What is traditional British food?

Written by pauline gill
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What is traditional British food?
Traditional British food (Getty Premium images)

The British are known for their politeness, manners and etiquette. They are also known for their fish and chips, bangers and mash, Yorkshire pudding, Scotch eggs and Toad in the Hole (pictured). And of course, what would a meal be without that famous tea? British food is not spicy, hot, sweet or tangy. It is often bland food, yet British fare is hearty food that will satisfy any hungry person.

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Features

A typical British meal features a meat and two vegetables. The meats are beef, lamb, fish, chicken or pork. One vegetable is usually potatoes and the other may be carrots, peas, cabbage or onions. Hot gravy is poured over the meat and vegetables. The Sunday meal will consist of roast meat, three vegetables and Yorkshire pudding.

Function

Fish and chips is British "take away" food (or as we know it, "takeout"). Fish and chips is not a dish cooked at home. It is meant to be take away food. The fish is cod, haddock, huss or plaice, which is deep fried in a batter. The chips are actually French fries. Malt vinegar and salt covers the food.

Considerations

The British have some interesting names for some of their dishes. Leftovers are often fried to produce a dish called "bubbles and squeaks." The name comes from the sounds of the food while cooking. The dish is made from leftover vegetables, leftover meat and mashed potatoes. The vegetables and meat are chopped and placed in a frying pan with mashed potatoes. The food is mixed together and fried until brown on both sides. Another strange name is Toad-in-a-Hole. This is sausages covered in batter and baked.

Benefits

British food is hearty food meant to be eaten when it's cold and rainy, so many of the traditional meals are comfort foods. The dishes are served warm and plentifully. One comfort meal is bangers and mash, which is sausage and mashed potatoes. Another comfort food is shepherd's pie, which is minced lamb and vegetables topped with mashed potato.

Misconceptions

Yorkshire pudding is not a dessert as some may think. It is actually flour, eggs and milk batter that is baked in the oven and then moistened with gravy. It is a popular addition to the main meal and is often eaten first. It's filled with gravy and vegetables. Dessert is made from the leftover batter. Common fillings are jam and ice cream.

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