ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is the Reputation of British Food Fair

Updated on September 29, 2011

Introduction

Many foreigners go to Britain and say loved the country, hated the food. But is this fair.

British food has long been the laughingstock of the cuisine world. However, is this now fair? After all this is a country where chefs are now celebrities and their television programs exported around the world, Gordon Ramsey, footballer turned chef, having some success in the USA.

London has now become one of the food capitals of the world. British chefs are gaining Michelin stars.

Should British food or more precisely British cuisine get the respect it deserves?

Bit of History

From the 18th century to the beginning of the 2nd World War British chefs were world class. London had several of the best restaurants in the world.

The 2nd World War changed all that. Rationing until the 1950s meant people were limited with what they could cook due to the lack of ingredients. It was in the 1950s that the Good Food Guide began in a vain attempt to improve standards. People became lazy in the kitchen and expectations lowered.

The nadir was in the 1970s and 1980s. Eating out became steak houses and salad bars serving limited menus of poor quality washed down poor quality wine.

In the 1990s things began to change. A new generation of chefs began to emerge who began to reinvent British cuisine and demand quality local ingredients. Their restaurants became successes, they got their own TV shows and educated the nation about food.

Now the British population is now prepared to demand more when it comes to food.

What is British Food

British food is very meat based. Most of which is cooked in the oven. Most of the offal is eaten as well. The best example of this is haggis.

There is a great tradition of fish in Britain. Scotland is famous for salmon, English rivers have trout and Britain has an expert fishing fleet.

Like people in most countries the cuisine is really influenced by the weather. Frequent rains and winters that are not too cold and summers that are not too hot have created a fertile country where wheat and vegetables are grown easily and green pastures for animals to graze.

How did British Food get this Bad Reputation

Us Brits have to take some of the blame for this. Firstly the advent of the mass package holiday meant British people were travelling abroad and were prepared to only eat poor quality British food. Because of this the locales were seeing British people eating fried breakfasts, fish and chips and cheap roast dinners. Secondly when British tourists began to be more adventurous and the other countries cuisine a common topic of conversation was "This is lovely. I wish we cooked food like this in Britain". What were the locals supposed to think about British food.

British food also suffers from the narrow mindedness of foreign tourists. They arrive with a bad opinion of British food and leave with the same. Most foreign tourists go to London. It's a fact. Although London has several world class restaurants they are out of the price range of most tourists. Unfortunately, like most tourist destinations in the world, the restaurants in the tourist areas of London are of poor quality or they eat in Pubs serving greasy food. Rarely do they try to find good restaurants and when they ask most of the people they ask aren't from Britain so they don't know.

Where do I Find Good Places to Eat in Britain

Despite London having Michelin star restaurants for the best restaurants you have to head out into the countryside.

In the British countryside you will find pub-restaurants with small but high quality food. Much of the produce will have been bought locally and menus will be seasonal. They will have quality wine lists and real ales.

In these restaurants will be British classics like gammon steaks, lamb chops, sirloin steaks and Sunday Roasts but also other less well known British dishes like lamb shanks, wild boar, venison, salmon, trout, liver and bacon, kidney and oxtail. Also soups and broths of different flavours depending on the season. In coastal areas you can find oysters, sea bass, mackral, haddock, cod. mussels and sea bream for example.

Britain has also adopted food from around the world. None more so than curry. There are now curries that are British. Curry restaurants were once dark and dingy but now are modern with excellent service and good value. The best places for curry are Bricklane in East London and the Balti Mile in Birmingham.

Like most places in the world you have to know where to go.

Best of British

This is the shamelessly biased section of this blog and to be honest I'm proud of it.

British cheese is the best in the world and top quality British cheese is not hard to find. All you have to do is go to your local supermarket and the choice is endless, mature chedders, somerset bries, blue stilton and stilton with fruit, cheshire, lancashire, wensleydale to name a fraction.

Beef in the west of England and North of Scotland is of the highest quality. Lamb in the hills and mountains of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are full of flavour. Free range British poultry is delicious. British bacon is the best in the world as well as British pork.

For fish the best places to go are the south-west of England, Kent for shellfish, the North- West of Scotland and North-East of England.

Finally what nobody in the world can resist are British desserts. Once you tried it you're hooked. Desserts include bread and butter pudding, apple crumble, rhubarb crumble, eat 'n' mess, treacle tart and the curiously named spotted dick.

Conclusion

What started out as a defence of British food and cuisine as turned into a passionate promotion.

In conclusion did Britain deserve its reputation for bad cuisine the answer will have to be yes. However, does Britain still deserve this reputation the answer has to be an emphatic no.

If you are British farmer keep up the good work, if your British buy British and if your not next time you are in Britain head out of London and find a traditional village and stop there for something to eat you won't be disappointed and probably pleasantly surprised.

Great Britain

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      hannah 5 years ago

      Good article but one or two spelling mistakes! It´s called Eton Mess.

    • Imogen French profile image

      Imogen French 6 years ago from Southwest England

      A very interesting hub. I agree that traditional British food does have a bad image, but I am pleased to see a great revival of interest in good food in Britain in recent years. There is now a lot more focus on quality regional foods, as well as a more health-conscious approach. Dorset apple cake, good local ciders, mature cheddar cheese and Dorset Blue Vinney cheese are my local favourites! There are some treasures to be found if you know where to look.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 6 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub! I love trying out the foods of other countries. I have been to London, and eaten in the pubs. I rather liked English food. Here in Naples we have several English/Irish pubs. I've tried bangers and mash and shepard's pie, and I find them good, filling and delightful. Now, being in the U.S. they may be very Americanized, but they were delicious. I say two thumbs up for English dishes!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)