Top 10 Traditional Eats (with Funny Names) of Great Britain


Photographs, videos, blogs, journals and tour guides do a lot to capture the essence of a locale. With all of our modern day technology, however, tastes and smells are two senses that continue to be challenging to capture and share with others. Even the best chef or the most descriptively endowed writer can have difficulties recreating these senses.

Certainly Britain offers tons of variety these days as far as meals go. With influences from around the globe, you can find anything from chicken tikka masala, to goulash to burritos. Not only can you find these dishes, but you’ll find them done well.

In order to have a true British experience, visitors must try these top ten traditional eats that sport funny names. Get ready to erase all of your preconceived notions of British food and indulge.

Traditionally a Scottish dish, Haggis is made by filling the large stomach of a sheep with a mix of minced lungs, liver, and heart, fat, oatmeal, stock, salt, and pepper. The mix boiled right in the stomach until done. Yum (I think).

britain foodie haggis

Bangers and Mash
A traditionally English dish, bangers and mash is simply sausages and mashed potatoes.

britain foodie bangers and mash

Spotted Dick
This is a sweet, rich custard that is mixed with dried fruit such as raisins and currants and then steamed. Americans a most likely to get a laugh out of the name.

britain foodie spotted dick
Cream Tea
Cream Tea is simply and afternoon snack of scones with Devonshire clotted cream (similar to, but heavier than, whipped cream) and jam and served alongside tea.

britain foodie cream tea

Fry Up
This is a delightful and traditional fried breakfast often consisting of bacon, eggs, toast, sausage, tomato slices and mushrooms. It varies slightly from region to region with the addition of or substitution for black and white pudding, soda bread, porridge, oatmeal cakes and laverbread.

britain foodie fry up

Shepherd’s or Cottage Pie
This is a pie made of either minced beef or lamb and vegetables that is topped with mashed potatoes. Warm, hearty meal for a cold winter’s day.

britain foodie shepards pie
Laverbread (or bara lawr in Welsh) is not a bread at all. In fact it is a seaweed that is harvested off the west coast of the British Isles and is most commonly eaten in Wales. It is cooked and pureed into a blackish-green paste. With all of its health benefits, it’s a wonder it has not been part of Hollywood’s health craze! Oftentimes, the mineral rich puree is mixed with oatmeal then fried to accompany more traditional breakfast items such as bacon and eggs.

britain foodie Laverbread
Black Pudding
This is a meat sausage made with blood and fat and more frequently eaten in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Don’t let the word “blood” steer you away. It is actually quite good.

britain foodie black pudding

This is a savoury brown spread is a yeast derivative and is best when spread (a small amount) on a piece of buttered toast.

britain foodie marmite

Yorkshire Pudding
This is often served alongside or before a roast dinner. Deliciously similar to popovers, Yorkshire pudding is a puffy, egg-heavy pastry that tastes best with gravy.

britain foodie Yorkshire Pudding
Feel we’ve missed something or want to share a recipe? Then go ahead and share your input in the comments section.

This post originally appeared on the Brilliant Tips Travel Blog.
IMAGES VIA: mnem, Annie Mole, Willrad, a.froese, Ewan-M, daryl mitchell, Girl Interrupted Eating, avlxyz, AZAdam, andybullock77
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33 Responses to “Top 10 Traditional Eats (with Funny Names) of Great Britain”

  1. Geoff
    March 14, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    How on earth can you write a blog on British foods with strange names and miss out Toad in the Hole, and even better, Faggots?!

    Great (and very tasty) list though

    • maryrose
      March 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      Though I’m not English I love the Marmite on toast and the Yorkshire pudding.

  2. Rich Whitaker
    March 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    …Toad in the Hole!

    • Carol Mitchell
      March 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

      What about panachalty, stotty cakes and peas pudding? Yum yum!

  3. carin
    March 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    What about Bubble & Squeak?

  4. Rich Whitaker
    March 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Oh yes, Bubble & Squeak. I should make some with the leftover corned beef and cabbage from the other night…

  5. Nadia
    March 22, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    What about HobNobs (oatmeal biscuits) and tatties and neeps (potatoes and swede to me and you)?

    • Shirley
      March 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

      Neeps are turnips, swede is sweeter but not quite the same. I prefer swede to neeps – and swedes are very good raw!

  6. Rich Whitaker
    March 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    good one. tatties and neeps… how could we have missed that one?

  7. Barbara Forsyth
    March 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    My dad’s favorite use to be mince and tatties.

  8. helen
    March 23, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    … presuming you are a fan of Martin Parr judging by the images used :-/
    Some of those things are proper delicious!

  9. Greg Walker
    March 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Now I’m hungry.

  10. Stephan
    March 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    What about treacle? Also, a trifle is anything but one.

    • Shirley
      March 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

      As in Treacle tart, sticky toffee pudding or steamed sponge pudding with treacle? Good call.
      And Yes! to the the Non trifling trifle.

      • Tammy
        January 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

        I wasn’t aware treacle tart was real! I thought it was something J.K. Rowling thought up. I always thought spotted dick sounded like a venereal infection for men. Did anyone mention bubble and squeak, I have found that an amusing name for a food dish.

  11. Shirley
    March 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Cockles and Mussels

  12. Chelsea
    March 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    I’m coming to London next week for Spring Break, and I’m looking forward to trying all these foods that we don’t eat in the US! I haven’t heard of some of these so thank you for the list.

  13. Sutton Soap
    March 23, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    Chicken Tikka Masalla

  14. Eat, Sleep, Breathe, Travel
    March 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Funny. Makes me hungry. Thank you.

  15. wandering educators
    March 29, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    you forgot the best part of haggis, which is the GARLIC! i love it!

  16. pitponyman
    March 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    What about Welsh Cakes? I would guess a ton of Welsh cakes are consumed to every ounce of Laverbred. The old Pit Ponies love Welsh Cakes in their retirement.

  17. H Armitage
    April 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Spotted dick is not a rich custard – it is a steamed pudding made from suet (in the old days), flour and sugar with currants and now tends to be a steamed sponge pudding with currants. In the old days it would be boiled in a cloth in the pot in which the household’s veggie steam was boiled. It is always served with custard.

    And what about Lardy Cake from Oxfordshire? yum yum

  18. H Armitage
    April 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    In Oxford a restaurant, the Big Bang, serves only bangers and mash and there’s whole shop in the Covered Market that just sells sausages……..chomp chomp

  19. H Armitage
    April 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    sorry I meant veggie soup (not ‘steam’)in the comment on spotted dick. Please could you correct it?

  20. Huw
    April 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Laverbread is nice with think salty bacon but it is best served with cockles

  21. Kelly
    April 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Fish and chips! (or just chips with salt and malt vinegar)

    Cheese and jam sandwiches! Or cheese and pickle!

  22. sydney boutique hotel
    May 31, 2011 at 2:45 am #

    Never having been to the UK the scary thing is that I have heard of all of these delightful dishes.

  23. pam
    June 13, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    are you familiar with bare buttom in the grass?

  24. John
    September 27, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Britain really does have quite a choice of foods. I’d add Staffordshire Oatcakes. They sound healthy but usually are not. Then there are all of the dishes that have appeared in the last 30 years. Sutton Soap adds Chicken Tikka Masala which uses Indian ingredients to create a British Dish. Then what about deep fried Mars bars?

  25. Top Health Tips
    September 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    “Fry Up” looks tasty but not too healthy haha. Who knew Great Britain had its own cuisine haha


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