In March 2017, Alfred and I took a trip to the United Kingdom. When we planned out our itinerary, we decided driving across the country would be the best way to see the most. We drove through Scotland, to Wales, and through England seeing everything from the abode of mythical monsters to beautiful primeval forests, breathtaking cliffs, quaint villages, to abandoned and ruined castles. It was an incredible journey and I’ll definitely have some articles on here soon about it. Memorable is an understatement. There was something magical about driving across the UK and one of the my favorite aspects of the trip were the delicious UK foods.
UK food is often stereotyped as bland and boring. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people complain about it. So going into the UK for the first time, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I didn’t have high hopes, to say the least, but I went in with an open mind. Let me tell you, UK food is not bland. Sure, it’s not as exciting as say Asian or Latin American food but it is still really quite delicious. I say don’t compare UK foods to other cuisines and enjoy them in the context of your own experience. In fact, you should do this for every food you try…not just UK foods.
For me, part of the food experience is the situation in which I find myself. Eating Scottish foods in a small pub in the middle of the Scottish Highlands while a live band plays traditional Scottish music definitely adds a bit to the dining experience. It’s all about understanding the culture with all our senses. Taste just happens to be one of the most pleasant senses we have and who doesn’t like to eat a good snack or meal?
There are quite a few different UK Foods to try. As a matter of fact, there are so many, I can’t possibly list them all here. Instead, I’ve chosen to list my favorite UK foods. I’ve tried all these foods and recommend you give them a try too in order to get that authentic UK culinary experience.
This is the one food most people tend to shy away from because, admittedly, it’s a bit strange. It’s basically a savory pudding made of sheep’s pluck (internal organs including liver, lungs, and heart), onions, oatmeal, suet, spices, and stock. Not only does contain this odd combination of ingredients, it’s then stuffed into a sheep’s stomach and cooked. However, if you can get past all of this, you’ll find that it’s actually quite delicious!
Fish and Chips
The old classic British meal is definitely a go-to for me. Sometimes you just need a nice GIANT filet of cod battered and fried with a side of chips (french fries). You top it with a bit of lemon juice, malt vinegar and maybe even some tartar sauce. This is a great meal to take on the go and many places don’t even have tables as it’s expected you will carry away. You can’t go wrong with some fish and chips!
Beef and Ale Pie
I had my first beef and ale pie at a pub dating back to the 1400’s in the town of Salisbury near Stonehenge. The pie is pretty simple containing steak, root vegetables such as potatoes and rutabaga, and a beef and mushroom gravy. All of this is topped with a pastry. In any case, it was absolutely delicious!
I know this one seems a bit out-of-place but bear with me. Chicken Tikka Masala is a British-Indian dish and it’s such a delicious meal. The dish, containing chunks of roasted marinated chicken in spicy curry sauce, is considered one of England’s national dishes. It is intense in flavor and takes you on a roller coaster ride of a culinary experience. What’s really cool about this dish is that it is a perfect example of how the UK absorbs and adapts to external influences.
Bangers and Mash
You can find this all across the British Isles and it consists of sausages and mashed potatoes usually with some gravy. It’s a really simple meal and is just a great comfort food. The best sausage to have with this is Cumberland sausage. You can usually find this on the menu at most pubs so give it a try!
The roast dinner is a traditional British meal usually served on Sundays. It’s very hearty and will definitely be filling. Roasted meat, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, vegetables, and gravy are all items you’ll have at a roast dinner. You’ve got to have at least one roast dinner while you are in the UK. My favorite was at a restaurant called Roast. Check it out!
BONUS: Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky toffee pudding is like a tiny little slice of bliss on a plate. It consists of sponge cake made with chopped dates, topped with caramel sauce, and served with vanilla custard or ice cream. I never order dessert. But where there was an opportunity to order this dessert, I definitely took advantage. It’s one of my favorite desserts of all time. You must try it!
Hungry for adventure?
Tell me your favorite foods from travels in the comments below!
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