The English have never been known for their cooking ability (the French, very unfairly, call us the Rosbifs – or ‘roast beefs’).
However what we don’t have in culinary skills, we make up for in attaching silly names to our food.
Here’s our list of traditional English food, with strange names.
1. Toad In The Hole
No, not a frog in a, well, hole but sausages cooked in Yorkshire Pudding. Which, even more confusingly, isn’t a pudding. Anyway, the main thing is it’s delicious – especially with thick onion gravy.
2. Jellied Eels
This traditional Cockney (ie East Londoner) meal has been feeding London’s poor for centuries.
Eels from the Thames river are boiled in water and then allowed to cool.
The water turns into a colorless jelly which encases the eel flesh. Tastes much better than it looks (thankfully).
Unfortunately the custom is dying out due to a combination of reduced eel stocks (hit by flood abatement measures amongst other things) and the change in the ethnic background of East London. So get your jellied eels whilst you can.
3. Spotted Dick
No sniggering at the back of the class there… This is a traditional English pudding consisting of sponge cake containing currents or sultanas (the ‘spots’). Delicious with traditional thick English custard.
4. Pigs In Blankets
Another sausage based dish. Pork sausages (the ‘pigs’) are wrapped on bacon (the ‘blankets’) and cooked, often as complement to a roast meat dish.
5. Welsh Rarebit
A very fancy name for what is really cheese toasted on bread, plus a bit of Worcestershire Sauce (a traditional English condiment that most houses have).
6. Bubble And Squeak
Again, a great name for something that’s less glamorous, in this case fried leftovers of a roast meal (on the left of the plate in the above picture). Popular during the rationing of World War 2, it’s still a popular way of cooking the leftover potatoes and other vegetables from a traditional English roast dinner.
7. Stargazy Pie
Quite a sinister looking dish this offering from Cornwall in South West England. It’s a fish pie with the fish heads stuck onto the crust (‘staring’ at the stars).
8. Angels On Horseback
This is the ‘posh’ version of pigs in blankets: oysters wrapped in bacon. Not to be confused with ‘Devils On Horseback’: prunes wrapped in bacon.
9. Jam Roly Poly
A hot version of the more common Swiss Roll, this is is a flat-rolled suet pudding, which is then spread with jam and rolled up, then steamed or baked. Traditionally served with hot custard.
10. Bangers And Mash
Yet more sausages (also known as ‘bangers’). This time served with mashed potato and (usually) onion gravy.