For other nationalities, British food starts with fish and chips and a reminder that chips are actually fries and the chips that they know are called crisps. Beyond the well-known (and delicious) pairing of fish and chips, British food proves to be a collection of weirdly-named dishes like Toad in the Hole, Bubbles and Squeak, Spotted Dick, Cullen Skink, Singing Hinnies, and more. The list here features unique British foods that aren’t only puzzling in words but also in composition and preparation. Any faves yet?
Haggis is one of Scotland’s well-known dishes and not a furry animal as some people believe it to be. It is a type of sausage made up of a combination of meat, oatmeal, onions, salt, and spices. Traditionally, this meaty mixture is cooked in a sheep’s stomach but nowadays, you can buy haggis in a synthetic sausage casing. There’s also a vegetarian haggis packed with nuts and kidney beans instead of meat.
2. Stargazy Pie
Look up in the sky with fish heads sticking out from a pie. Stargazy pie is a classic Cornish dish of pilchards with eggs and potatoes covered in a pastry crust. It’s believed to be first created in honor of a fisherman who sailed through violent storm and sea waves to fish to save the village from starvation.
3. Black Pudding
f you love the sweetness of pudding then make sure you don’t take black pudding as an English term for the chocolate-y dessert. Black pudding is a type of a blood sausage made from pig’s blood, oatmeal, pig’s fat, and salt. The ingredients, however, can vary from region to region. Instead of using pig’s blood, others prefer using blood from cows, ox, or sheep. Different fillings and spices can even be used.
No, we aren’t cursing in any way. We’re talking about the cheap, must-have meatballs that go perfectly well with a dish of mash and mushy peas. Faggots are a traditional dish in the UK, especially South and Mid Wales and the Midlands of England. Faggots are made of diced pig’s liver, lungs, heart, pork belly, and mixed with herbs for flavoring. These meatballs are also known as ‘ducks’ or ‘savory ducks’ in Midlands, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and Lancashire.
A traditional Welsh dish, laverbread or ‘bara lawr’ doesn’t even deserve to be placed in a bakeshop’s shelves . Laverbread is made from seaweed that is washed and cooked to a soft, greenish-black paste. It sounds simple but never underestimate it. Its taste greatly complements sweet and salty-tasting meat like bacon and marsh lamb, same with the flavors of butter and cheese.
6. Jellied Eels
Jellied eels are a traditional cockney food that complete the menus of UK’s pie and mash shops. This jiggly-wobbly dish has been popular for the working-class in the East End of London since the mid-1800s, and even tourists make effort to taste the eels that can’t quite be compared to pickled herring or the Japanese unagi. To make jellied eels, eels are cooked and set in the natural aspic jelly made from eel bones.
7. Chip Butty
A typical sandwich isn’t complete without some greens and meat (or other protein-source). A chip butty, however, will be that English punk that will crush your ordinary sandwich system. A chip butty is a sandwich which consists of chips (what we know as ‘fries’ in America) between two slices of buttered white bread. Don’t forget the ketchup or vinegar in it.
Eating gastropods shouldn’t be a laughing matter. If you think it is and you haven’t tried one, then you’re missing something. These snail-like creatures don’t really look appetizing at first glance but the taste, which is like a cross between the meatiness of clams and the sweetness of oysters, can make you go for more. Enjoy sucking!
9. Bedfordshire Clanger
If you want odd surprises then go for a Bedfordshire clanger. The elongated suet crust dumpling has a mix between a main dish due to its savory beef or pork filling and a dessert on the other half filled with sweetened pears or apples, or just a jam.
10. Scotch Egg
Scotch eggs are like Kinder Surprise eggs that, instead of revealing a mini-toy, give you a hard-boiled egg (or even a half-boiled if you like). To make scotch eggs, the boiled eggs are wrapped in sausage meat, coated in beaten egg and breadcrumbs, and cooked by deep-frying or baking. It doesn’t stop there; You can even wrap your scotch eggs with bacon or use any other kind of egg.
When On Earth Magazine is for people who love travel. We provide informative travel guides, tips, ideas and advice regarding places to see, things to do, what to taste, and much more for world travelers seeking their next dream vacation destination.