeared in the town of Melton Mowbray, in the county of Leicestershire. The cake is made according to the old recipe, which has never changed. The classic ingredient for the filling is pork in dough cooked in water.
The national cake is made without the use of forms, so it has an irregular outline, resembling an onion. At the same time, only fresh meat is used for cooking.
Oxtail soup (Oxtail soup)
For the first time about the dish heard in the XVII century. in the East End. Its creators are immigrants from Flanders and the French, who used inexpensive ingredients for cooking.
The dish begins to cook 24 hours before the planned use. The crushed tails are roasted, then introduced into the vegetable broth and boiled for about 3 hours. After that, the container is placed in a cold place (preferably in the refrigerator) to remove the layer of fat in the morning. Every other day, the soup is heated on the stove. To obtain a thick consistency, flour can be added to it. There are some variations of recipes with wine or sherry.
The birthplace of the dish is Wales. At the same time, the designation “kaul” is used in the name of any meat soups. But if a separate cawl item is indicated in a London institution, it means that you will be served a signature masterpiece from Wales. The classic recipe involves cooking soup from beef or lamb with potatoes, carrots and other vegetables. The dish gets a characteristic taste due to the presence of leeks and thickened broth in the composition.
Kaul is a hearty food, which is recommended to eat in the cold period of the year.
Chicken tikka masala
In modern English cuisine, tikka masala is a popular gastronomic masterpiece. There are suggestions that the recipe was invented in India, and then brought to England. The dish is prepared from pieces of chicken, which are pre-soaked in masala sauce based on tomatoes, curries, cream and other spices. Before that, the meat is marinated in yogurt and seasonings. Then it is baked on a tandoor or in a special oven. The dish should be served hot.
It is a representative of traditional Scottish cuisine, but it can also be ordered in a London restaurant. As ingredients, lamb stomach is used, which is stuffed with giblets with lard, onions and spices. Haggis is served with rutabaga and potato garnishes. In addition, in the establishments you can order a more luxurious option, which is similar to meatballs fried in breading.
Haggis is a stuffed lamb stomach.
Cabbage and potato roast (Bubble and squeak)
Translated from English, the name means “Bubble and squeak”. The dish appeared because of the characteristic sound from the cabbage during roasting. Local cuisine is part of a full meal in the morning with the Scots or a traditional Sunday lunch with the English. For cooking, use cabbage with potatoes, to which carrots, green peas and other vegetables are added.
Roasts can be served as a side dish to meat.
Festive roasts have been cooked in England since the XVIII century, when people adhered to all religious canons, attended church services, and then arranged a family dinner in the circle of loved ones. Sunday roast means a dish based on baked lamb or chicken meat, to which a potato side dish or stewed vegetables are added.
An important ingredient is gravy. As it is used sauce gravey.
In appearance, the dish is more like a casserole, and not a pie. It is distributed in the northern part of Ireland, where it appeared. Hearty food is prepared from lamb or other minced meat, and also from mashed potatoes. Between these ingredients is placed a vegetable layer using pumpkin, onions, celery, green peas and corn. A special taste is provided by Worcester sauce.
Smoked herring (Kippers)
Kippers refers to traditional smoked herring, which is served for lunch or breakfast. The dish is popular in England, although many residents consider it outdated.
The signature English recipe is popular all over the world. At the same time, the first mention of it dates back to the XVI century. Initially, trifl was prepared on the basis of a cream with sugar, rose water and ginger. Soon dough, jelly, fruit juice and eggs were added to the delicacy.
Trifl is a popular sweet dessert in England.
Pudding (Spotted dick)
Classic pudding with raisins and dried fruits is popular not only in England, but also far beyond its borders. To prepare a dessert, you need beef fat, which is combined with flour, syrup and sugar. In addition, baking powder, spices and black currants are added to the original mass.
Other English dishes
In addition to these dishes, in the gastronomic sphere of England, such dishes are also common:
- Comish party – meat, fruit or vegetable pie.
- Bread and butter pudding is a classic version of pudding based on buttered bread baked under a filling of eggs and sour cream.
- Laverbred is a paste with the consistency of jelly, which is prepared from red Welsh algae.
Taking into account regional characteristics, the list of the most popular dishes may vary. For example, in Yorkshire it is customary to serve branded pudding as a side dish to meat or baked chicken. In Wales, lamb with a sauce of fragrant mint is popular, and in Scotland – oatmeal with spices and bacon.
In England, steak is most often ordered, and in the northern regions of Ireland – baked trout.
Homemade recipes for English cuisine
To get a good plum pie, you need to prepare:
- 300 g of puff pastry;
- 0.5 tsp. ground dry ginger;
- 0.5 tsp. ground cinnamon;
- 250 g canned plums;
- 1.5 tsp. lime juice;
- 30 ml coconut milk;
- sugar to taste.
In the container you need to place cut into small parts plums, syrup, ginger, cinnamon, lime juice and coconut milk. The mixture is brought to a boil over low heat until a homogeneous mass is formed. It is laid out on the dough, form the sides. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 200°C.
Plum pie is a homemade dish in English cuisine.
Shepherd’s pie appetizer is made from:
- 400 g minced beef;
- 1 medium-sized onion;
- 2 eggs;
- 100 ml of cream of 20% fat content;
- 500 g potatoes;
- salt, pepper, paprika and other spices.
In a thick-walled skillet, you need to fry onions and minced meat with spices. Next, boil potatoes and make mashed potatoes with salt and cream. The ingredients are then moved to a baking container pre-greased with butter. The cooking process in the oven lasts 20-30 minutes.