A brief history
British cuisine has always been multicultural. In ancient times influenced by the Romans and in medieval times the French. When the Normans invaded, they brought with them the

spices of the east: cinnamon,


, nutmeg,

pepper, ginger

. Sugar came to England at that time, and was considered a spice

-- rare and expensive. Before the arrival of cane sugars, honey and fruit juices were the only sweeteners. And today despite being part of Europe we've kept up our links with the countries of the former British Empire, now united under the Commonwealth. One of the benefits of having an empire is that we did learn quite a bit from the colonies. From East Asia (China) we adopted tea (and exported the habit to India), and from India we adopted curry-style spicing, we even developed a line of spicy sauces including ketchup, mint sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to indulge these tastes. Today it would be fair to say that curry has become a national dish. Among English cakes and pastries, many are tied to the various religious holidays of the year. Hot Cross Buns are eaten on Good Friday, Plum Pudding for Christmas, and Twelfth Night Cake for Epiphany. Unfortunately a great deal of damage was done to British cuisine during the two world wars. Britain is an island and supplies of many goods became short. During the Second World War food rationing began in January 1940 and was lifted only gradually after the war. The British tradition of stews, pies and bread went into terminal decline.

saffron /s f r n/, cinnamon /s n -m n/
indulge [I or T] (satisfy) to allow yourself or another person to have something enjoyable, especially more than is good for you:
sweetener [C or U] an artificial substance that has a similar taste to sugar, or a small pill made of this

2. The Sunday Roast
Every Sunday thousands of British families sit down together to eat a veritable feast of roasted meat served with roast potatoes, vegetables and other accompaniments. It is a tradition with a long pedigree, so read on...

How it all began
In medieval times the village serfs served the squire for six days a week. Sundays however were a day of rest, and after the morning church service, serfs would assemble in a field and practice their battle techniques.

They were rewarded with mugs

of ale and a feast of oxen roasted on a spit.

The tradition has survived because the meat can be put in the oven to roast before the family goes to church and be ready to eat when they return. Typical meats for roasting are joints of beef, pork, lamb or a whole chicken. More rarely duck, goose or turkey are eaten. The more popular roasts are often served with traditional accompaniments, these are: roast beef - served with Yorkshire pudding; and horseradish

sauce or English mustard as relishes.(condimento) roast pork - served with crackling (the crispy skin of the pork) and sage and onion stuffing; apple sauce and English mustard as relishes roast lamb - served with sage and onion stuffing and mint sauce as a relish Additionally the Sunday roast will be served with gravy made from the meat juices.
Veritable: used to describe something as another, more exciting, interesting or unusual thing, as a way of emphasizing its character (auténtico) serfs a member of a low social class in medieval times who worked on the land and was the property of the person who owned that land squire in the past in England, a man who owned most of the land around a village

3. Fish and Chips
Fish and chips is the traditional take-away food of England, long before McDonalds we had the fish and chip shop. Fresh cod (bacalao) is the most common fish for our traditional fish and chips, other types of fish used include haddock (abadejo) , and plaice(platija) The fresh fish is dipped in flour and then dipped in batter (rebozar) and deep fried, it is then served with chips (fresh not frozen) and usually you will be asked if you want salt and vinegar added. Sometimes people will order curry sauce (yellow sauce that tastes nothing like real curry) Traditionally fish and chips were served up wrapped in old newspaper. Nowadays (thanks to hygiene laws) they are wrapped in greaseproof paper and sometimes paper that has been specially printed to look like newspaper. You often get a small wooden or plastic fork

to eat them with too, although it is quite ok to use your fingers.

4. British Cheese
Cheese is made from the milk of various animals: most commonly cows but often goats, sheep and even reindeer, and buffalo. Rennet (a substance used for thickening milk,

especially to make cheese) is often used to induce milk to coagulate, although some cheeses are curdled (gets thicker, cuajar ) with acids like vinegar or lemon juice or with
extracts of vegetable rennet. Britain started producing cheese thousands of years ago. However, it was in Roman times that the cheese-making process was originally honed (perfeccionado) and the techniques developed. In the Middle Ages, it was in the monasteries that flourished following the Norman invasion. It is to these innovative monks that we are indebted for so many of the now classic types of cheese that are produced in Britain. The tradition of making cheese nearly died out during WWII, when due to rationing only one type of cheese could be manufactured - the unappealingly (horrible) named “National Cheese'. The discovery and revival of old recipes and the development of new types of cheese has seen the British cheese industry flourish in recent years and diversify in a way

not seen since the 17th century.

QUESTIONS What species did the Normans bring with them? Which sweeteners were used before the arrival of the sugar cane? What did they adopt from China? And from India? When and why was a great deal of damage done to British cuisine? When did the Sunday Roast begin? Which meats are usually roasted on Sunday nowadays? Which meats are rarely roasted? Mention some of the sauces that accompany the roast meats. What is the traditional take-away food in England? Which are the most common fish used ? How is the fish prepared? How is the fish served? How was the meal served before? Which animals are the milk taken from to make cheese? Which substances are used to thick the milk? Who honed the cheese-making process? Where was the tradition kept when the Norman invasion? When and why was a great deal of damage done to British cheese?

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