British food is notoriously outlandish. From peculiar combinations to funny names (Spotted Dick, ahem), it never ceases to amuse our friends across the pond. Here’s a rundown of the most bizarre British dishes to keep you entertained.
Sussex Pond Pudding
Slice up one whole lemon, encase together with butter and sugar in a suet pastry shell, plonk the whole thing in boiling water to steam for several hours – and you’ve got yourself a Sussex Pond Pudding. If you like marmalade, you’ll love the candied, syrupy end result.
Another one for the secret suet glutton, the Bedfordshire Clanger is an inspired amalgamation of main course and desert. On one end, you’ll find meat and potatoes; on the other, jam and sweetened fruit. It’s what a balanced meal looked like circa the 1800s.
Toad in the Hole
Sausages? Good. Yorkshire pudding? Delish. Fans of British comfort food will agree: it doesn’t get much better than this. The humorously named Toad-in-the-Hole consists of plump hearty sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding batter, and drenched in onion gravy. Pigeons-in-a-Hole is another variation – say what.
Remember that nursery rhyme about four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie? Well, substitute pilchards for blackbirds and you’ve got the Cornish speciality Stargazy Pie. The heads are angled upwards to allow the fish oils to drain into the pie, and of course, so they can gaze at the stars.
Hailed by many as the ultimate king of soups, Cullen Skink means business. A Scottish innovation of chowder, bisque and stew, it involves smoked haddock, potatoes and onion, and is often garnished with a poached egg. Why not?
This famously repugnant Scottish dish looks every bit as terrible as it sounds: heart, liver, and lungs encased in stomach? No thank you. Add oatmeal, suet, and spices and somehow you’ve got yourself a national treasure.
Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? Black Pudding is blood sausage: sausage made from blood, and it’s considered a delicacy in the Black Country and North West. Frankly, we’re surprised this vampiric treat ever made it into the venerable British cooked breakfast.
How do you manage a surplus of eels in the Thames? You eat them, obviously. This was the solution devised by working class Londoners during the 18th century, who chopped up their eels, boiled them, and allowed them to set into jelly. Now they’re making a comeback, and people are paying exorbitant prices to sample this, erm… delicacy.