The UK is apparently famous for stealing dishes from everywhere else, leading people the world over to draw conclusions about our (lack of) cuisine. This is a heinous rumour that we have to overturn! Here are five authentic UK dishes that maybe you haven’t heard about.
If we’re going to start this, we’re going to start it right. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the Yorkshire pudding has anything to do with dessert! The humble Yorkshire pudding is made from flour, eggs, and milk, and is baked in the oven until it rises like Poseidon from a gravy ocean (okay they don’t but we just really like Yorkshire pudding, okay?) You can have little ones to go on the side of your plate or a plate-sized on to have your dinner in. They soak up all the gravy (we don’t want to think about those folk who don’t like gravy) and provide the best thing to mop your plate clean with. Yum.
Not every county of this fair land can boast about a dinner as good as this one! The Lancashire hotpot is a hearty lamb stew full of things that not everyone is brave enough to eat — and by that, we mean kidney — topped off with a layer of sliced potato and baked in the oven. Some people chuck in a ton of vegetables to go with or replace those kidneys, typically something like onion, celery, and carrot, and many also insists on the liberal use of Worcestershire Sauce as well — pronounced wooster if you were wondering. Dig in and think of those who ate Lancashire hotpot before you; this dish used to be prepared, wrapped in blankets, then taken to the races to be enjoyed whilst watching the horses.
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Bubble and squeak
Where do we start with bubble and squeak? Every family seems to have their own version or take on this classic, and that’s probably the best thing about it; every version is right! Bubble and squeak is made from leftover vegetables from a previous meal, so anyone who doesn’t like food wastage should rejoice! Typically bubble and squeak involves potatoes and cabbage, and then anything else is game. Carrots, onions, peas, or whatever else you have to hand, plus for some of us chopped up bacon or other meat ready to be fried. A good amount of the potatoes used should be mashed, and it comes together as a sort of savoury pancake. The name bubble and squeak comes from the noises this dish makes as it is being prepared, which is enchanting enough a reason to eat it on its own!
Just because this dish does indeed originate from Eton College does not mean there is anything dignified about Eton mess! This quick fix dessert is all about throwing stuff together, so even if you’re not all that creative you can prepare this; trust us. Take your strawberries, crumble your meringue, and mix it up with an unhealthy amount of double cream, and you’re done. Some people add sauces, other fruits, or various types of garnishes. The beauty of this is that you can do exactly what you want and be as messy as you want to — it all goes down the same hole as we like to say, and tastes great no matter what’s in it!
Sticky toffee pudding
Some will say we have saved the best until last, and they wouldn’t be wrong! Sticky toffee pudding is one of those dishes that UK travellers when overseas will think of and miss home. This is a steamed sponge cake that is covered with a, well, sticky toffee sauce, and is definitely not for those who are on a health kick. Demerara and muscovado sugar both are used in heaps along with black treacle, as well as double cream. And best of all this dessert is served with either ice cream or custard — a thick, hot vanilla sauce that also reminds us of home! It’s the perfect thing to curl up with on a miserable wintery afternoon — or a sweet treat to sample in just about every pub up and down the land!
What was that you were thinking about the UK having no dishes of its own? Come try some!
But before you do, you might want to make sure that you are on top of your English game. And what better way to improve your language skills than by taking 1-on-1 classes?
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