Sugar came to England at that time, and was considered a rare and expensive spice. During Victorian times (1837-1901) good old British stodge was mixed with exotic spices from all over the Empire. One of the benefits of having an empire is that they did learn something from the colonies. From East Asia (China) they adopted tea, and from India they adopted curry-style spicing, they even developed a line of spicy sauces such as ketchup and mint sauce to indulge these tastes. Today we can say that curry has become a national dish. Unfortunately a great deal of damage was done to British cuisine during the two world wars.
Britain is an island and therefore supplies of many goods became short. The war effort used up goods and services and so less were left over for private people to consume. Ships importing foodstuffs had to travel in convoys and so they could make fewer journeys. During the second world war food rationing began in January 1940 and was lifted only gradually after the war. The best in England was only that which showed the influence of France, and so English food let itself become a gastronomic joke and the French art of Nouvelle Cuisine was adopted.
Nouvelle cuisine is characterized by lighter, more delicate dishes and an increased emphasis on presentation. Today In the late 1980’s, British cuisine started to look for a new direction. Disenchanted with the exaggerated (and under-nourished) Nouvelle Cuisine, chefs began to look a little closer to home for inspiration. Appealing to a rich tradition, and utilizing many diverse and interesting ingredients, the basis was formed for what is now known as modern British food. Especially in London, you can not only experiment with the best of British cuisine, but the best of the world because there are many distinct ethnic cuisines to sample.
Chinese, Indian, Italian and Greek restaurants are the most popular. Although some traditional dishes such as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasties, bread and butter pudding and fish and chips, remain popular, there has been a significant shift in eating habits in Britain. Rice and pasta have accounted for the decrease in potato consumption and the consumption of meat has also fallen. Vegetable and salad oils have largely replaced the use of butter. Today there is more emphasis on fine, fresh ingredients in the better restaurants and markets in the UK offer food items from all over the world. . Food and drinks on special occasions 2. 1 A British Christmas Christmas Dinner in the UK – Turkey and All the Trimmings Traditional Christmas turkey with bread sauce, roasted vegetables, sausages and bacon Smoked salmon, served with buttered brown bread and a slice of lemon, or wrapped around some prawns, is a typical festive starter. Turkey long ago replaced goose as the most popular main course. But it is what the turkey comes to the table with that make it especially British. The accompaniments include: * chipolatas – small sausages – wrapped in bacon roasted root vegetables, especially roasted parsnips (pastinaak) which are sweet and moist * brussels sprouts, often with chestnuts or bacon or both. Even people who never in a million years would eat a brussels sprout will manage a few for Christmas * bread sauce, a mixture of bread crumbs, milk, cream, onions and seasonings that can be something you had to grow up with to love. Eaten at mid-day or early afternoon on Christmas Day A traditional English and British Christmas dinner includes; Roast turkey or goose Brussels sprouts Roast potatoes Cranberry sauce Rich nutty stuffing
Tiny sausages wrapped in bacon (pigs in a blanket) lashings of hot gravy For pudding (dessert): rich, fruity pudding which is doused in flaming brandy –(said to ward off evil spirits) : This is called the Chrismtas Pudding TURKEY WISHING TRADITION A chrismas tradition involving the turkey is to pull its “wishbone”. This is one of the bones of the turkey which is shaped like the letter ‘Y’. Two people will each hold an end and pull. The person left with the larger piece of the bone makes a wish. Drink Along with food, drink also plays a central role in a traditional British Christmas.
Like in the rest of Europe, hot, spiced wine is popular over the festive period. The British version, known as mulled wine, is traditionally made with red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, as well as with cloves, oranges, sugar and lemon. 2. 2 A British Easter As a part of Easter tradition, there is a trend among British people to eat yummy hams, in order to commemorate the Easter Sunday. Some of our American readers might not know what the “easter egg” thing is since we do more selling of pre-made baskets in the states. It is a chocolate egg the size of an adult hand.
They come wrapped in a purple foil. Or gold too. Inside there is a toy or more chocolates. My favourite is the Minstrel egg. Everyone used to stayed clear of Revels Easter eggs because all the kids hated the coffee flavoured one. What are some British traditional Easter foods? Hot cross buns, Simnel cake, spring lamb. I like hot cross buns more than Easter eggs, they’re more savoury. (He then starts singing the theme song to Hot Cross Buns jokingly) In America there are lots of easter egg hunts, would you say Brits do the same thing? Yes On Good Friday we eat fish not meat and hot cross buns. Easter Sunday we have ll the family round for a roast dinner traditionally lamb but most likely beef. Chocolate Easter eggs. Simnel cake. Some people go to church some don’t. Easter Monday we would normally take the children to the seaside. As we have snow this Easter maybe not. Good Friday: Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday. A Hot Cross Bun is rich, spiced tea cake. Easter Day: Easter day, like Christmas day, is also associated with special food. Boiled eggs are traditionally served at breakfast. Roast lamb, which is the main dish at Jewish Passover, is the traditional meat for the main meal on Easter Day. Simnel cake is baked for tea.
The Simnel cake is a fruit cake with a flat layer of marzipan (sugar almond paste) on top and decorated with 11 marzipan balls representing the 12 apostles minus Judas, who betrayed Christ. Originally the simnel cake was a gift to mothers on Mothering Sunday in Mid Lent. Hot Cross Buns are marked with a cross and were eaten by the Saxons to honor their goddess Eostre – it is thought the bun represented the moon and the cross the moon’s quarters. To Christians, the cross symbolizes the crucifixion and traditionally eaten warm with butter on Good Friday. The Simnel Cake signifies the end of Lent, the period of 40 days which comes before Easter.
For Christians, Lent is a period of fasting and repentance. It culminates in a feast of seasonal and symbolic foods. The Simnel Cake is rich with fruits, spices and marzipan, all forbidden during the period of Lent. 2. 1 The Sunday roast The Sunday roast was once the most common feature of English cooking. The Sunday dinner traditionally includes roast potatoes accompanying a roasted joint of meat such as roast beef, lamb, pork, or a roast chicken. It assorted other vegetables, generally boiled and served with a gravy or roasted with the meat in its juices, which are then used as or added to the ravy. Sauces and jellies are chosen depending on the type of meat. This dish is called “Sunday roast” because Sunday was once the only rest day after a six-day working week and it was a demonstration that the household was prosperous enough to afford the cost of a better than normal meal. Today, it is a dish that is especially served on Sundays but it can be eaten on every day of the week. 3. Drinks in the UK The most popular drink in England is undoubtedly tea. Most of the traditional English drinks however are alcoholic; such as apple cider, which contains only a little bit of alcohol.
The most famous English beers are ale, cask ale (unfiltered and unpasteurized) and stout or porter beer. A visit to a pub and a pint of beer is an absolute must when visiting England. If you’d rather drink something stronger, you can order a glass of grog (cocktail van water en rum), a beer cocktail (such as Black Velvet), or a glass of Cup, a traditional British punch. 3. 1 Moscow Mule This is a popular British beer cocktail made from ginger ale, vodka and sweetened lime juice. Its original name refers to the popular belief that vodka is a typically Russian product.
The drink usually appears in several variations: it can be served on the rocks – over crushed ice, it can also be mixed with Jameson Irish Whiskey as a Three Legged Mule or with Manuka Honey vodka, which gives it a warm and spicy taste. 3. 2 Punch (Cup) Cup is a typically British type of punch. Originally served right before the hunting, today the drink is very popular during garden parties, cricket and tennis matches as well as at picnics. Generally less alcoholic than a traditional punch, a Cup usually consists of wine, cider or sloe gin, with an addition of fruit juices and soft drinks.
One of the best known cups is the Pimm’s Cup, which consists of Pimm’s beer, lemonade, lemon juice, lemon and apple slices and some cucumber wedges. 3. 3 Shandy A type of light beer flavoured with lemonade or another fizzy soft drink. In England this name also refers to the beer or ale mixed with ginger beer. There are several kinds of shandy, of which the best known is Diesel Shandy – a mixture of lager and coke. This kind of drink is also popular in Germany, France and USA. 3. 4 Bitter Bitter is traditional British beer (also known as ale). It is quite strong and leaves a bitter taste in your mouth after drinking.
It is usually served at room temperature. Light ales(or mild brews), contain fewer hops and are less alcoholic; these are popular in central and north-eastern England. Strong ales have a high alcoholic content and a strong flavor. Real ale is a term used for a beer which brewed from natural ingredients (hops, malted barley, yeast and pure water) and stored in a wooden barrel (a cask) until it is served. 3. 1 Tea Britain is a tea-drinking nation. Tea in Britain is traditionally brewed in a warmed china teapot, adding one spoonful of tea per person. Most Britons like their tea strong and dark, but with a lot of milk.
Formerly, the English “dropped everything” for a teatime meal in the mid-afternoon. This is no longer the case in the workplace, and is rarer in the home than it once was. Generally, however, the teatime meal has been replaced by snacking, or simply dispensed with. Interesting Fact| Years ago, the milk was poured into the cup first, so as not to crack the porcelain. | | If someone asks you if you ‘would like a cuppa’, they are asking if you would like a cup of tea. If someone says ‘let me be mother’ or ‘shall I be mother’, they are offering to pour out the tea from the teapot. | 4. 5 things you must eat 4. Fish and Chips Fish and chips is the classic English take-away food and is the traditional national food of England. It became popular in the 1860’s when railways began to bring fresh fish straight from the east coast to the our cities overnight. The fish (cod, haddock = schelvis, huss = hondshaai, plaice = platvis) is deep fried in flour batter and is eaten with chips. Traditionally, the fish and chips are covered with salt and malt vinegar and is eaten straight out of the newspaper which they were wrapped in. Now-a-days small wooden forks are provided and the fish and chips are wrapped in more hygienic paper.
In the north of England, fish and chips is often served with “mushy peas” (mashed processed peas). 4. 1 Chicken Tikka Masala Chicken ? ikka masala has been said to be the most popular dish in the UK. It is a dish of roasted chicken chunks in a spicy sauce. The sauce is usually creamy, spiced and orange-colored. It is said to have originated in British Bangladeshi restaurants and in 2005 was reported to account for at least two-thirds of all restaurant and takeaway food consumed in the UK. Certainly more popular than fish and chips, Indian food is a multi-billion dollar industry in the UK. 4. 3 Yorkshire Pudding
Yorkshire Pudding, also known as batter pudding, is an English dish which was eaten during the Middle Ages. It is made from batter en is usually with mutton of roast meat and gravy. It was eaten as the first course of the meal to take the edge off one’s hunger before the main dish what consisted probably a meager portion of the meat. 4. 4 Cornish Pasty Cornish pasty is particularly associated with Cornwall, the westernmost county in England. With the development of tin and copper mining in Cornwall, the miners who worked long hours in terrible conditions, needed a nutritious and portable meal to last them through the day.
It is a baked pastry and it is filled with beef, sliced or diced (blokes) potatoes, swede (knolraap) and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper. 4. 5 Bangers and Mash Bangers and mash, also known as sausages and mash, is a traditional British dish made of mashed potatoes and sausages. It may consist of a variety of flavored sausages made of pork, beef or a Cumberland sausage. It is sometimes served with onion gravy, fried onions, baked beans and peas, and is considered delicious by many people. It is a dish that can relatively quick and easy be made in large quantities.