British cuisine - what to eat and what to try when in the British Isles
Chances are, when asked about a British dish, you would think of fish & chips, wouldn't you?. And you would be right, of course, but contrary to stereotypes, British cuisine has a bit more to offer! Make yourself comfortable at the table and try some local delicacies. Maybe there is a surprise lurking at the corner?
Naturally, start you culinary tour of the country of Shakespeare from the famous chips with breaded fried in hot fat and sprinkled with… vinegar! You can also sprinkle vinegar over your chips, for the solution is a very popular addition in the British Isles. Your visit to the UK would not be complete if you failed to have that classic dish at least once! Traditional British cuisine is fatty and contains a lot of meat. For breakfast, you must try fried sausages and eggs on bacon, and for lunch - a big, preferably rare steak. Indeed, beef is the most popular meat here. You could also have it with marmite, a typically British product, a bit like jam, which is made during the brewing of beer. Although normally used as bread spread, it gives meat an extraordinary touch. You can also have meat with chutney, Indian sauce made from tomatoes, apples and some additions. If you are open to various flavours, try black pudding, a type of black sausage made from offal, blood and bred (or oatmeal), which is first boiled and then baked. It resembles Polish kaszanka, but here it is served as a staple element of breakfast. It will be obligatorily served (whether you order it or not) with baked beans in tomato sauce. There were times when Britons ate very little vegetables. Preferences change, however, and today's menu includes more and more tasty salads and raw veggies. Furthermore, British food is now not always fatty and unhealthy. Since the United Kingdom is an island country, seafood is frequently on the menu!
The Empire on your plate
Similarly to nearly all other colonial empires, the United Kingdom has a contingent of representatives of various cultures from remote corners of the globe. You can also meet many economic migrants here. And where there are minorities, there are original flavours as well. Up and down the country you can easily order Indian or African food, as well as Asian, Middle Eastern and Central European dishes. Thanks to large clusters of Polish diaspora, if you happen to miss schabowy breaded pork cutlet or pierogi, you will have no problem finding a venue that serves them.
Naturally, thre is no such thing like a uniform cuisine for the entire country. When wondering what to eat in the United Kingdom, you should rather think of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England, must try are prawns and other seafood, fish and Yorkshire pudding. Sea creatures, particularly lobsters, are also often chosen by Scots. The most popular dish in Scotland is haddock chowder with onions and potatoes boiled in milk with some butter. Scottish cuisine offers dishes with oat flakes as well as more meaty ones, like scallops or dishes with game meat. In Wales, you can enjoy excellent lamb, often in the form of a stew with vegetables.
The United Kingdom basically two alcoholic drinks: beer and whisky. Scottish whisky is Britons' greatest pride. It is also a kind of a lifestyle - a moment of respite and relax after a difficult and stressful day at work. Whether you prefer weaker or stronger drinks, you must pop into a traditional British pub. Although this type of venue has become popular around the world, you can feel such a unique atmosphere only in the UK.
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