Food in Britain

great britain food - UK eating UK eating

Britain was never known for its haut cuisine, but today there is a great gulf between the very best of international cooking at the top end of the scale, and the mass produced stuff that abounds in most high streets.

If you want to eat well, you have to get a guide book that suits your tastes. There are only really two as I write this - the AA Restaurant Guide and the Good Food Guide. They can be purchased in most high street book shops here. The Egon Ronay Guide looks as if has ceased to be published for the foreseeable future, and the Michelin Guide tells you very little about British restaurant.

Regional "specialties" tend to have been overworked for the tourist market. Here in Cornwall, the Cornish Pasty can be bought in any fast food shop or bakers - but very few are worth eating. Who is to blame is difficult to say - the public for only being prepared to pay a low price for their pasty, or the bakers for supplying a product at that price?

The only advice I can offer is that if you pay more you will get a better product. Here are a few of the things to look out for:-

  • Fish & Chips - all over the country, but there is a particularly nice one on the harbour in Whitby in Yorkshire. You are probably more likely to get good fish than chips. Traditionally wrapped in newspaper and eaten outside.
  • Yorkshire Pudding - ubiquitous in Yorkshire, but not necessarily better than elsewhere
  • Haggis - the Scots don't really eat much of it these days
  • Black Pudding - buy it from a northern family butcher, and cook it yourself
  • Clotted Cream - from Devon & Cornwall, it is the only thing to eat with scones and jam
  • Jellied Eel - if you can find them in London
  • Cornish Crab - I think fresh Cornish Crab is the best in the country
  • Welsh Lamb - a must if you are in Wales
  • Regional Cheeses - not the plastic wrapped things from supermarkets. We have hundreds of excellent local cheeses, which should be available until the men from the ministry stop production of small family run cheese makers.
  • Sunday Lunch - still roast beef and Yorkshire pud comes top of the list.

Inevitably the advent of fast communications and the rise of cheap fast food outlets have meant that regions dishes have either died out , or like say Yorkshire Pudding available all over the country. Macdonald, Burger King, Pizza Hut and the rest have long since taken root all over Britain. But if you seek diligently you can still find regional food

Return to A to Z of Great Britain
Great BritainGreat Britain front page