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Traditional English Food And The History History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

English cuisine is shaped by the country’s temperate climate, its island geography and its history. The latter includes interactions with other European countries, and the importing of ingredients and ideas from places such as North America, China and India during the time of the British Empire and as a result of post-war immigration.

As a result, traditional foods have ancient origins, such as bread and cheese, roasted and stewed meats, meat and game pies, and freshwater and saltwater fish. English cuisine is one of the simplest cuisines in all the European cuisines it is shaped by the countries climate and geography. English breakfast is popular worldwide because is also called as morning meal its very heavy breakfast consisting of eggs, grilled or poached fish, tomato, mushrooms, hash brown and bacon .

In English cuisine popular preparations are steaks, grilled fish, and sausages. Sunday roast is popular all over England.

Traditional English food

The Sunday roast is a very common traditional meal of English cusine. The Sunday dinner traditionally includes roast potatoes accompanying a roasted joint of meat such as roast beef, lamb, and assorted vegetables; themselves generally roasted or boiled and served with gravy. Yorkshire pudding and gravy is now often served as an accompaniment to the main course, although it was originally served first as filler.

Fish and chips: It is possibly the most popular and identifiable English dish, and is traditionally served with a side order of mushy peas with salt and vinegar as condiments.

The full English breakfast (also known as “cooked breakfast” or “fried breakfast”). It normally consists of a combination of bacon, grilled tomatoes, fried bread, black pudding, baked beans, fried mushrooms, sausages, and eggs (fried, scrambled or boiled). Hash browns are sometimes added, traditionally

Pies, have long been a very traditional food of English cooking, Pies were originally a way to preserve food. It is simply a pastry with some filling, it could be meat, fish, vegetables or even sweet filling. Meat pies are generally enclosed with fillings such as chicken and mushroom or steak and kidney (originally steak and oyster). Open pies or flans are generally served for dessert with fillings of seasonal fruit. The Cornish pasty is a much-loved regional dish, constructed from pastry is folded into a semi-circular purse. The origins of the pasty are largely unknown. It is generally accepted that the pasty originated from Cornwall. The pasty was originally made as lunch (‘croust’ or ‘crib’ in the Cornish language) for Cornish tin miners who were unable to return to the surface to eat, covered in dirt from head to foot, they could hold the pasty by the folded crust and eat the rest without touching it, and then throwing away the dirty pastry crust. Another kind of pie is topped with mashed potato-for instance, shepherd’s pie, with lamb, cottage pie, with beef, or fisherman’s pie.

Sandwiches England can claim to have given the world the word “sandwich”, although Earl was not the first to add a filling to bread. This creation came into existence through long nights at the gaming table. The origin of this story seems to be a passage in Grosley’s Tour to London:

“A minister of state passed four and twenty hours at a public gaming-table, so absorpt in play that, during the whole time, he had no subsistence but a bit of beef, between two slices of toasted bread, which he eat without ever quitting the game. This new dish grew highly in vogue, during my residence in London: it was called by the name of the minister who invented it.”

(Ref : http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/SandwichHistory.htm accessed on 16th march 2009)

English sausages are distinctive in that they are usually made from fresh meats and rarely smoked, dried, or strongly flavoured. Pork and beef are by far the most common bases. Most of the well known English sausages are Cumberland and Lincolnshire but often varieties such as Pork and Apple; Pork and Herb; Beef and Stilton; Pork and Mozzarella, have also evolved with the growing gastronomic trend. These sausages are normally served with onion gravy and mash.

Sweets consist of many original home-made desserts such as rhubarb crumbles, Christmas puddings which is made with dried fruits soaked in rum, bread and butter pudding. The traditional accompaniment is custard, sometimes known as crème anglaise (English cream made with eggs and milk). English cusine is simple and traditional, with recipes passed on from generation to generation.

Afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. The afternoon tea was way of killing the long break between lunch and dinner The Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her.

This pause for tea became a fashionable social event. During the 1880’s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.

Traditional afternoon tea consists of a selection of sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and preserves. Cakes and pastries are also served. Tea grown in India or Ceylon is poured from silver tea pots into delicate bone china cups.

(Ref : http://www.britainexpress.com/History/tea-in-britain.htm)

Cuisine of Scotland, Wales and Ireland are the major regional cuisine of Great Britain.

Scottish cuisine

Scottish cuisine has been greatly influenced by the cooking traditions and practices followed in the Great Britain. Traditional Scottish cuisine has distinctive attributes and recipes of its own, as a result of foreign and local influences both ancient and modern. The mouth watering dishes of the Scottish cuisine have been relished by people in different countries across the globe.

Scotland has a temperate climate and abundance of game species, and relied on the oceans and rivers to provide them with plentiful fish. Oats quickly become the staple source of food once agriculture had arrived. Starchy carbohydrates such as pasta, cereals, bread are major stapel part of the cuisine. They are often accompanied by fruits and vegetables. Apart from meat and fish, cheese, yoghurts and milk find place in the traditional food of Scotland. The special flavour and tempting taste of the dishes is acquired by mixing spices, vegetables and meat. You will find fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, pork meat, lamb and beacon as the basic ingredients in many Scottish dishes.

Popular Dishes

Haggis is one of the most popular dishes in Scotland. Prepared from the lungs, liver and heart of sheep or calf, the dish is generally minced with oatmeal, seasoned with pepper and onion and boiled like a large sausage. The dish was also popular in British, until 18th century. Another popular Scottish dish is oatcakes, made of barley and oat-flour biscuit. The cakes are baked on a griddle and served with cheese. A recipe well-known in the East coast of Scotland is Arbroath Smokie, a wood-smoked Haddock fish. Scotch broth is very famous soup from Scotland and known world wide mainly made from meat and vegetables is considered very healthy, many common dishes are rich in fat.

Scotland is very well known for its excellent quality, rich and tasty red meat – beef – is generally prepared from the “Aberdeen-Angus” breed of cattle. Scottish people prepare a number of desserts and sweets also, to satisfy their sweet tooth. One such popular recipe is the Black Bun – a rich fruit cake prepared with raisins, brown sugar currants, and finely-chopped peel and chopped almonds. A host of traditional Scottish puddings, like Cranachan, Cream Crowdie, Girdle Scones and Clootie Dumpling, further add sweetness to the cuisine. Jams, jellies and all kinds of preserves are inevitable for the Scots. Summer fruits such as raspberries, strawberries and blackberries are also quite popular in Scotland.

(Ref: http://www.woodsideinn.co.uk/history.html, http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/scottish-cuisine-4699.html)

Cuisine of Wales

Welsh cuisine, i.e. the cuisine of Wales, is highly influenced by the culinary practices adopted in England. The people of Wales largely make use of lamb and pork in their traditional recipes, apart from bacon. Most of the food in Wales is produced with local ingredients. Lamb is particularly popular here. Wales is well known for its sheep farming and lamb has always been traditionally associated with Welsh cooking. Beef and dairy cattle are raised here too, especially in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

Popular Dishes

The traditional food of Wales is made from the local ingredients available in the country, some traditional dishes include:

Welshcakes: (small pastries cooked on a bakestone), crempogs (pancakes), Bara brith (sweet bread with currants), cawl (stew with lamb and sometimes leeks),

Laver bread (seaweed served delicacy) and Welsh rarebit (toast with cheese and butter).

Apart from this, the other popular dishes in Welsh cuisine include Leek Soup, steamed Cockles, Faggots (meatballs made from lamb or pig’s liver), and Roast Monkfish. Another popular dish, prepared by the natives of the country, is Roast Lamb, cooked with mint sauce. All of them are rich in taste as well as aroma.

A traditional Welsh breakfast consists of eggs and cockles, fried with bacon and sausage and served with laver bread.

Wales is well known for manufacturing a wide variety of cheese as well, including Caerphilly cheese, Y Fenni cheese, Hen-Sir cheese, Llanboidy cheese, Tintern and Pantysgawn. It is also popular for Welsh beer and whiskey. Glengettie is the famous Welsh tea.

(Ref: http://wales.costasur.com/en/cuisine.html)

Irish cuisine

Irish cuisine isn’t very fancy. The only way to describe Irish food is as traditional, healthy, farm style home cooking, made up of hearty soups and stews, home made breads and of course, potatoes that come roast, fried, boiled, mashed – every way imaginable. The potato was introduced into Ireland in the second half of the 16th century; it eventually came to be the main food crop of the poor. Traditional Irish breads include soda bread, wheaten bread, soda farls, and blaa, a doughy white bread roll particular to Waterford.

Popular Dishes

Popular Irish dishes include Irish stew (in Irish Stobhach Gaelach) is a traditional Irish dish made from lamb, beef or mutton, as well as potatoes, onions, and parsley, Boxty (bacstaí in Gaeilge) is a traditional Irish potato pancake, Bangers and mash, also known as sausages and mash, is an English/Irish dish made of mashed potatoes and sausages, Barmbrack (Irish: Báirín Breac) is a yeasted bread with added sultanas and raisins, Champ (brúitín in Irish) is a northern Irish dish, made by combining mashed potatoes and chopped spring onions with butter and milk, and optionally, salt and pepper, Coddle It consists of layers of roughly sliced pork sausages and rashers (thinly sliced, somewhat fatty back bacon) with sliced potatoes, and onions, traditionally small amount of Guinness is added to the pot, Colcannon is a made from mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage, butter, salt, and pepper, Drisheen is a traditional Irish black pudding, Irish Pheasant, Dublin Bay Prawns, Crannach (seaweed) along with every kind of seafood under the sun. The west of Ireland produces excellent seafood, most of it caught by traditional methods dating back centuries.

Ireland is famous for the Irish breakfast, a fried (or grilled) meal generally includes bacon, egg, sausage, black and white pudding, fried tomato and which may also include fried potato farls or fried potato slices.

Ireland’s best known whiskies include Jameson, Paddy and Bushmills. Guinness, Ireland’s most famous stout, is often used as an ingredient in Irish recipies. It is also very well known for its Irish coffee, Irish cream, Irish mist. It’s also particularly popular with Oysters. The Clarinbridge Oyster Festival held in County Clare every year is an incredibly popular event.

Examples of English cuisine:

Savoury dishes

Bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potato)

Beef cobbler

Black pudding

Bubble and squeak

Cauliflower cheese


Cornish pasty

Cottage pie

Cumberland sausage



Fish and chips

Full English breakfast


Hash browns

Jellied eels

Lancashire hotpot

Lincolnshire sausage

Pie and mash

Ploughman’s lunch

Pork pie

Shepherd’s pie


Sunday roast


Yorkshire pudding

Sweet dishes

Apple pie

Christmas pudding

Clotted cream

Mince pie

Queen of Puddings

Spotted dick

Sticky toffee pudding


Treacle tart

(Ref: http://www.answers.com/topic/english-cuisine, 20th February 2009)


The common food products consumed by English peoples is


Beef the best beef in England comes from north west and south east. Also lamb is used in cooking such as Lancashire hotpot. Pork, Chicken and game are also consumed in England. Also sausages and ham play vital role in English Cuisine. Potatoes are part of many cooked dishes such as soups, pies, purees, fried cakes and stews.


As England is surrounded by Artic and north Atlantic ocean and as well as it has got rivers there is variety of freshwater and saltwater fish is available such as salmon, plaice, Dover sole, cod, haddock, herring, mackerel.


English fruits are apple, apricot, avocado, banana, melons such as honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe, all types of berries which can be grown easily in cold climate.

English Cheeses

Red Leicester, Stilton, Double Gloucester, Cornish yarg, camembert, different varieties of cheddar.


Different varieties of herbs are used in English Cuisine such as thyme, rosemary, basil, sage, dill, mint, tarragon.


Equipments used in English Cuisine are

Yorkshire pudding tins/moulds for puddings.

Wood fired ovens for roasting of meat, roasting trays for roasting of meat.

Pie dishes for shepherd’s pie. And other dishes required for the functional kitchen.

Afternoon tea stands it a traditional stand for tea sandwiches, which looks like plates staged on a stand.

(Ref: England’s heritage food and cooking (Lorenz books 2007).

(Ref: Google images)


Methods used are:


Is used for all types of roast meats such as roast beef, roast chicken


Is used for dishes called as braised pig cheeks or braised beef shoulders.


Is used for poaching fish such as salmon, haddock.


Is used for fish and chips. And other items which are deep fried such as hash browns.


Is also one of the most common methods used all over England for grilled fish and meat. For example grilled mackerel, or sole with lemon butter.


This method is used for the dishes such as Lancashire hotpot, Shepherd’s pie.

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