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What do British people really eat?

British cuisine is an interesting one. There are some absolute classics - the famous roast dinner, fish and chips and full English breakfast. And then, we have things such as Spotted Dick - the name never fails to raise a smirk - and if you head to Scotland, Haggis - that’s sheep heart, liver and lungs combined with oatmeal and suet and spices encased in a sheep’s stomach. Taking those few dishes as examples of British cuisine, it is little wonder that the UK has a reputation for unhealthy food. However, there are also some absolute delights - let’s take a look.


The old saying is breakfast is like a king, lunch like a prince and supper (dinner) like a pauper. This means breakfast should be the big meal of the day - and if you get a chance to have a full English breakfast, you will be well set up for the day: sausage, bacon, egg, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and toast, although everyone likes to customise this list to suit their taste. However, since most people have to rush off to school or work, there is often only time to start the day with toast and jam or marmalade, or a bowl of cereal. Cornflakes are always a popular choice!


Lunch is served around midday. In some parts of the United Kingdom, the lunchtime meal is called dinner. On Sundays, it is traditional to sit down to a roast dinner which consists of roasted meat (chicken, lamb, beef or pork), roasted potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and gravy. A standard choice at lunchtime is a simple sandwich - for example, cheese and ham which is often accompanied by salad, although you can have almost anything on a sandwich! Other traditional British lunches include the Ploughman’s lunch (pork pie, cheese, pickle, apple and a bread roll) and soup, especially on cold days.


Dinner, rather confusingly, is often called tea (not to be confused with the hot drink) or supper, depending on where in the UK you might be. However, this meal is served between 5 pm and 8 pm and is generally considered the main meal of the day. Traditional British dinners are fish and chips, doused with salt and vinegar and often with a side of pickled egg or mushy peas. Other popular meals include bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potato), and shepherds or cottage pie (lamb or beef mince cooked in gravy with veg and mashed potato on top). Brits are also partial to meals from other cultures and cuisines. Curries are incredibly popular, as are pasta dishes, pizzas, spaghetti Bolognese and burgers and chips (fries).

Snacks and puddings

The Brits love snacks. Chocolate bars are popular, especially Cadbury chocolate which is made in Birmingham, in the centre of England. Crisps are also popular, and sweets or candy. Famous British puddings include the aforementioned Spotted Dick - a fruity sponge pudding made with suet and served with thick, creamy custard. Brits are also partial to trifle, which is sponge soaked in alcohol with jelly, custard and cream.

So, now you know a little bit more about what British people really eat, the question is, would you still say British cuisine is unhealthy? Don't forget, we did mention salad at least once!

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