According to some sources, jellied eels became popular in 19th Century London because they were all that could survive in the heavily polluted Thames river. The ‘jelly’ the eels are cooked in is actually gelatine. Tempted to try some? They’re a bit of a rarity nowadays, but some street vendors still sell them!
Don’t mistake this for chocolate spread. Marmite is a sticky, dark brown paste often spread on toast or in sandwiches. It has a distinctive, powerful flavour which is very salty and has caused quite a divide in the British public, with people either loving it or hating it.
Stargazy pie is a Cornish dish made from pilchards, eggs and potatoes baked within a pastry crust. The main feature of the dish is that the fish heads will poke through the top of the crust and appear to gaze upwards. If you’re not keen on being stared at by your food, you might want to give this one a miss.
The clue’s in the name with this one – the Scotch Egg comes from Scotland and consists of a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. If you can stomach that, why not try a Manchester egg (a pickled egg wrapped in pork meat and Lancashire black pudding)?
If you can stop laughing at the name, Spotted Dick is actually pretty normal – a dessert
consisting largely of suet and currants. Suet is a form of animal fat which is similar to lard.
Traditionally from Scotland, Haggis is also quite popular in other parts of the UK. Some varieties use a composite of mincemeat but if you want the original recipe, you’re looking at sheep’s heart, liver and lungs encased in the animal’s stomach. Tuck in!
A chip butty is a sandwich made with white bread and hot chips, usually smothered with tomato sauce. This one’s on the list because it’s spectacularly bad for you – they mostly taste quite nice!
Black pudding doesn’t look much like a pudding in the dessert sense; this type of pudding is more like a giant sausage. It comprises onions, milk, oatmeal – and quite a lot of pig’s blood. It’s considered a delicacy in the north-east of England. Keep an open mind...
Many British people will remember this from their school days. Semolina pudding is a porridge-like dessert made with milk and grain. It’s famous for being unpleasantly runny and slimy to eat and isn’t favoured by many households today.
Liver and onions
Pretty much exactly what it sounds like, liver and onions consists of sliced or diced cuts of animal liver which is served along with fried onions and mashed potatoes. It’s also a popular dish over in Germany.
Of course, there are plenty of lovely British dishes to try as well, so don’t fret if you’ve booked onto one of the language courses at Malvern House! Sunday roast dinners, scones with clotted cream and fresh fish and chips are just some of the culinary treats enjoyed in Britain today.
London has plenty of restaurants which are popular with locals and tourists alike. If you’re looking for IELTS courses in London, you’ll have plenty of chances to try out some great British food.