British food can be known for not having a very good reputation in the culinary world. This is probably because a lot of our cultural impressions of what certain countries are like were formed in the postwar period. This was a time when Britain was still rationing food, and when international trade systems had not yet enabled certain types of food to reach British shores in a timely manner.
However, a glorious thing happened in the 1950's and onward. Many new types of people came to Britain, and at the same time, the economy grew. Brits then became more demanding, and overseas travel became available to more people. Coupled with an infusion of new cuisines from India, China, the Caribbean and beyond, the most-ordered dish in the country became chicken tikka masala by the mid 90's. Then came the gastropub movement, and British food reclaimed its native recipes and updated them to be hearty, healthy and delicious. These days, London is a global gastronomic center of excellence, and many obscure village pubs serve life-altering Yorkshire puddings.
Do you know much about these culinary masterpieces? Let's find out!
The Yorkshire pudding is served with a roast beef lunch and it tastes like magic! Pop some proper gravy on it for a real English treat.
You call them chips in America but the British call them crisps! They also come in smaller packs in Britain, so you can buy two without feeling so bad.
Otherwise known as "sausage toad," toad in the hole is like a casserole that is made with sausages and Yorkshire pudding. It's also best served with gravy and vegetables.
Shepherd's pie is a savory pie that is topped with mashed potatoes. The filling typically consists of seasoned meat, gravy and vegetables.
A trifle is made by layering fruit, custard and sponge fingers together. These also make for an elegant dessert at parties and special events.
Sponge fingers are very good dipped in tea. Also known as "lady fingers," these are great for desserts and tiramisu.
Bread and butter pudding is like a dessert casserole that is made with sliced bread, raisins and egg custard. The mixture is also seasoned with nutmeg and vanilla.
Bubble and squeak is named for the sound the ingredients make when you cook them. The dish is also made with potatoes, cabbage and leftover vegetables.
Lancashire Hotpot comes from the Northwestern part of England, in a town called Lancashire. The dish is made with lamb, potatoes and onions.
Popular in Cornwall, United Kingdom, the Cornish pasties are like meat pies with a variety of fillings. They are typically baked to a golden brown crust and served with potatoes.
This hearty dessert consists of moist sponge cake and toffee sauce. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top also complements this warm dish well.
Jellied eels are eaten cold and they are an acquired taste. These also originated in London during the 18th century.
Also called "shirt-sleeve pudding," this rolled dessert has 19th-century origins. These also come in a chocolate variety, as well as jam or cream flavors.
Scones come in a variety of sweet and savory flavors, and are best paired with a cup of afternoon tea. These may also be made with either oatmeal or wheat.
Welsh rarebit sounds like it is rabbit, but it's actually a fancy grilled cheese! It involves toasted bread that is topped with hot cheese sauce.
Bakewell is a town in Derbyshire which is known for its native tart. This dessert is shaped like a pie and consists of frangipane, almonds and jam.
The origins of this dessert trace back to Eton College. This dessert also consists of strawberries, crumbled-up meringue and whipped double cream.
This popular British dish is made of onions, sheep's tripe, oatmeal, suet and spices. It's also cooked in the lining of an animals stomach!
This dish was named for the Iron Duke himself - the man who defeated Napoleon. He loved this dish and as a result, it took on his name!
A kipper is a smoked herring that is often served for breakfast in the regions of the British Isles. This dish is also typically salted and pickled for maximum flavor.
Even though this is an Indian dish, but it was adapted by Indian immigrants for the British palate. This dish is typically comprised of marinated chicken chunks in a spicy, savory curry sauce.
Scotch eggs contain layers of sausage meat, breadcrumbs and hard-boiled eggs. They are deep-fried to perfection for crispiness in every bite!
Digestive biscuits are typically served with a cup of tea. The most popular brand is McVitie's.
Marmite is made from the yeast extract of brewed beer. It's typically spread on toast for breakfast or for a quick snack.
Made from a mix of dried fruit and suet, this British pudding is a popular dessert that pairs well with custard. The dried fruit also creates many different spots on this dessert, hence the name, "spotted dick."
The Arctic Roll can be a tricky dessert to make. It's made from ice cream that is wrapped in sponge cake, with a layer of raspberry sauce in between.
This pie is an explosion of flavor, and is made from bananas, cream and toffee. It may also be prepared with chocolate or coffee.
A crumble is usually made with apple, rhubarb or some other fruit that holds its shape when it is cooked. There's also a crumbly layer on top that adds a soft crunch with every bite.
The oldest known recipe comes from a 19th-century writer named Mary Jewry. She gifted the knowledge of the treacle tart, which has become a popular British dessert.
Summer pudding is best made during summer months, when berries are at its prime. This dish is made from soaked white bread and a variety of berries.
Mince pies actually have butter and fruit in them. This is called "mincemeat," and is a popular dessert during Christmas time.
Eccles cake is known by several names, such as Banbury cake and Chorley cake. The origins of this dessert also trace back to Eccles, United Kingdom.
It's also called a sausage roll! Pig in a blanket is a great finger food often served at parties.
This dish is made with potatoes, cabbage and onion. It's actually very similar to bubble and squeak, which we saw earlier.
Fish and chips are the essential British dish. It's made with fried fish and French fries for a hearty meal.
This is a British version of Kichari, a traditional Indian dish. Kedgeree is typically made with eggs, fish, rice and parsley.
Mushy peas often come as a side item with fish and chips. Mint is often added to mushy peas as well for additional flavor.
Bangers and mash is essentially sausages with mashed potatoes and gravy. It also has both Irish and British origins.
Also known as blood pudding, black pudding is made from pork blood and a type of grain. This can vary from cereal to oatmeal.
Stargazy pie often has fish heads sticking out from the sides! It's typically made with sardines, and has Cornish origins.