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London for Foodies: Decoding Common English Food

One of the best things about traveling to new places is being able to taste new food, and London does not disappoint.

While the MV Explorer was docked in Southampton, many students ventured into London to see—and taste—what the city has to offer on a “Foodie London” trip.

We visited local markets, sampled local foods, and ate dinner at chef Jaime Oliver’s restaurant, Union Jacks, which features modern twists on classic dishes. It was a great day out, but many of us were surprised by the names of the food. Bangers and mash? Yorkshire pudding?

This fun post decodes some of England’s most traditional foods.

Eating at Union Jacks in London.


Bangers and Mash: Also known as sausages and mashed potatoes, this tasty dinner is common throughout pubs and local English restaurants. Sausages were nicknamed “bangers” during wartime, when they were used as food rations but were so full of water they often exploded when they were fried.

Yorkshire Pudding: This pudding isn’t actually pudding at all—at least as it’s known in the States. Yorkshire pudding is more of a pastry, with an open top, that’s filled with gravy and vegetables. It’s usually eaten as more of an appetizer, at the start of the meal.

Pies: These aren’t your momma’s apple pies. The English have perfected the art of pastries, and here, a “pie” is a pastry, typically stuffed with meat and vegetables, similar to potpies in the States. You’ll find a “pie” to fit your taste buds, whether you’re craving steak, chicken, mince, pork, or something sweet. They’re also known as “pasties” or “Cornish pasties,” as the trend is said to have originated in Cornwall. Pies are sold throughout London, but the best we found were located in the Borough Market near the London Bridge.

Curry: While much of the food you find in London is actually imported from other countries, Indian curry is hailed as authentically English. There are hundreds of places to pop in for a curry, from fine restaurants and curry buffets, to local markets where curry is sold for roughly five pounds.

Fish and Chips: Fish and chips are classically English. The dish usually consists simply of fried fish and French fries, sometimes served with a side of mayonnaise or tartar sauce. Yum!




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