We love England. We just recently returned from a trip and are excited for a few group trips that we have coming up next year. Foods in England don’t always get the love and attention that we feel they deserve as there are some amazing dishes that we think you absolutely must try while you are here!
Fish and Chips
This is a dish that maybe England is most famous for. You might have heard people compare a local restaurant or eateries’ fish and chips to what they have in England. So no trip to England would be complete without sampling this famous dish in its homeland, which must be eaten with a little salt and malt vinegar and a little ketchup if you like. Then you are the one that can compare this classic.
Like breakfast anywhere, the definition of what an English breakfast is differs from person to person, but it usually includes beans, toast, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, potatoes, bacon ( actually what we would call gammon), eggs and black pudding.
Most people agree that bacon is the most important ingredient to be included, but the protein can be substituted for another and many highlight the Black Pudding as making this dish unique. Whichever hits your fancy, you can’t go wrong with this combination of flavors to start your day!
So what is that round slice of black pudding on your English breakfast dish? With a dessert sounding name you should give it a try! However, it is going to be closer to a meat or sausage and will likely be fried. This is one of those things that sometimes is best not to know, before you give it a bite to decide for yourself.
It’s not incredibly different in comparison to meatloaf having a fat, grain (usually oatmeal), and seasonings mixed together. What makes it different is it’s packed into a casing like a hot dog and there is blood as an ingredient – which might turn you off, but give it a try fried, boiled, or grilled. You might be surprised that it is as tasty as meat!
Toad in the Hole
Not to be confused with the American dish of an egg in the middle of toast, Toad in the Hole is a fair cousin of “Pigs in a Blanket” consisting of sausages baked in a yorkshire pudding batter. It is not a sweet dish but a meal that is usually served with onion gravy and vegetables. There are many ways to prepare this dish but traditionally the toads are laying down and poke through the pudding while baking. Thus the hole. It is a tasty meal you should try!
This is a great little tidbit to have anytime of day. It is typically served with high tea. It is ground seasoned sausage covered with puff pastry then baked. So it is a version of pig in a blanket but much better. It is delicious cold or hot alone or with chips and gravy.
While this sounds like a delightful dessert it is not. This is a light batter bread that is served very typically with Sunday dinner. It is usually baked in a muffin tin then eaten slathered in butter and gravy. It is similar to a German pancake, just not sweet.
Shepherd’s Pie/Cottage Pie
This dish is familiar to many with a meat filling and a mashed potato topping instead of a crust. However, you won’t have anything comparable to one eaten in a pub in England! This inexpensive and filling dish is a favorite, and something you should try while you are traveling. Many restaurants enhance the dish with vegetables and cheese, but any way you try it, it is delicious!
Bangers and Mash
This meal is simply sausage and potatoes. It is a delicious dish and the name comes from during the war when the sausages sometimes exploded during cooking. This was due to rations causing fillers to be substituted. Water was heavily used and this would cause the sausage to explode in the cooking process. Explosions do not occur today, only tasty food and full stomachs!
Steak and Kidney Pie/Pudding with Chips
This is not a dessert or piping hot pizza pie, but a savory meat pie. Steak and Kidney pie and Steak and Kidney Pudding only differ between each other in their crust. They both have the same meat filling, steak, kidney, often onions and gravy. However, the Pie has a shortbread crust while the Pudding has a suet crust. It is always eaten with chips or as we call them fries.
Scone with Jam and Clotted Cream
This english delight can be eaten anytime of day, even a bedtime snack. An English scone is similar to a light American biscuit with raisins or currants. It is served with jam and clotted cream which is like whipped cream but so much smoother and creamy. Great with a cup of tea, hot cocoa or Horlicks, a malted milk drink.
The trifle is quite often served at Sunday dinner or a family gathering. It is layered dessert or pudding as the British would call it. It is made in a clear glass pedestal bowl. It is lined with lady fingers or sponge cake then a mixture of jello and strawberries and bananas topped with double cream and sprinkles. The combination of textures, colors and flavors makes this dish a pleasure to consume.
If you can’t make it to England to try any of these classic dishes, but now are experiencing a craving, there are many great recipes for these dishes online. It’s tough to find a restaurant in the states that will compare to what you will get in the UK – but if you have one you think is close, we are happy for you to give them a shout out in the comments! We hope you can come to England soon and give them a try for yourself!