Britain has a wealth of superb food ingredients which are skillfully blended together into dishes known the world over. The seasonal and locally sourced industry now means that those wanting fantastic tasting food can savour the flavour of meals that are synonymous with a trip to the nation, which arguably boasts some of the best food in the world.
Meals on the Tourist Trail
It’s tourist season and as those taking holidays around the UK plan their trips to historical attractions and more, they will want to try British food as much as seeing famous landmarks.
For those who are visiting England for the first time, they may wonder what will be the best on British menus. Dishes with great ingredients that have put this country on the map include:
- Fish and Chips
- Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding
- Steak and Kidney Pudding
- Toad in the Hole
- And baked goods; Chelsea Buns, Eccles Cakes, Bakewell Tarts and Scones
The History of British Heritage Food
Great Britain offers a wealth of variety in the national and regional dishes. Invasions stretching back to Roman, Viking and Norman times brought food traditions, which over time were developed into uniquely British dishes. A great trading nation for many centuries, exotic sounding ingredients such as saffron were once exported from parts of Cornwall, although now it is usually an imported delicacy.
Tudor times saw an influx of new fruit and vegetables as explorers found new parts of the world and staples such as potatoes were brought to Great Britain. During the era of Puritan England, the delicious Eccles Cake was introduced as an alternative to the rich biscuits and treats that were banned as they were deemed too extravagant.
When Dunn’s Bakery first opened its doors in 1827, pie shops were extremely popular. The quintessentially English pork pie was famous as pub grub, as were sausage rolls and pasties. Pasties were particularly enjoyed by miners in Cornwall, where one half had a savoury filling and the other half had a sweet filling. Also, at this time, the now famous full English breakfast became fashionable. The gentry used the breakfast hours as an opportunity to display their status and wealth by eating meats, vegetables and other ingredients that were grown on their land. Eating sausage, bacon, black pudding and eggs was viewed as a marker of social status, monetary wealth and standing.
Baked Goods: A Cornerstone of Heritage Food in England
If you’re thinking “things to do in London” then take a trip to Dunn’s Bakery. This north London bakery in Crouch End offers the finest heritage English baked goods that can be enjoyed whilst touring around the capital.
Heritage is very much a part of the ethos of this family run bakery. It doesn’t matter which day of the week you visit, you can enjoy freshly baked scones, (that have a history dating back 600 years), succulent Chelsea Buns (which have been eaten as a treat with tea since the 1700s when it was invented at the Bun House in Chelsea) or perhaps a Cherry Bakewell Tart.
These cakes and tarts were invented and then became popular over the centuries as noblemen and women requested rich and sweet foods. The decadence of these pastries were a sign of wealth as they used ingredients, which were out of the reach of the working classes. Now they are seen as a popular treat either as a luxury addition to a quick break from work or as a part of a relaxing lunch. Fresh and luscious, they have a place in the hearts of food lovers across Britain and will always be a part of the food heritage of the nation.