London food comprises of the most varied cuisine, be it comfort food or exotic dishes, savoury or sweet. Among the many delectable dishes, there are some iconic every day classics that make British food unforgettable, be it their weird name or very awkward pairing.
Fish and chips and mushy peas
There is hardly a soul out there visiting London and not getting their hands on some fish and chips. Flaky and crispy, it’s hard to resist fish and chips, the same goes for its side dishes. Be aware that by default, chips will come with a generous helping of vinegar at the chippie, shout out if you don’t like it and do ask for mushy peas. This small side dish is served in tiny bowls alongside tartar sauce. Bright green and certainly mushy is nothing more but pureed peas.
Welsh rabbit or perhaps rarebit & Blushing bunny
The rabbit in questions is nowhere to be found in this dish, it has nevertheless stayed on to amuse us. It’s a very simple preparation: a grilled slice of toast dressed up with identical, thickly cut sticks of cheddar to cover it. It’s cooked under the grill to melt the cheese and served with a splash Worcestershire sauce. It’s not uniquely Welsh, as there is an English and Irish version as well. The sauce can get more elaborate as well with a lush béchamel-cheddar over your rabbit or a tomato and cheese sauce that makes for a delicious Blushing bunny. It’s cheese on toast for grownups.
Toad in a hole
British food has certainly its way with pies and pudding, toad in a hole is a very good example. Originating in the 18th century, apparently someone saw the bits of meat poking out of a pie and it got a glimpse of a toad in a hole. The term was coined and this delicious sausage and Yorkshire pudding bake has become a British classic.
Bubble and squeak
The name of this dish pretty much sounds like the cooking noises of the ingredients in the pan. An ingenious way for using the left over vegetables of the traditional Sunday roast, be it cabbage, potatoes, carrots or Brussels sprouts. Bubble and squeak used to be one of the quintessential British foods for many households during WWII when many foods were rationed. The reason it stayed on? it is a really quick and effective way to not just re-heat yesterday’s dinner but give it a bit of a revamp.
A dish inspired by Indian cuisine that also holds back to the Victorian era. Kedgeree is a version of the Indian kichary, rice and vegetable dishes. The British kedgeree has a bit of smoked fish, a hardboiled egg, a few raisins, some vegetables and of course a generous helping of curry powder. Very filling, very easy to make and impossible to leave out of top comfort British foods.
Fish fingers sandwich
London food favourites will well include sandwiches, be it a very straight forward bacon sandwich or bacon sarnie or golden fish fingers. Fried fish and a bun, what’s not to like? This simple sandwich is the ultimate comfort food. You might be a fun of straight forward fish and chips but this is taking fried fish a step further. You can give your fried cod a posh touch with a bit of rocket thrown in or just enjoy plain and simple with a helping of ketchup.
Scotch egg, black pudding & Haggis
This is an egg in disguise, but an egg nonetheless. It is hiding under a compact layer of minced meat and a crunchy crust. It’s as scotch an egg as you can get. Not the only delicacy that is associated with beautiful Scotland. The English breakfast gets an added extra of sliced black pudding along with the baked beans and toast. This dark sausage is pork blood, oats and fat which makes many people shriek but it is absolutely delicious. If you are in a more intellectual mood, on Burns night you can try haggis along with a good reciting of poetry too.
Rock, the seaside pleasures
Rock is one of the most iconic candies, not strictly London food as this hardboiled candy is mainly found by the seaside: be it Brighton or Blackpool. The long sticks taste of peppermint and come with all sort of messages and popping eye colours.
Another favourite pairing with toast, they come in a jar and you can find them in some of the best restaurants too. Morecambe shrimps is a small shrimp that gets cooked in spiced butter, mostly nutmeg butter and served on a slice of warm toast.
There has been many a laughs over this simple cake. The spots are nothing but dried fruit or raisins, recently renamed to Spotted Richard to avoid embarrassing comments, for some reason its old name seems to persist. Do enjoy your spotted dick with custard and a good brew of tea. British food cannot but come with a good dose of British humour.