Since I've been living abroad, many different people have asked me to name typical British dishes. I have, however, struggled to think of an answer. Yes, we do have our own national dishes. We do have fish and chips, and we have other dishes like roast dinner and shepherd’s pie. But how much do we actually eat them?
Fish and chips, as you could guess, is made up of battered fish and chips. It is often accompanied by mushy peas, which consists of peas mashed up to form a thick paste. The majority of British people really do love this dish but it is not something that we would eat, say, on a weekly basis. It’s also not usually something that you would cook at home. The British people associate this dish with the seaside and it’s something that will usually be eaten on a day trip there, bought from a takeaway fish and chip shop.
Another favourite British dish is the roast dinner. This is made up of roast meat, usually chicken or beef, accompanied by roast vegetables and a meat sauce called gravy. It is usually eaten on a Sunday, perhaps for a special family dinner. It can either be cooked at home or eaten in a traditional pub. We also eat a more elaborate version of this for our Christmas dinner.
Although we do have our traditional dishes, we do not eat these on a daily basis. On a daily basis many British people will eat rice or pasta dishes. Our diet has been greatly influenced by other countries. You can see this by looking at the range of international foods in the supermarket or at the variety of different restaurants you can find on our high streets. A famous saying amongst British people is that our national dish is now chicken tikka masala, a dish which is heavily influenced by Indian cuisine.
To conclude, we do have our national dishes. However, perhaps unlike other countries, we tend to prefer to cook recipes influenced by other cuisines. Don’t expect to be served a traditional dish if you ever get invited for dinner at a British family’s home!
What are some traditional dishes from your country? Do you eat them on a regular basis?