Britain's Top Ten Favorite Foods for 2022

Sunday, 28 August 2022


Popular British Foods 2022



Before I moved over to the UK in the year 2000, I was told that I would not like the food there. For some reason British food had a very bad reputation.  I really didn't know what to expect. 

 

I certainly was not expecting what I found. My experience was that I found some of the most delicious and appealing foods that I had ever eaten. Like anything they could either be very well done, or very poorly done. What I discovered was heart warming, filling and most satisfying to the palate!


In the UK I had at my fingertips some of the freshest and most delicious foods available in the world. Beautiful cheeses, meats, poultry and produce. I fell in love with all of it, and was quite happy to say at the end of my experience that what I had been told was totally and utterly wrong.  


Whoever had told me that the food was awful was grossly mistaken. Even at its simplest it was really very, very good.  But I suppose that all depends on where you eat.  You actually do get what you pay for. If I had any complaint at all it would be salad. They don't really do salads very well.

For them salad is a lettuce leave with a slice of tomato and cucumber on top.  And not always fresh. I learned never to order salad in a restaurant. The British don't do salad and you were more than likely to get a really minging piece of lettuce. I even got salad with fur growing on the tomato and cucumber. Bad. Bad. Bad. 


I thought it would be fun here today to explore the dishes which are the most popular to the actual British people in 2022. There is no denying that Great Britain is becoming a nation of great diversity when it comes to culture and to food, but there are some things that never change and that is the popularity of some foods.  


This list I am sharing today comes from a survey which was done and compiled by YouGov. The dishes are listed according to the percentages of adults who liked these foods. I actually have recipes for most of these dishes that I have cooked here in my kitchen, so if you are keen to cook some of these things yourself, read on!


British Chips



1. CHIPS - 84% of British adults surveyed listed Chips as their favorite food. By this we are talking about what North Americans call French Fries.  Potato Chips are called "Crisps" in the UK.  The British take their chips very seriously.  Thick, hand cut and fried til golden brown with a proper potato.  Anything less would be sacrilege.  There are local chippies (places which sell fried chips) in ever neighborhood and they are always busy.  For a great recipe  see my fish and chips recipe below!

I don't think I was ever served a frozen French Fry with the exception of some of the fast food joints.  For the most part all I was ever given was hand cut, twice fried and delicious!


Fish and Chips



2. FISH & CHIPS - 83% of British list Fish & Chips as their favorite food and no surprise here as they are one of the tastiest things goin in the UK. This delicious dish has been a popular meal with the British since the 19th century.  


Known as a street food, even small Hamlets can boast of having their own fish and chips shop and it would not be a trip to the seaside without enjoying  a feast of fish and chips, wrapped in white paper as you sit on a bench watching the waves and beating off the sea gulls. (They love fish and chips as well.)  


Chip shops are always super busy on Friday nights with people getting in their favorite Friday teatime treat!


The fish, which usually Cod, Haddock or Plaice is dipped in a delicious batter and deep fried. Chips are almost always hand cut and twice fried.  You will always be asked if you want salt and vinegar on them and they will lavish them with salt and malt vinegar if the answer is yes.   This is the ultimate finger food!  


You can find my recipe for the most delicious Beer Battered Cod and Twice Fried Chips here




Roast Chicken with Lemon & Herb Stuffing





3. ROAST CHICKEN - 82% of adults surveyed chose roast chicken.  Now this is one which really surprised me.  The British do love a Sunday Roast and are known the world over for their Roast Dinners.  


A lot of people will eat out at a Carvery on a Sunday and treat themselves to a full on roast dinner with all the trimmings. On offer will be Beef,  Ham, and Turkey, but only very rarely chicken.


Chicken however, it seems is a full on favorite amongst the British and one has to wonder if it is because chicken in the UK is much more affordable than any of the other meats?  I don't know, but you can find my delicious recipe for a Roast Chicken with a Lemon & Herb Stuffing here.  It will not disappoint! 



English Breakfast

 





4. ENGLISH BREAKFAST - This comes in fourth with 81% of adults surveyed listing it as their favorite food. I can remember when I first moved over to the UK, it was a real treat to go into town to the British Home Stores on a Saturday morning and treat ourselves to a full English.  With sausage, bacon, egg, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, mushrooms and fried bread, or buttered bread. 


It is the highlight of any B&B stay all over the UK with most B&B's taking great pride in the cooked breakfasts that they serve.  Some will offer a side of blood pudding as well, although it is a taste I never acquired. I do love a full English however, or fry up as it is also lovingly referred to.  You can find my recipe for a Traditional British Fry Up here.




Creamy Mashed Potatoes





5. MASHED POTATOES - The British do love their potatoes and Mash is one of their favorites, second only to chips.  They even have potatoes that are grown specifically to be used to make Mashed Potatoes.  75% chose mashed potatoes as a favorite food which really surprised me as I would have thought that Roast Potatoes would be more popular.  Apparently I was wrong!


For mashed potatoes you will want a floury or fluffy variety such as Maris Piper or King Edward, although the Potato Council suggests the smooth Desiree for velvety mash. These are UK varieties.


In North America, I would recommend a Yukon Gold or a Russet.  You can find my recipe for Perfect Creamy Mashed Potatoes here.   Its a real winner of a recipe!

 



British Pea Soup




6. SOUP - 74% of adults surveyed chose soup as one of their favorites.  There is no denying that a hot bowl of soup is indeed very satisfying on a cold and damp day, and since it does rain a lot in the UK, then I guess that soup being a favorite is really no surprise!


In the grocery stores you will see very extensive soup aisles containing tins of every variety of soup that you can imagine.  There are also loads of fresh soups available in the Chiller aisles.  


The British do love their soups and there is nothing more British than Pea Soup, or what is also lovingly referred to as The London Particular. You can find that delicious recipe here.  


 


Bangers & Mash





7. BANGERS & MASH - 74% chose Bangers and Mash.  I am not surprised here. Nobody does sausage like the British and they are the perfect choice to serve with all of that lovely fluffy mash that they also enjoy.


Usually it will be served with an onion gravy, or Bisto.  The grocery aisle has a special section filled with gravy powders.  The British do love their gravy.  They pour it over almost everything and they especially love Bisto.  


Most do not make a gravy from scratch, preferring the convenience of powders, which actually surprises me because gravy is really quite easy to make. You will even see the powders being used in restaurants.  In any case if you are looking for a really great Bangers and Mash recipe why not try my Sage Roasted Bangers with Mash & Onion Gravy!  




Prime Rib




8. ROAST BEEF -  I was really surprised that Roast Beef came this far down the list actually tying with Bangers and mash at 74%.  The British are known throughout the world for their Roast Beef. In fact the guards at the Tower of London are called Beef Eaters!


Roast Beef will usually be served with all of the trimmings. Perfect Roasted Potatoes, and tall and fluffy, crisp Yorkshire Puddings, or batter puddings as they are also called.

 

There will also be gravy and an assortment of cooked vegetables on the side and any number of condiments such as Horseradish Sauce, hot English Mustard or Apple Sauce.  Popular vegetables are cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, swede (rutabaga) and peas! 


You can find my recipe for Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef here.  I guarantee roast beef perfection each and every time. 




Beans on Toast



9.  BEANS ON TOAST - 73% of those surveyed declared their favorite meal to be Beans on Toast. No surprise there.  The British love their toast and have perfected the art of making toast, and they love, LOVE serving things on toast.  You will see anything from canned tomatoes or canned mushrooms to sardines served on toast!


I was not at all surprised to see that Beans on Toast made the top ten actually.  It is one of the most comforting dishes around and incredibly economical as well.


When you can't think of anything else to have a tin of beans (must be Heinz) spooned over some toast is amazingly satisfying.  You can fine my kicked up version of Beans on Toast here.





Steakhouse Steak & chips





10. RIB EYE STEAK - This was the favorite meal choice for 70% of those surveyed.  No surprise there actually.  I would have thought curry would pip it but the beef in the UK is some of the best in the world. I never had a bad steak there.  Every steak I ever had was beautifully tender and delicious.


Mind you that had a lot to do with how it was cooked and most of the time it was myself who was doing the cooking, not to brag or anything. I do cook steaks brilliantly.


If you would like to cook a really tasty rib eye steak, check our my recipe for Steakhouse Steak and Chips here. Perfectly grilled and served with a delicious parsley chimichurri sauce! 


So that was the top ten.  I have to say I was really surprised at what made the top ten. I would have thought that you would have found a Kebab or a good curry in that list, but alas they were much further down the list.   Egg and chips is also very popular but not in the top ten I am afraid!


Have you ever travelled in the UK?  If so, what was your favorite dish that you had while you were there?  What was your worst?? 


If you are from the  UK, what is it that you really miss from your homeland??


I really want to know! Lets share!!


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9 comments

  1. I LOVED THE SKATE AND CHIPS WE HADSEVERAL TIMES IN SOUTHEND ON SEA.THEY WERE SERVED WITH MUSHY PEAS AND COLESLAW AND WERE WONDERFULLY COOKED AND WERE DELICIOUS. WITH A GOOD STRONG CUPPA AND NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD. THANK YOU FROM A FELLOW CANADIAN WHO HAS BEEN TO THE UK OVER 20 TIMES. BEST COMFORT FOOD ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. I LOVE YOUR SITE VERY MUCH. I THINK WE ARE KINDRED SPIRITS. AS A WIDOWED WOMAN ON MY OWN, I LOVE YOUR SMALL BATCH RECIPES VERY MUCH. CHEERS LOVE!

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    1. Thank you so much SweetPea! What a lovely comment. I truly appreciate it! I agree, best comfort food in the world! xo

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  2. what is the best way to cook pork chops ? when frying I find them dry & tough

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    1. If your chops are dry and tough that is an indication that you are over-cooking them! Fried chops are lovely. Depending on if they are bone in or bone out, you need to only cook them until they are just done on the interior. Brining also helps. I often brine thicker chops.

      The key with chops is to maximise the flavour by cooking the fat on the outside really well over a high heat. This should be done quickly so as not to dry out the meat inside. You can help to keep the chops nice and tender by doing one of the following:

      Soaking the chops in a brine
      Resting them after cooking
      Finishing them in a low oven
      Cooling the pan of seared chops by adding a liquid like cider
      Roasting them on top of vegetables so as to protect one side from the intense heat.

      When done the juices should run clear. To find out how to brine chops check out my post here: https://www.theenglishkitchen.co/2018/10/brined-breaded-baked-pork-chops.html

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  3. I guess none of these suprise me except maybe the rib eye steak!

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    1. I was surprise there was no curry on the list as curry is a top favorite with most people! xoxo

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  4. Any suggestions for a perfect meat to cook during Christmas?

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    1. We always have turkey: https://www.theenglishkitchen.co/2010/12/whole-christmas-feast.html

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  5. I miss pork pies, specially Melton Mowbrey pork pies. I do make my own and Cornish pasties. Crumpets is another favorite that I've found a decent recipe for. I make curries a couple of times a month but a nice Indian or real Chinese would be great, not Asian American cuisine which is not really that good.

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