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.

IMAGES VIA: mnem, Annie Mole, Willrad, a.froese, Ewan-M, daryl mitchell, Girl Interrupted Eating, avlxyz, AZAdam, andybullock77

13 thoughts on “Top 10 Traditional Eats (with Funny Names) of Great Britain

  • Not only are the names funny, but the ingredients too! While Britain isn’t well known for its high end cuisine, great comfort food is always a winner in my stomach. Nothing like an authentic pub to have either one of these!

  • I have to say, I think it’s an English dish, at least I first heard about it in England, but “Winkles” always struck me as both funny and strange. I once went winkling with a friend’s family where we went hunting for little snails not much bigger than you might find in an aquarium. We boiled them in seawater briefly and them pried them out with thick, toothpicks.

  • Interesting. We love to taste new dishes abroad. Some of those we have had, like the Haggis when we were in Scotland – and of course the Fry up.

    Actually it’s pretty interesting because the haggis is very much alike what we did eat here in Sweden in my childhood, but we call it Pölsa.

    It’s not eaten so often nowadays. I guess it’s from the time when there were more poor farmers that had to use everything for food.

    Even the blackpudding we have a similar one that we call blodpudding, still eaten by kids in pre-school and school. (Probably because it’s full of iron). We prefer to eat it with lingonberry jam though.

  • And, mayo is called ‘salad cream.’ Used to work for a Brit and became a fan of Faulty Towers – though it took me awhile to learn his version of the English language.

  • ok as a Brit, I hadnt realised how much unique food we have. Although I think its important that you note the following:

    1.) Haggis sounds disgusting but its really not that bad. Funnily enough its almost impossible to find outside of Scotland except on Burns Night.

    2.) Bangers & Mash is AMAZING!!!

    3.)Spotted Dick is force fed to children – its vile stuff, and us Brits also think the name is rediculous.

    4.) Cream Tea – clotted cream is the best cream in the world and nothing like whipped cream. Try it on ice cream by itself…..

    5.) Fry Up – also known as the English Breakfast. The best thing to come out of Britain. Ever.

    6.) Sheppards/Cottage Pie – pretty good – you don’t have this elsewhere????

    7.) Laverbread. Seriously never heard of it and I lived in Wales for 3 years.

    8.) Black Pudding – Must be part of the English Breakfast or its not English enough. Feel free to complain.

    9.) Marmite. The elusive “Umame” taste. But don’t spread it like chocolate spread or you might die.

    10) Yorkshire Pudding. Mmmmmmmmmm.

  • Being immature, Spotted Dick is the funniest surely?! hehe

    Very surprised to see you have missed off fish and chips – surely this is one of our most famous meals. Also the good old ‘roast dinner’? In fact the Brits are so well known for their love of roast dinners that the French refer to the Brits as ‘rosbif’ which means roast beef. Charming! Mind you, Brits also refer to the French as ‘Frogs’ so it’s tit for tat 😉

  • Ha! Good article. I agree with the comment above about Winkles. And Haggis can be found in pretty much all Waitrose stores. Bit pricey but it’s worth it.

    I prefer Bovril to Marmite. It’s supposed to be drunk but I prefer to spread it on crumpets with lots of butter. Oh God yeah…

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