• British cuisine

British cuisine

Great British food means unfussy dishes made with quality local ingredients, matched with simple sauces to accentuate flavour, rather than disguise it.

Historically, British cuisine has had something of a shocking reputation worldwide - for soggy vegetables, slap-dash sauces and over-cooked murky meat. Yet some of our restaurants are now recognised as among the best in the world and their influence seems to be spreading.

An exciting feature of British cuisine is its ability to absorb the cultural influence of those that settle in Britain. Now-national dishes such as chicken tikka masala, lasagne and spag bol come from this openness to accept and adapt, as does the innovative restaurant culture particularly prevalent in our cities.

Sunday lunch
The most important meal of the week in a traditional British household is Sunday lunch. Served around 1pm-3pm, this family meal consists of a large joint of meat (typically Roast beef or a leg of lamb) roasted along with King Edward or Maris Piper potatoes and served with boiled vegetables and the appropriate sauce - strictly apple with pork, horseradish with beef, and mint with lamb.

There has been a recent revival in old and rare breeds such as Dexter beef, Southdown lamb and Gloucester Old Spot pork - these are perfect for a succulent and tender roast. The ability to order online has meant these meats are becoming more easily available for the average British consumer.

Traditionally leftovers from the roast are made into shallow-fried patties the next day and served with cold meat from the roast - these are called 'bubble and squeak' after the sounds the ingredients make while cooking.

Steamed puddings are a traditional choice for dessert - spotted dick (a suet pudding with currants or raisins), sticky toffee pudding and Christmas plum pudding are among the favourites. Crumbles make a more popular choice these days. Make yours with local seasonal produce for the best results - try rhubarb in spring and early summer (forced rhubarb, available from March, has a deliciously delicate flavour); gooseberries in high summer and a combination of crisp coxes and tart Bramley apples during the autumn months.
 

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Thanks for the interesting article! It's good to finally find out what people are eating in many of my fave British novels, even the Victorian ones. Now if only I knew what a "Chop, prime chump" was...

Mrs. Jane Smith Mrs. Jane Smith Posted 14 Oct 2011 2:48 AM