18 British Foods the Rest of the World Doesn’t Want to Try

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By Darryl Henderson

Known for being bland and brown, British cuisine gets a lot of criticism, with some of it being rather unfair. However, the Brits themselves will staunchly defend some of their favorite comfort-centric dishes. Here are 18 British foods that non-Brits will likely turn their noses up at.

Pie, Mash, and Liquor

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Along with the bars of Shoreditch and the TV character Phil Mitchell, the meal of pie, mash, and liquor is one of East London’s finest exports. It consists of a minced beef pie, mashed potato, and liquor, which is a parsley-based sauce. In the 19th century, the working-class people of the area traditionally ate it. 

Sausage Roll

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In Britain, you can source a sausage roll from wherever you are in the country. The most famous distributor of sausages wrapped in puff pastry is the bakery chain Greggs, which exists in almost every town in the UK. The GlasgowTimes has coined the Scottish city of Glasgow as the “Greggs capital of the UK,” with 54 stores in the city. 

Fish and Chips

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It may not possess much color variation, but there’s nothing more comforting than a trip to the chippy on a Friday night. British chip shops are not known for their portion control, handing you a large battered cod and more chips than you’d normally dream of eating. Serve with salt and malt vinegar, and you’re onto a winner.

Beans on Toast

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Beans on toast is one of the few meals that people will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s exactly what the title suggests: baked beans on toast. True culinary experts will know that the dish is always made better when served with baked beans out of a tin and topped with extra mature cheddar.

Mushy Peas

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The people of Britain don’t often give their dishes ambiguous names, with mushy peas being a perfect example. Usually served as an accompaniment to fish and chips, there is very little else that goes into making mushy peas other than softening marrowfat peas and mixing them with butter, salt, and pepper.

Toad in the Hole

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Okay, maybe not all British dishes have blatantly obvious names. Toad in the hole, code name for sausages baked in a Yorkshire pudding batter, is said to have originated in Britain as early as 1762, with the earliest versions using beef rather than pork.


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Marmite’s entire marketing strategy hinges on the fact that some people love it, and some hate it. The polling isn’t as close as the company behind the savory, rich yeast extract spread would maybe believe, with Ipsos suggesting that 47% of adults like/love it, while 34% dislike/hate it.


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Scotland’s most famous meat product, haggis, may not sound appetizing when you realize it’s made up of a sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs. However, when served with its traditional pairing of neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes), it’s hearty and warming, perfect for a Burn’s night feast.


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Digestive biscuits understandably don’t sound appetizing to anyone outside of the UK. As the name suggests, they were originally invented to ease digestion in 1839. They’ve come a long way since, with their chocolate-coated version being voted as the UK’s favorite biscuit, or cookie, to all you Americans out there. 

Bangers and Mash

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Banger is a term for a chunky pork sausage, usually served on a bed of mashed potato and covered in thick onion gravy. It may sound simple and a little bland, but there’s very little that beats it on a cold winter’s evening.

Scotch Eggs

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As Britannica confirms, Scotch eggs are a pub and picnic favorite in the UK, even though they may seem somewhat otherworldly to those outside of the British Isles. They’re a fairly simple delicacy consisting of a boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, layered with breadcrumbs, and deep fried.

Christmas Pudding

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There aren’t many desserts other than Christmas pudding that are placed in the center of the table, covered in brandy, and then set on fire. The dish consists of dried and candied fruit mixed with sponge cake and is, as you may have guessed, served after Christmas dinner on the 25th of December.

Stargazy Pie

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Cornwall in the southwest of England is known for its seafood, and chefs like Rick Stein are bringing the area’s cuisine into the mainstream. Stargazy pie, invented in the village of Mousehole, consists of baked pilchards, eggs, and potatoes. Its main attraction is the protruding fish heads sticking out of the crust.

Jellied Eels

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Forget about the rest of the world wanting to try jellied eels; half of East London will happily pass on the dish. Usually accompanying a traditional pie, mash, and liquor, jellied eels have been dividing opinion since they were first served in the 18th century.

Black Pudding

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A staple of many ‘greasy spoon’ fry-ups, black pudding is made up of the blood from a pig or cow and mixed with oatmeal. The thought of eating blood is too much for many tourists to take, but according to a YouGov poll, 48% of Brits still eat black pudding on a regular basis. 

Pork Pies

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Pork pies are an adaptation of the meat pies eaten in medieval Britain, which must turn many non-Brits off from trying them immediately. Perfected in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, they consist of a chunk of pork and pork fat encased in shortcrust pastry and a layer of unappetizing jellied pork stock.

Spotted Dick

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Despite its rather bizarre name, spotted dick is one of the most beloved British desserts among those over the age of 65. It has begun to fade out of fashion since it first came about in the mid-1800s. It is essentially a steamed pudding made with suet and dried fruit and served with custard.

Crisp Sandwich/Butty

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When they cannot be bothered to cook anything, Brits will open a bag of crisps, known as potato chips in the U.S., and throw them inside two slices of bread to make a crisp sandwich or butty, depending on where you’re from. A Metro poll suggests that cheese and onion are the most common crisp flavors for this delicacy.