As a long-term expat from the UK, the thing I miss most about that country is the food. Every time I go back, I always gorge myself on as much traditional British food as possible but never manage to make my way through all my favourites before I have to leave. To spare you the disappointment of missing out on the best fare in Britain, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 most delicious British foods.
1. Roast Dinner
Also known as a Sunday roast, this is probably the food Brits abroad miss the most. Slow-cooked beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, and vegetables, all covered in gravy, this is a traditional weekly meal for when the whole family get together. Pubs all over the country serve their own roasts on Sunday, and if you’ve only got time for one truly British culinary experience, this is the one you should try.
2. Lorne Sausage
Usually only found in Scotland, Lorne sausage is a combination of minced pork and beef, mixed with bread crumbs then seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and coriander. It’s typically a breakfast food, with many eating it in a hard roll.
3. Chicken Tikka Masala
The origins of this dish are debated, but many believe it was invented in the UK by Bangladeshi immigrants, who tailored their own traditional food for the British palate. As opposed to korma (mild) and vindaloo (extremely hot), chicken tikka masala is normally medium spicy, although degrees of hotness change depending on the restaurant. This creamy curry is now believed to be the most commonly served meal in the UK – even more popular than fish ‘n chips!
4. Full English Breakfast
Probably the largest breakfast meal anywhere in the world, a Full English breakfast will provide you with over half your daily calories in one sitting! Bacon, sausage, baked beans, and egg are always included, and some people complement these items with tomatoes, hash browns, toast, mushrooms, and black pudding. It might not make you thin, but it’s the best hangover food you’ll ever have.
5. Cornish Pasty
Hailing from Cornwall in the south-west of England, this food has surged in popularity over the last 15 years, with the emergence of West Cornwall Pasty Co. stores all over Britain. There are numerous variants of the pasty, but a traditional Cornish pasty consists of beef, potato, turnip, and onion wrapped in pastry then baked. Again, not the healthiest food in the world (are you seeing a theme, here?) but it’s a delicious, filling snack when you’re on the go.
Not surprisingly for an island, Britain is awash with great seafood. British fish n’ chips is, of course, famous worldwide, but if you head to the numerous seaside towns around the country, you’ll find fresh crab, lobster, and oysters. It’s the latter that’s risen in popularity in recent years, with Whitstable in Kent becoming a favoured destination for rich Londoners looking to blend a weekend away with a taste of the best seafood in Britain.
7. Steak ‘n Ale Pie
Not a million miles away from a Cornish pasty, steak ‘n ale pies can be eaten as part of a meal, or as a snack on its own. Whereas pasties are usually dry, steak ‘n ale pies are cooked with gravy and, as the name suggests, ale (beer). Sometimes carrots, onions, and garlic are added to the mix before being set in pastry and baked.
8. Bangers ‘n Mash
A simple but delicious meal, banger is slang for sausage, and mash is short for mashed potato. This dish is typically served with the sausages on top of the potato then covered in onion gravy. Vegetables are optional.
9. Rhubarb Crumble
And onto the desserts … or puddings, as they’re often called in Britain. The first is a dish I’ve never seen outside the UK, and in fact, it seems to be losing popularity even in Britain these days, although I can’t understand why. Rhubarb crumble is delicious when served hot, and as shown in the picture, it goes great with ice cream. The topping is called crumble, and it’s made with butter, flour, and sugar, then placed on top of the rhubarb. After baking it in the oven, it looks and tastes fantastic.
10. 99 Ice Cream
Ice cream vans are ubiquitous in the British summer, and their number one selling item is the 99. The Mr. Whippy ice cream is much softer and creamier than most ice cream, and the 99 is placed into a cone and topped off with a flake chocolate bar. On the rare occasion of a hot British summer’s day, you’re guaranteed to see a lot of these on the streets.
Do you have any other recommendations for British food that aren’t in this list? If so, please offer your suggestions below.