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Think UK food sucks spotted dick? This article might change your mind.

Megsy Food 3 Comments

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There is plenty of fun poked at UK food. But is it really that bad? And what the hell is “UK food” anyway?

Growing up in Australia I had heard plenty about the motherland – England. My grandparents migrated in the late 50’s, and much of Aussie and British culture is honestly very similar.

But, there are aspects that are very different.

I had heard many stories of the cold winters, the pebbly beaches and I heard (as I’m sure all of you have) that British food is pretty rubbish.

With soggy fish and chips, spotted dick (wtf  is that anyway), scotch eggs & Marmite to name but a few. The last one is actually quite random because us Aussies love Vegemite, which is similar to Marmite, but most of us still consider Marmite disgusting.

When we first got to London a few months ago, I had no idea what to expect. I just knew I did not want my chips served soggy!

Tommo, who grew up in England, was all keen for me to try some of the stranger dishes. Spotted dick, Welsh Rarebit, haggis, scotch eggs (which are horribly disappointing as do not contain any traces of scotch) are some of the stranger ones.

But what was the regular food going to be like? What is it that the everyday Londoner is dining on in 2015?

The London UK food revolution has arrived

You see, over the years England, and especially London, has gone through a bit of a foodie revolution. Today, chefs like Jamie Oliver are encouraging a newer, hipper culinary scene. And there are London food markets and artisanal restaurants popping up all over the place, offering some of the best UK food.

Think UK Food Sucks Spotted Dick? This article might change your mind

We got to experience this first hand when we joined the Walk Eat Talk Eat food tour in East London.

The East End is famous for being the area where Jack the Ripper did all of his slashing. Even going back just 20-30 years, this is not a part of town you would even want to set foot in, unless you were asking for trouble.

These days things have dramatically changed. The hipsters have moved in and redecorated (as they do). It’s now on the ‘must visit’ list if you’re in London.

During the ‘Great and the Good of the East End’ food tour, we got to sample Argentinian sausage at a local food market, Polish Beigel’s at a famous 24 hour bakery, Indian sweets and more. Which by the way, were all to die for.

UK Food: Our Walk Eat Talk Eat Food Tour in London

Welcome to Brick Lane! Hipster central in East London.

 

I know what you’re thinking…

You’re thinking “Whaaaat? Every single one of those dishes are from other countries? They’re not UK food.”

But that’s the beauty of it you see! Britain is a country bubbling with multiculturalism. So it’s no surprise that these cuisines have become the norm in London.

If a curry house is run by a 3rd generation guy whose great grandmother just happened to have been born in India. Who’s to say his modern flare on an old Indian dish can’t be considered British. Most people consider curry to be a very British dish – in fact Tikka Massala is a national dish.

Look at it this way. When you think of Thai food you think spicy right? But chilli is actually not native to South East Asia – it came from South America. Or even the plain old household tomato. That comes from South America as well. In fact the Aztecs were growing it as far back as 700 AD. None of these things were a part of our diets until people started exploring, roaming and migrating to foreign lands.

We can thank good old Chris Columbus and other explorers for a lot of cuisine’s we enjoy today actually. If you’re interested, it’s really fascinating to find out where some foods originated – check it out sometime, some are pretty surprising.

Anyway I’m rambling, so here’s another tasty piece of food porn. You know you want it.

Think UK Food Sucks Spotted Dick? This article might change your mind

Polish Beigel from  the 24hr Beigel Bake, Brick Lane London

What I’m trying to say, is that this fantastic multicultural food is now embedded in English life. And it is UK food.

You can’t just tar all UK food with the same brush and say “all the food is bad”.

You may not want to try black pudding or roll-mops in England (which is fair enough, they’re super gross), the same as you’re not about to chow down duck foetus egg, and fried tarantulas in Asia (equally as gross – trust me).

It’s the era of the foodie walking tour. So if you’re heading to London don’t be afraid of UK food. Get out there join a tour, like Walk Eat Talk Eat, and discover the tasty multicultural nom-noms of the London food scene.

Is London a foodie destination? Has this article changed your mind? Let us know in the FB comments at the bottom of the page.

 

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Disclaimer: We received the Walk Eat Talk Eat tour complimentary. As with all sponsored content on our site, our reviews are our own opinions. 

Want more food & travel talk as well as the secrets to the full time travel freedom lifestyle we lead? Listen to our 5 Dollar Planet Podcast.

 

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Comments 3

  1. “But that’s the beauty of it you see! Britain is a country bubbling with multiculturalism. So it’s no surprise that these cuisines have become the norm in London.”

    Yeah, and it means than you have to import all the products you need for “your” cuisine. French or Italian food are made with local products, that’s why it’s called French or Italian Cuisine. And, if you sant a good meal in London, it costs a arm.

    Uk food is just a joke.

    1. Well I came here after perusing the articles on Georgian and Romanian cuisines, both of which I concur are magnificent.

      I cannot, as a black-pudding-and-rollmop-gobbling Briton (not both at the same time, obviously) allow the above comment to rest unchallenged.

      Just off the top of my head, some proper British classics which use locally available ingredients:

      Steak and kidney pudding
      Steak and ale pie (or pudding)
      Cornich pasties
      Bedfordshire clangers
      Mince pies
      Christmas pudding
      Sunday roast (full)
      English breakfast (or regional alternative)
      Haggis (Scotland, not when visiting London)
      Roly-poly pudding
      Spotted Dick (yes, it’s delicious)
      Sussex pond pudding*
      Apple crumble
      Kedgeree (Anglo-Indian fusion – see note*)
      Melton Mowbray pork pie
      A wealth of cheeses, sufficient to rival France’s selection
      Lancashire hotpot
      Dumplings on top of a stew of your choice
      Sylabub
      Shepherd’s (or cottage) pie
      Bangers & mash
      Gravy
      Picked onions
      Pickled walnuts
      Jellied eels (for East London – I confess I’ve never tried them though)
      Lardy cakes
      Kendal mint cake
      Grasmere gingerbread
      Fish pie (the one with potato)
      Stargazy pie
      Victoria sponge cake
      Carrot cake
      All the other cakes at afternoon tea
      Scones, clotted cream and jam
      Porridge (with salt if you’re Scottish, and use a spurtle)
      Kippers
      Ale
      Cider, and scrumpy
      Bakewell tart

      As I said, that’s just off the top of my head; a very little Googling will show you the range and diversity of British food, whether considered traditional or adopted, or more likely, a fusion. Bear in mind on any foodie tour of the UK that London is in many respects a different country and traditional food isn’t necessarily so easy to find unless you know where to look simply because it has so much competition within the multicultural heart of the UK.

      *Lemons (and a variety of other spices) have been imported for centuries. If you disagree that it qualifies as genuinely British, vous pouvez mètre une tarte au citron dans le cul.

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