Best traditional English food to try in Britain
If you're planning to visit England then you are in for a culinary treat. From mouth-watering mains to delectable desserts, here are 10 English dishes you absolutely have to try while you're in Britain.
When Queen Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England in 1952, a special dish was created to commemorate the occasion. Having just celebrated her Diamond Jubilee 60 years later, coronation chicken is still going strong as an English favourite. This tasty mixture of chicken, curry powder and mayonnaise is traditionally served in a sandwich, but can also be eaten with rice or even as a standalone dish. If you enjoy easy to prepare food with a spicy kick, then look no further than coronation chicken.
The hotpot was created as a simple dish to feed the hard working industrial families in the 18th century, and has since become a national favourite. This traditional hearty meal is perfect for warming yourself up if you visit England in the winter. Lancashire hotpot is a fairly simple dish, usually made from lamb, onions, stock and a covering of sliced potatoes. The best thing about this meal is its sharing aspect — cook up a large batch in a casserole dish and it becomes the perfect food to prepare for a whole family and is the ultimate comfort food.
Full English breakfast
The English certainly don't hold back when it comes to breakfast. A traditional full English breakfast, or 'fry up', can include a huge range of foods, but the core of the dish usually consists of eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, beans and black pudding. Step into any of England's many cafés or 'greasy spoons' before noon and you'll be able to order one of these behemoth breakfasts, which should keep you full well into the day.
Despite having a name that has caused great amusement amongst English school children for years, spotted dick is one of the nation's favourite dishes. This deliciously warming dessert consists of a steamed dough-based pudding, which is packed with pieces of dried fruit and finished off with a big dollop of creamy custard. Wondering where that unique name comes from? 'Dick' was a nineteenth century colloquial term for dough, and the pieces of fruit dotted around the pudding give the dish a spotty appearance.
One of the most popular meals in England's culinary repertoire is a traditional roast dinner. Eaten around the country for all manner of occasions, this dish is made up of roasted meat (such as chicken, beef or lamb), vegetables, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and gravy. Don't let the day specific name fool you — the English love their roasts, so they can be eaten at any day of the week.
Cheese is a firm favourite among the English and there are literally hundreds of varieties to choose from, with many towns and counties making their own signature cheese using age-old production methods. A couple of the highlights include Lancashire (a crumbly cheese with a delicious tang) and Cheddar (a strong tasting cheese with a smooth texture). For the more adventurous cheese lovers amongst you, give a blue cheese such as Shropshire Blue a try, which has a strong and distinctive taste that you won't be forgetting any time soon.
Fish and chips
Fish and chips is England's go-to takeaway meal, and once you've tried it for yourself you'll soon see why. Consisting of battered and fried cod, pollock or haddock along with some delicious chips, this is simply a meal you can't go without if you visit England. For the best fish and chip experience, head to a traditional chip shop along the coast of England. Here the fish will be freshly caught and prepared, transforming an already delicious meal into a culinary extravaganza.
Chicken tikka masala
The debate rages on as to whom exactly created chicken tikka masala, but one thing is for sure — English folk can't get enough of it. This is a dish reminiscent of Indian cuisine, made by coating pieces of chicken in a mouth-watering blend of yogurt, spices and tomato. This dish will probably seem relatively mild compared to the curries traditionally enjoyed in India, but like most English foods, everything is open to your own preference.
A lot of England's cuisine focuses on mammoth main meals, but when the English try their hand at desserts they generally knock it out of the park. Bakewell tarts are delectable pastry treats topped with jam, almonds, icing and cherries. This dessert was actually invented by accident in the 19th century, when a baker in the small English town of Bakewell followed a recipe incorrectly and ended up with the now famous pudding.
Bangers and mash
A simple mixture of sausages and mashed potatoes might not sound like the most mind blowing of dishes, but when you've tasted it for yourself you'll soon find out just how scrumptious it is. The 'bangers' nickname comes from sausages eaten during World War II, which often exploded because of the high amount of water in them. There's no need to worry about this happening with modern day sausages, but maybe you should wolf them down quickly just to be safe.