Today we want to expand your knowledge about British cuisine by taking a look at some of Britain’s most popular dishes.


  • Fish and chips. It’s believed that Fish and Chips is a variant of pescaíto frito, introduced into Britain in the 16th Century by Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Holland, who originated from Spain and Portugal. Fish and Chips became a very popular dish among the working class, until ultimately forming an important part of the nation’s culture. Today it remains a fast-food favourite, although the number of Fish and Chips shops has reduced significantly in the last century. While cod is traditionally used, in practice it’s often substituted by haddock or – though less common – sole, sea bream or hake.


  • Full breakfast. The full breakfast was originally a way to use up leftover food from the day before, and dates back to the 13th Century. The dish generally consists of fried or scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding (black blood sausage), beans in tomato sauce, hash browns (rustic fried potatoes), mushrooms and tomatoes. It’s usually accompanied by tea or coffee, and is often eaten not only for breakfast but throughout the day. There are a number of regional varieties to the full breakfast: the English eat it with fried bread, while the Irish often substitute the black pudding with white pudding (white blood sausage). In a Scottish breakfast you might find oatcakes and fruit pudding, in a Welsh breakfast fried mashed seaweed and porridge, and in the “Ulster Fry” of Northern Ireland it’s eaten with potato bread or soda bread stuffed with bacon, sausage or fried eggs.


  • Sunday roast. A The Sunday roast consists of some kind of roast meat (chicken, lamb, pork or beef), accompanied by roasted or mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, brussel sprouts, peas, broccoli or cauliflower, among other roasted or boiled vegetables. Everything is usually then covered in gravy, a thick brown sauce made from the juices from the roasted meats and vegetables. As its name suggests, a roast is traditionally a Sunday meal. On the side of a roast dinner you might find a number of sauces depending on the kind of meat: horseradish with beef, apple sauce with pork, cranberry sauce and English mustard with chicken, and mint sauce with lamb


  • Curry. British cuisine is highly influenced by the country’s colonial past, especially South Asian cuisine, from which Britain uses a number of spices and has adopted and adapted many dishes and characteristics. The first mention of curry on a British menu dates back to 1773, while the first Indian restaurant in the country opened in 1809. Curry became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, due to the growing number of restaurants run by immigrants from the Indian subcontinent. Curry is now so popular that it’s widely considered one of Britain’s national dishes.


  • Chicken tikka masala. “Chicken tikka” is boneless chicken pieces marinated in spices and yoghurt which is baked or grilled. The spicy chicken pieces are then added to the “masala”, a sauce made up of a variety of spices. The origins of the dish aren’t clear; some say it emerged in India in the 1970s while others claim it was created in the UK in the 60s by immigrant chefs from Bangladesh. Robin Cook, a former British Foreign Secretary, described chicken tikka masala as the “true British national dish”, al que se añadió la salsa masala para “satisfacer el deseo de los británicos de acompañar la carne con gravy claiming that the thick masala sauce was added to the meat to “satisfy the British desire to accompany meat with gravy”.


  • Scotch egg A Scotch egg might look like a croquette from the outside, but inside it’s a hard-boiled egg surrounded by minced sausage meat and coated with a layer of breadcrumbs, which is baked or fried. Scotch eggs are commonly eaten at picnics and can be found almost anywhere food is sold.


  • Pudding. Although it can be something savoury (salty) as part of a meal (like black pudding at breakfast), the word “pudding” usually refers to a sweet and moist sponge cake, usually cooked with milk, egg and fruit, and is often served with cream or custard. In British English, “pudding” is also used as a synonym of “dessert” and these days can refer to any other kind of dessert.


  • Apple pie Similar to the French Tarte Tatin, apple pie is also very popular in the United States, where it’s become a national symbol. It’s usually served with ice cream or whipped cream. The original recipe is from 1381.


Which dish would you like to try?


Jordi N.
Callan Team
Traduction by George E.