Food of the United Kingdom
Overall, the food in the UK has a bit of a bad reputation. Don’t let that reputation stop you from trying some of these great dishes.
Scotland’s signature dish: haggis, neeps, and tatties. Haggis is a pudding made from the heart, lungs, and liver of a sheep. Traditionally, haggis is seasoned with onions, salt, and spices before being cooked in the sheep’s stomach. Today, it’s often prepared in a sausage casing rather than being simmered in the stomach. Neeps are mashed rutabagas and the tatties are standard mashed potatoes. Contrary to what many of you might think, it’s quite tasty. It is very similar in taste and texture to blood sausage. We had it several times while in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The traditional Scottish breakfast, a variation on the Full Breakfast, is usually on special for £3-4 at many pubs until noon or so. We found that this is a great, cheap way to fill up for a long day of exploring the city. The Scottish version typically adds tattie scones and replaces the standard sausage link with a sausage patty.
Sausages and mash – a very simple dish that is done very well here in the UK. We can’t really seem to find a place in the US that does it as well. This is typically served with three seasoned sausages on a bed of mashed potatoes and a rich creamy onion gravy.
Sunday Roast is a great UK tradition that we’ve been treated to by our friends the past two times we’ve made it to London. This meal is a lot like a (slightly) smaller version of what you expect for Thanksgiving dinner in the US. Turkey, gammon (ham), beef, and pork are often available along with a large selection of veggies, including parsnips and rutabagas.
Even though you can find fish and chips throughout the world, they’re not quite as good as here in the UK either. Beer-battered haddock and tasty fries (the “chips”):
When dining on a budget, Scotch eggs were a cheap, tasty side for our store-bought sandwiches. We were able to find them at several grocery stores for less than a pound.
The UK is also known for having great ciders, and, of course, Scotch whisky.
Famous Grouse is a brand of blended Scotch whisky, which comes from a number of distilleries throughout Scotland. We visited the Glenturret Distillery, which is one of the major ingredients for the Famous Grouse. We stopped in for a tour and tasting of several scotch whiskies. We definitely recommend checking out a distillery while in Scotland – Glenturret was a good choice.
Tennet’s Beer was just your typical lager that we saw in nearly every pub we visited in the UK. You could say it’s a bit like Budweiser in the US – both in availability and crowd-pleasing taste. We gave it a shot, nothing great, but not bad either.