Read about traditional British meals

English Breakfast

In the morning an Englishman has his favourite breakfast of cornflakes with milk and sugar or porridge followed by fried bacon and eggs. Breakfast is generally a bigger meal than they have on the Continent. Some marmalade might be spread on the toast and butter. Perhaps some fruit will also be eaten. For a change one can have cold ham, or perhaps fish, some coffee and a roll.

Dinner

The main meal of the day is called dinner. Dinner is eaten either in the middle of the day or in the evening. If it is eaten in the evening (about 7 pm), the midday meal is called lunch (about 1 pm). If dinner is in the middle of the day, the evening meal is called supper.

The usual midday meal consists of two courses – a meat course accompanied by plenty of vegetables. After it comes a sweet pudding or some stewed fruit.

Most Englishmen like what they call good plain food. Usually they have beefsteaks, chops, roast beef and fried fish and chips. They are not overfond of soup, remarking that it leaves them without free room for the more important meat course.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea one can hardly call a meal. This may mean a cup of tea and a cake taken in the sitting-room or at work. For many Englishmen it is a social occasion when people often come in for a chat over their cup of tea. But some people like to have the so-called ‘high tea’ which is quite a substantial meal. They have it between five and six o’clock. In a well-to-do family it will consist of ham, tongue and tomatoes and salad, or kipper, or tinned salmon, or sausage, with strong tea, bread and butter, then, stewed fruit, or a tin of pears, apricot or pineapple with cream and custard, and pasties, or a bun.

The evening meal goes under various names: tea, ‘high tea’, dinner or supper (as we have mentioned already) depending upon its size and the social position of those eating it.

Christmas Pudding

It is well-known that every national cuisine has got its famous specialties. It isn’t possible to imagine some holidays and celebrations without them. For example, Christmas Pudding for British cuisine means very much. Some English could dispense with the turkey and goose, but a Christmas dinner in Britain without a traditional Christmas pudding would be strange indeed!

The Christmas pudding is a direct descendant of the old time plum porridge, beloved by English people in the Middle Ages.

Nowadays, in addition to the basic mixture of flour, bread-crumbs and eggs, the ingredients of Christmas pudding include raisins, currants, candied peel, chopped almonds and walnuts, grated carrot and a good measure of brandy, whisky or old ale.

In many households the mixing of the pudding is quite a ceremony with all the members of the family taking turns to stir and make a whisk.

After being boiled for several hours, the pudding is stored until the time comes for heating it on Christmas Day when it is brought to the table on a large dish, big, round and dark-brown. The Christmas pudding is covered with white sauce burning in brandy.

Receiving each slice, the guests are warned to eat carefully because sixpenny bits, shillings, a tiny silver bell and a silver horseshoe have been put in it. Those who find the ‘treasure’ are supposed to have money in the coming year, whoever gets the bell is to be married and the horse-shoe is the traditional sign of good luck.