Staple Foods in England

potato image by Henryk Olszewski from

Foodies with a penchant for history can have a field day in England because every delicious dish has been centuries in the making.

From the fields to the royal tables, from the furthest reaches of India to the spice racks in Derby, the staple foods have evolved over the years to become the beloved meals served in modern restaurants and homes.


According to Jeff Chapman, who penned an article entitled "The Impact of the Potato," the English snubbed their noses at this starch until the late 1700s. But once people realised that potatoes were very nutritious and could help stave off hunger in poor areas, potatoes were grown in huge quantities and became a staple food. Today, people around the world are grateful that potatoes became a part of the English diet because without them, there would be no "fish and chips."

Curry Powder

Culinary Critic Kishi Asako claims that curry powder was developed in England in the 1800s. Inspired by the curries eaten in India, cooks in England mixed spices like cardamom, turmeric and coriander together in one container and convinced people to start sprinkling the seasoning mix over meat and rice. Enthusiasm for curry has increased over the years and now curry restaurants can be found in nearly every city in England.


Pudding often conjures up images of a sweet dish served in a bowl and topped with whipped cream, but in England, pudding has taken more creative forms in past centuries. According to the Historic Food website, nobility ate rice pudding cooked in intestines in the 1600s. In the 1700s, plum pudding was not light and fluffy, but thick and coarse enough to be sliced and grilled underneath a slab of meat. In the 1800s, apple pudding was placed in domed moulds so it could stand upright. Nowadays people around the world enjoy their Yorkshire pudding straight from a casserole dish.