GLOSSARY OF BRITISH FOODS
Below is a glossary of the British foods that bear mystifying names. An asterisk (*) denotes that the food is pictured in the Photo Gallery at the bottom of the page.
Link sausages (Note: Link sausages are encased sausages--not ground sausage patties)
bangers and mash
Sausages and mashed potatoes
A link sausage that contains pork, pork fat, pig blood, and oatmeal (to absorb the blood). It really is black. (You know what they say about sausage and hotdogs: It’s best not to know what’s in them!)
A relish manufactured by Crosse and Blackwell, consisting of pickled carrots, rutabagas, onions, dates, cauliflower, apples, zucchinis, and various spices. Used as a condiment for many foods—especially common with a Ploughman’s lunch.
bubble and squeak
Mashed potatoes and cabbage—typically leftovers—that are formed into patties and fried. Sometimes a veggie other than cabbage is used. Supposedly, the cabbage squeaks as it cooks, thus the name. (Not to be a skeptic, but personally, I can't get my cabbage to squeak. Am I the only one failing in this department?)
A sandwich; term is used primarily in the north
A Scottish soup made of chicken and leeks
A pasty of chopped meat, potatoes, onions, and turnips, encased in a semi-circular pastry dough. It originated in the county of Cornwall. (Note: a pasty is a meat pie.)
A pancake-like product cooked on a griddle. Looks very much like an English muffin but tastes doughier. Served topped with a variety of toppings--jam, honey, Nutella, Marmite, cooked egg, etc.
Natural brown sugar; in the US, we sometimes call it “turbinado sugar.”
A cookie-like concoction with a raisin filling—along the lines of a Fig Newton. Originating in the town of Eccles, England.
A cold dessert of crushed fruit folded into whipping cream or custard
HP Sauce (aka “brown sauce”)
A tangy, bottled sauce made from vinegar, sugar, dates, tomatoes, apples, and spices. Used on many foods, such as fish and chips or meat. Its label carries a picture of the Houses of Parliament, thus the “HP.”
lump and spud
Meat and potatoes
A salty spread made from Brewer’s Yeast, packed with B vitamins. Typically used on bread, crackers, or cheese. The taste is powerful; the key is to use it sparingly.
A dish made primarily of suet, chopped steak, raisins, candied citrus fruits, brandy, and spices--though the recipe has many variations including a meatless version.
mincemeat baked in a pie crust
A meat pie
Boiled split peas that are cooked with carrots and onions and/or ham
A variation of a crumpet. A pikelet is made from crumpet batter, but many regions in Britain make slight alterations to the dish, such as making the pancake thinner or thicker. Pronounced “pik-let.”)
A cold array of bread slices, hunk of cheese, ham or beef slices, salad, and Branston pickle. Sometimes the plate includes additional accompaniments, such as slices of apple, carrots, celery, or grapes.
Chopped pork encased in pastry; served cold
The Brits use this word more broadly than those of us in the US do. Typically, when Brits say “pudding,” they’re referring to any dessert. But they may also use the word when referring to a savory dish, such as Yorkshire pudding--or, like Americans, when referring to a starch- or dairy-based dessert, such as rice pudding. (Note: A “savory dish” is a dish that is not sweet, but is, instead, sour, bitter, meaty or salty.)
A thin slice of bacon or ham
A sweet pudding, similar to tapioca pudding, made from the starchy sago palm
A strong cider
Beer mixed with a carbonated drink, such as ginger beer, ginger ale, or citrus sodas.
Lager beer mixed this cider
Toast cut into long, narrow strips, used for dipping into the yolk of soft-boiled eggs that are served in narrow egg cups.
A hard-boiled egg encased in sausage and breadcrumbs and deep-fat fried. (Health enthusiasts may refer to the Scotch egg as a "cork for the carotid artery," but the eggs are yummy!)
Suet pastry with added raisins. The raisins embedded in the pastry give this dish its “spotted” name. Add plums instead, and the dish is called “spotted dog.” (Note: Suet pastry ingredients are similar to those of American-style pie dough. But the dough is used differently in spotted dick. It does not line a pan. Instead, the dough is rolled into a long log, place in waxed paper, then steamed. To serve, the log is cut into slices, and oftentimes, the slices are served with custard.)
steak and kidney pudding
A savory dish in which chopped steak and beef kidneys are encased in suet pastry and steamed
Beef or lamb fat, especially the hard fat around the kidneys and loins. Similar to what Americans call “lard” (except that lard is pig fat and it’s soft due to "rendering," i.e., melting it by cooking it).
Similar to American-style pie dough but made with suet (beef fat) rather than with lard (pig fat).
*summer pudding (aka "summer fruit pudding")
A dessert in which sliced fruit and fruit juice are place over white bread and allowed to soak through.
Sausages cooked in batter
A syrup derived from sugar refining; can be light or dark. [Not as heavy as molasses.] Used to make treacle tarts.
A dessert with alternating layers of sponge cake, fruit, custard, and whipped cream
Meatballs made from chopped organ meats (usually pork), suet, and bread crumbs
*Welsh rarebit (aka "rabbit")
A mixture of melted cheese, beer, and Worcester sauced , served on toast
A puffy, bread-like dish made from egg, milk, and flour batter that is cooked in meat drippings. Typically served with roast beef.
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