Here at The Billington Group we are always ready to celebrate Great British food, but what better way to shed light on the wealth of produce and tastes we have here in the UK than British Food Fortnight? The 2022 event(s) take place from September 20th – 2nd October and will see menu promotions, events, activities, education opportunities, in-store focus and much more across the country – all highlighting stunning British produce and menu ideas. The celebration of all things British food got us thinking about what we think are the great classics. In this blog we’re taking a look at what those are and what it is we think makes us all go mad for them!
We think there are a few categories for the big players in our favourites list, which cover off the things we love about homegrown produce and their resulting combinations; sometimes we are known for those comforting, winter warmers – think stews, soups and roasts, but on the other hand what’s more quintessentially British than strawberries and cream, an afternoon tea or if the Jubilee is anything to go by, a fancy trifle?
Food glorious (comfort) food
From pubs to home cooking, there are a few dishes that we naturally think of when celebrating food in this country. We know for sure that Brits love the pub and we’re used to seeing a particular handful of favourites on those menus, let’s explore the dishes we just can’t seem to live without.
Sausage and mash
This is a classic we all know and love and you’re never going to struggle to find some excellent British pork sausages and some perfect-for-mashing Maris Pipers to accompany them. Add some homegrown garden peas and you’ve got a dish that the whole family will love – perfect for a chilly evening in autumn and winter. Don’t forget lashings of gravy too!
Pie and chips/mash
It’s about as British as you can get. Whether you like a suet or shortcrust, or a more modern take with filo, pie is a classic and forever will be. We love an old fashioned thick crust for our pies and it’s something we know more than a little about. Did you know Billington Group makes around 70,000 pies per week and many of them have won awards? There’s probably a heated debate happening somewhere in Britain right at this moment about just what should accompany a classic pie. Obviously London’s famous pie and mash shops have their take, but are you a mash or chips person? However you’re having it, try some minted mushy peas and a generous pour of proper gravy to set it all of – lovely!
Fish and chips
As an island we have more than our fair share of coast and that means some stunning fresh fish. There’s something very nostalgic and heartwarming about classic, unfussy fish and chips watching the waves crash on a quiet coast – or maybe a bustling summer beach, depending on your preference. Another dish fraught with controversy about what it should have with it – we’re a huge fan of the classic salt, vinegar and lots of mushy peas. However, we know there are some strong fans of a gravy side, or maybe even an outsider, such as the curry sauce. However you like yours, there’s no denying the spot of fish and chips on the British classic list!
We simply couldn’t miss off some classic British puds here. Of course, there are a lot of contenders, many you could make with stunning, fresh British ingredients such as eggs, butter and more, but the humble crumble is a firm favourite and one of winter’s ultimate people pleasers!
If you want to elevate your crumble you can add some cinnamon to your apples or perhaps some ginger biscuit crumbs to your topping.
Full english breakfast
We couldn’t miss the very popular full english. Some perfect bacon, classic thick sausages, beans, toast, eggs, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes is a must for many. Are you a hash brown fan? Do they belong on that plate? Whatever you like on yours, British produce can deliver the goods to make the ultimate big breakfast!
Fresh and fabulous
We love a good hot meal here in Britain and many of our classics are staple winter warmers, but what about when summer rolls around? Here are some other British classics we love and that you can enjoy when the sun is shining!
Not much says summer dessert in this country better than an Eton Mess – strawberries and meringues smashed together with loads of whipped cream. It’s also a bonus that as well as tasting spectacular, it’s super simple to make and looks impressive to serve – everyone wins! We won’t hold it against you if you want to get creative and throw loads of different, fresh fruit in there though, we’re fortunate enough in Britain to have lots of stunning berries growing on our doorsteps. Pick your own is also a great fun summer activity that yields plenty to create with in the kitchen!
Scone and jam
Cream first? Jam first? Sultana, cherry, cheese? Scones are another contentious contender for top British foods as we just can’t seem to agree on how they should be served! However you like yours is fine with us, just make sure you put plenty of toppings on in whatever order. You can also try a cheese scone with chutney if you’re more of a savoury person and lucky for you, we have the best chutneys!
Pea and mint soup
Ok, technically we think of soup as purely autumn winter, but as a light meal on a cooler summer evening it can be a winner. As soup specialists too, we love a fresh and zesty pea and mint, not only does it look stunning (throw some creme fraiche on there too), but those delicate flavours are just designed to be enjoyed together and it’s a lovely light option as a starter, or a main with some beautiful fresh bread and salty British butter.
The nostalgic starter of dreams. Britain is lucky to have abundant fresh fish and seafood and while a favourite in the 70s and 80s, it’s fair to say nostalgic foods are back, as we talked about in our recent blog post.
Some fresh juicy prawns drenched in that delightful marie rose sauce, sat on a bed of crisp, cool lettuce – yum! Ideal for a summer starter or served in individual lettuce leaf cups at a party as an appetiser.
A pub favourite and never out of style is the Ploughman’s lunch. Giving a chance for us to showcase the very best fruits, cheeses, breads, meats and veggies Britain has to offer, on one tasty plate! It doesn’t hurt to add in some of those chutneys we mentioned earlier for a little extra kick! The added bonus here is that pretty much anything goes; we’re sure the ploughman’s was the beta for the
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