A Taste Of British Food
Despite many snickering comments by food critics, the simple fares of British cuisine are the fuels of this influential colonial empire. Undeniably, there’s no other country in the world that prepares roast beef with such perfection, nor is its most unique accompaniment of the puffed and piping hot “Yorkshire pudding”. Not to mention the country’s treacle tart and trifle that provides for a truly delightful dessert.
The cuisine of Britain is a mix of the “sensible” with the “healthful”. While some critics claim that British cuisine is unimaginative, it might be because the food in itself requires less imagination to create a palatable meal. The touch of culinary imagination may be seen in the usual names of its daily meals, which can sometimes require translators to know what is on the plate –steak and kidney pie, mushy peas, bangers, and mash, to name a few.
The complete English breakfast includes eggs, meat, toast or pancakes, and a side dish like hash and “bangers and mash” –this is actually mashed potatoes and sausage. Breakfasts are hearty meals, and may sometimes include the last night’s dinner –diced and fried with butter and seasonings sometimes referred to as “country hash”
Traditional teatime is during mid-afternoon and has actually been observed by many British families for centuries. The most common food served at tea is “finger-foods” like watercress sandwiches, crumpets with clotted cream and jam, and scones that have dried fruits or raisins.
A long family tradition, Sunday dinner is that one meal of the week, where family members gather. Also called “Sunday Roast”, the occasion will most often be joined by roast lamb, beef, chicken, or pork, which is served with vegetables or potatoes, and often complemented with a Yorkshire pudding.
Custards and puddings enjoy a prominent place in British cuisine. Steamed, boiled, or baked, puddings are typically made with breading and suet, along with a stud of nuts and fruits. Among the most delightful and popular desserts of Britain is the yummy trifle, which has many variations.
The Trifle has a sponge cake base and is layered with jam, custard, Jell-O, and fruits, and finally topped with “whipped cream”. The outcome is the mouth-watering mélange that offers all that’s good about Britain’s cooking – practical and simple, yet fills one’s belly and satisfies the palates.
The flavors and smells of traditional British cuisine are definitely worth experiencing. If one of these days you happen to walk the streets of Britain, take the time to explore the sights, its rolling fields, and back pathways. But most of all, don’t fail to stop at a local bakery for pastry, or dine in one of its “fish and chips” food shops and savor the true taste of British food and meals.