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15 British Classics

15 British Classics

1. Full English Breakfast

Full English Breakfast

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A full English breakfast is a must-have in Britain, and there’s no better place to have it than the bed-and-breakfasts that are scattered throughout the countryside, where the dish will be made with love and variation. (Variations also include a full Welsh breakfast and a full Scottish breakfast!) A traditional breakfast typically includes eggs, sausages, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, and toast.

2. Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit

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A classic Welsh dish made of a savory cheese sauce on top of toasted bread. The cheese sauce contains cheddar, Worcestershire sauce, and ale, so it’s undeniably delicious. You’ll find variations of this dish all over Britain, from everyday pubs to Michelin-starred restaurants. (Another fun fact: Britain is home to hundreds of Michelin stars.)

3. Fresh Coastal Seafood

Fresh Coastal Seafood

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Britain is an island, so it has miles upon miles of pristine coastline, aka miles upon miles of the freshest seafood. Lobster, crabs, oysters, clams, cockles, prawns, fish — you name it. Pictured above is a bounty from Loch Fyne, a gorgeous sea loch on Scotland’s west coast. There’s even an entire Seafood Trail you can follow as you travel!

4. Haggis

Haggis

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Don’t be afraid — haggis is actually delicious. The savory pudding dish is made of minced offal, onion, spices, and stock, all encased in a neat package. The aromatic spices give it a truly special flavor. Pubs and restaurants throughout Britain are getting even more creative with the dish by creating everything from haggis lasagna to haggis bonbons with whisky.

5. Cheese

Cheese

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No one should leave Britain without trying at least several varieties of native cheese. There are over 700 specially named cheeses produced in Britain, and England is even home to a site called Cheddar Gorge. For something truly special and local, check out Blaenafon Cheddar Company, a family-run cheesemonger in Wales that ages their specialty cheddars in a coal mine.

6. Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink

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The name may not sound terribly appealing, but don’t let that fool you. Cullen Skink is like the British version of clam chowder, but with a more smoky and hearty flavor. The thick, creamy soup is made with smoked haddock, potatoes, and cream. It takes its namesake from the town of Cullen on Scotland’s north coast!

7. Kedgeree

Kedgeree

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Another funny name, kedgeree is a popular breakfast dish made of basmati rice, smoked haddock, eggs, and curry powder. The dish originated in India but evolved to suit British tastes.

8. Cream Tea

Cream Tea

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Although afternoon tea is popular throughout the country, cream tea is a specialty of Devon and Cornwall. A cream tea is taken with scones, clotted cream, and jam, which is probably the perfect combination to improve any afternoon. In Devon, the scone is topped with cream followed by jam; in Cornwall, the jam is followed by the cream. Either way: delicious.

9. Summer Pudding

Summer Pudding

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Some form of pudding is found in virtually every restaurant in Britain. (It’s so beloved that there’s even an official Pudding Club!) Traditional summer pudding is a warm-weather favorite, made with bread soaked in fruit juices and sugar overnight, stuffed with berries, and served with cream.

10. Farm-to-Table Dishes

Farm-to-Table Dishes

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Over half of Britain’s land is devoted to agriculture, which means that the farm-to-table food is fresh and amazing. You’ll find stellar organic, local cuisine throughout the British countryside. Try a lovely floral salad from Trill Farm in Devon!

11. Melton Mowbray Pork Pie

Melton Mowbray Pork Pie

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Melton Mowbray Pork Pie is a pork-filled pastry from Melton in central England. This distinctively shaped pastry is so distinguished that it’s actually a food name protected by the European Union!

12. Welsh Laverbread & Cockles

Welsh Laverbread & Cockles

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Laverbread (“bara lawr” in Welsh) is not a bread, as the name might suggest, but actually a nutritious paste made from seaweed from the Welsh coast. The delicacy is often served with another special food harvested from the Welsh coast: cockles. Experiencing local food in Britain does not get any better than that.

13. Bakewell Tart

Bakewell Tart

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Bakewell Tart, founded in Bakewell of course, is a pastry tart packed with jam and almond topping. It originated as a pudding in the 16th century (which is also still found in Bakewell) and transformed into a tart after a cook made a mistake with the recipe. Most delicious mistake ever.

14. Gluten-Free Specialties

Gluten-Free Specialties

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For a place that’s renowned for pastries, breads, and heavy foods, Britain is surprisingly ahead of the game with free-from diet offerings. Some gastropubs, like the Blue Lion in Hardwick, even change out their gluten-free menus seasonally, while others, like the Castlebank Hotel in Wales, offer gluten-free sausages.

15. Whisky and Chocolate

Whisky and Chocolate

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No survey of British food is complete without whisky or gin, and many distilleries around Britain are beginning to pair their liquor with delicious foods. Dalwhinnie Distillery, in the Scottish Highlands, pairs classic single malt whiskies with handmade highlands chocolate. Utter decadence.

Who knew Britain had such an amazing culinary scene? VisitBritain to try all of these amazing foods and more.

 

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