It is often said that the British cuisine is the worst in Europe if not the world. This reputation is due to the supposed poor food, lack of imagination, stodgy puddings, and weak tea. Wartime rationing and lack of supplies certainly played a significant role in developing this reputation but like most things, change has taken place over the ensuing years but the reputation once gained, is not so easy to change.
The UK, like everywhere else in the world there is both good and bad food throughout the country. Many of Britain´s current dishes are actually modern, well-prepared, delicious and quite edible. So it is now time to dispel some of the British bad food myths.
According to the myth, the English only eat roast beef or fish and chips, the Scots only eat porridge and haggis, the Irish live on potatoes and the Welsh only eat leeks.
Yes, the British do eat some of this, but they also eat many other foods, including classic foods which come with a long history. There are meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread, fresh fish, and seafood on the menus. The repertoire of British food includes puddings, pies, pastries, sausage rolls, bread, soups, and stews. And remember it was the British who invented the sandwich and the afternoon tea.
All of this culminates together in a diverse cuisine steeped in history with a strong food heritage. It has also encompassed and absorbed the food of many other cultures, with the Indian dish chicken tikka masala considered the third national dish of Britain.
In recent years, the need to know the provenance of our food has become an important factor in choosing and cooking food, and Britain is no exception. The explosion of cooking programs on TV by celebrity chefs along with an abundance of cookery books and cooking applications has also raised the profile of British food and cooking.
There Are Only Four Vegetables
It was a national joke that before the Sunday roast was placed in the oven the vegetables would be put on to boil. Thankfully those days have long gone and most vegetables are now steamed, or have the minimum amount of cooking to keep their freshness and nutritional value.
No Decent Restaurants
This may have been true 30 odd years ago when British restaurants consisted of mainly steakhouses with the ubiquitous steak, chips, and onion rings menu, but thankfully those days are gone and forgotten. Throughout the British Isles and Ireland great places to eat can be found everywhere. Just make sure you look at reviews before you choose where to dine.
Almost everybody has heard of the British pub, but sadly this institution is in decline. Most pub owners find the sales from drinks alone no longer pay the bills, so many have turned into "gastro-pubs" where British food is the emphasis, and the community spirit which held a pub together has moved away making room for more tables. But throughout the UK and Ireland, proper decent pubs can still be found. If you do not know a good local pub commonly referred to as the “boozer”, use one of the good pub guides to find one to suit your needs. The variety of ales, beers and ciders to be found in the UK is staggering. CAMRA – Campaign for Real Ale has played an important role in popularising many of the long forgotten brews.
This one is confusing for both locals and visitors alike, because meal times depend on where in the UK you are located. In the north for example, dinner refers to lunch but not so in the southern part of the country. And to add to the confusion, the vocabulary varies across the British Isles. To help we summarise the meal time terminology. What follows is the Rarity4u British meal time translator.
Breakfast is also called brekkie and is the same countrywide.
This refers to a morning tea or coffee break.
In some areas lunch is called dinner. Sunday lunch is also often called Sunday dinner. Lunch in schools is also referred to as school dinner.
Traditionally Afternoon Tea is eaten around 3:00 or 4:00 p.m.
This is eaten early evening and the main meal of the day (dinner), and is considered a mainly northern working-class term.
This is eaten from early to late evening.
This is an evening meal and a snack before bedtime. An invitation to supper would mean the arrangement is more casual than an invitation to dinner, which is usually more formal.