The United Kingdom consists of England, Wales, and Scotland and each have made their contributions to the rich variety of British cuisine. There have been influences from the Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Danes and Normans too. The growth of the British Empire also brought influences from the colonies into British cuisine. Modern British cooking uses local ingredients of high quality with traditional recipes and modern adaptations to produce basically healthy robust food. Some of the popular British cooks who have had a lot of influence on British cooking include Robert Irvine, Delia Smith, and Jamie Oliver.
Traditional British Meals
Food in the United Kingdom is based on pork, beef, chicken, lamb, and fish. Potato is a staple with most of these meats and seasonal vegetables. The usual vegetable accompaniment is onions, peas, sweet corn, or carrots. The British fry-up breakfast is a national favorite. It consists of eggs which could be scrambled, sunny side up, poached, or omelets. There is fried bacon or rashers, sausages or bangers, fried tomatoes, baked beans, and mushrooms with plenty of toasted bread and a large cup of coffee. A cup of tea or coffee with cake or biscuits is normally had at 11. Sandwiches, discovered by the Earl of Sandwich who ate his meat tucked between two slices of bread, are hugely popular for lunch in the UK. Dinner known as supper or tea is usually a roast meat with potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Classic British Favorites
Some of the other traditional UK favorites are fish and chips where local fish like haddock, cod or plaice is batter fried and served with chips and green peas and tartar sauce. Fish and chips outlets can be seen in most localities in the UK. Bacon for breakfasts as well as bacon butties or bacon sandwiches for lunch is pretty popular. Shepherd’s pie with minced lamb or cottage pie with minced beef is another staple in UK homes. The meat is cooked with vegetables and topped with a generous layer of mashed potato. Steak and kidney pie is also a well appreciated traditional British food. Their famous desserts or puddings are pancakes, trifles, Bakewell tarts, Victoria sponges, bread and butter pudding, and rice puddings.
Comfort Food of the British
The Sunday roast with beef, pork, lamb or chicken with lashings of gravy, roast potatoes, vegetables of the season and Yorkshire puddings are considered the comfort food of the British. Some of the other traditional British foods include the well-loved sandwich, baked beans on toast, fish and chips, pies, and desserts like the trifle and Cornish pastry. Strawberries and cream are a hot tea time favorite during the summer months and especially during the Wimbledon Tennis tournament in early July.
British food is multicultural and has influences from all over the world and yet the traditional British food remains the hot favorite among its peoples.