English Cuisine: Feed's All You Need Guide

Blog Item 1

English cuisine is a cuisine filled with the feeling of home-cooked meals. Whether at a pub, a fancy restaurant, or even within the comfort of your home, there is much to be enjoyed, like fish and chips, trifle, high tea, or bangers and mash. For today’s Pop All You Need Guide, we’re taking you on a journey to Europe and, more specifically, the country of England as we explore the wonders of English food.

History of English Cuisine

While much of English food is thought to be quite simple and, at times, less flavorful than other cuisines, its rich history provides a look into an old world and the influences of a new one. But where did this cuisine originate? According to the Spruce Eats, English food has been heavily influenced by Vikings, Romans, and the French, with a special appreciation for the Franco-Normas who brought spices to the nation. It is even said that during the Medieval Ages, spices brought by this group, such as nutmeg, ginger, pepper, and sugar, were abundant and still found in many traditional recipes enjoyed today.

The British invasion of East Asia further influenced English cuisine, bringing tea, a staple of English cuisine, back for the citizens of England to enjoy. Its imperial rule over India and Pakistan further influenced the British way of cooking, bringing spices, condiments, and curries back to the country became one of the new staples of English cuisine. Fun fact: did you know Chicken Tikka Masala is England’s national dish? How crazy is that! Unfortunately, though, dishes enjoyed by English people changed during the onslaught of World War II, as much of the food was rationed due to the need for it in the war efforts. Butter, sugar, eggs, and meat became less abundantly available, forcing many to improvise to be still able to eat proper meals. While this continued until the 1950s, the heavy impact on the foods people ate left a lasting impact on modern-day recipes.

Today, English cuisine is in quite a different place than it was following World War II, and much of the world has adopted various dishes from the cooking style of England. For example, fish and chips, bread pudding, and even roast beef are all products of the English people and are enjoyed by cultures and cuisines worldwide. 

Fun Facts about English Cuisine

  1. According to Day Out in England, English people consume more tea per person than any other country in the world! It is said that people in England consume 22x the amount of tea than Americans or French; that truly is a lot!
  2. Chicken tikka masala has become the national dish of England, and while not much of a thing in countries like India and Pakistan, chicken tikka masala is enjoyed by so many all around the country!
  3. The world’s beloved easy-to-eat meal, the sandwich, was named after an English aristocrat named the Earl of Sandwich! He had such a love for gambling that he refused to stop to eat, so he requested for the meat that was prepared for him to be put between two slices of bread, hence the sandwich!

Favorite Dishes of the English

Many of the foods within English cooking are quite simple but have been adapted over time to meet the needs and tastes of the people within the country. With the addition of spices, different flavors, and different groups of people immigrating to the country, the food continued to adapt to these new tastes. Additionally, foods like fish and chips, the love for tea, and even different types of British puddings have been adopted in countries all around the world! Some of the many foods that are enjoyed in English cuisine include:

Bangers and Mash - Bangers and Mash, a true English staple, is a classic reminiscent of pub-style food many enjoy making at home. This dish features sausages on a bed of mashed potatoes covered with onion gravy and served all around Great Britain (it was ranked as Britain’s most popular comfort food!). This dish originated during the World War II era when rations were quite low, and sausages were forced to be made with low-quality ingredients mixed with water, resulting in the links bursting with a loud “bang” when they were fried. Interestingly, the term bangers has stuck, and the dish has become widely popular in pubs and homes around England.

Fish and Chips - Another true English staple, fish and chips are a timeless classic enjoyed by countries and cultures all around the globe. You’d be surprised to learn that fish and chips weren’t originally from England but were born in 15th-century Portugal. In the 8th to 12th centuries, individuals of different religious backgrounds existed in peace for centuries. But, with the end of the Islamic rule of Portugal and Spain, followers of Judaism were forced to immigrate to England, taking with them many of the traditions they enjoyed back home (including, you guessed it, the fried fish they made). The batter the fish were fried in served a purpose; a thin coat of flour or matzo meal helped preserve the fish so it could be eaten cold without losing too much of its flavor the next day. People in England grew to love this new food, with Jewish immigrants selling fried fish in the streets, and soon recipes started to pop up as the food grew in popularity. It’s not noted exactly why chips were added as a side to this fish, but fish and chip shops began to crop up in the 1860s and beyond.

Beef Wellington - Beef Wellington, a traditional English dish, is a dish that has stood the test of time and is still enjoyed throughout England today. The basis of Beef Wellington is a beef tenderloin that is wrapped in layers of pâté, duxelles, parma ham, and puff pastry and then baked to become a delicious meat-pastry concoction. Beef Wellington is named after “The Duke of Wellington”, a man who helped lead the Seventh Coalition during the 1815 Battle of Waterloo. A specific dish made by his chefs was something this picky eater couldn’t get enough of Beef Wellington! Many, many years later, this dish has been made popular once again by famous chefs Julia Child and Gordon Ramsey and has grown in popularity in other countries like the United States and other parts of Europe.

Share this post
Facebok Share
Los Angeles’ Fresh Fruit Bounty: A Seasonal Guide

Los Angeles’ Fresh Fruit Bounty: A Seasonal Guide

Dive into our seasonal guide to Los Angeles' fresh fruit. Learn when to find the juiciest citrus, the sweetest berries, and the most succulent stone fruit in the City of Angels.

Read More
Fish: A Superfood You Should Add to Your Diet

Fish: A Superfood You Should Add to Your Diet

Seafood lovers, this one is for you! If there is one food that many people don’t realize is one of the best to eat (and is even considered a superfood!), it would have to be fish.

Read More
Spring Ingredients and Dishes to Look Forward to This Season

Spring Ingredients and Dishes to Look Forward to This Season

With the new season upon us, there is much to be excited about! Warmer weather, sunnier days, and delicious new ingredients are some of the few wonderful things that spring brings each year.

Read More