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Those grand old British food names                  

                                        July 2010  


Those grand old British food names

FoodIn a most unusual activity for me, I had a quick lunch at Paddington Station in London the other day. Even more unusually, I ate a Cornish pasty. I hadn’t had one for ages and it was delicious. It also was the topic of considerable conversation, with my companion saying that he had been told that in some areas, the pasty was filled one end with the traditional meat and vegetables but at the other with jam, so you could have main course and pudding in one quick meal!

I don’t know if there was a name for that extraordinary take-away lunch, but it did highlight to me other traditional British foods with names that must puzzle visitors to our nation as well as local residents.

For instance, the Bedfordshire Clanger is the name for a variety of the dish my companion was talking about. Like Cornish pasties, it was made mainly for workers to take out with them every day and comprised a hefty boiled suet pudding filled with bacon, or perhaps pork or beef, and then studded with fruit on the outside. It is certainly an old recipe and became very popular well before anyone had thought of introducing Chinese sweet and sour dishes over here.

Hog’s Pudding sounds equally as unappetizing as the Bedfordshire Clanger but is again I am sure delicious. It comes from the south west of England and was developed to use up those aspects of an animal that don’t always have universal appeal – the lungs, liver and heart. This offal dish is highly seasoned with lots of black pepper, nutmeg, coriander seeds plus parsley and thyme and some also mixtures add cayenne and mace. The meat has suet and barley added and then stuffed into a skin for cooking. It is still available through some local homes and shops and now a few supermarkets in the south west are stocking various versions of hog’s pudding.

Most people have heard of the famed Scottish haggis, but another big name from Scotland is the Arbroath Smokie. This is really just smoked haddock, but with a big difference. It is hot smoked on sticks over whisky barrels filled with beech and okay chips to give it a very individual golden look and an even more individual flavour. Along with that, there is also the Scottish Cullen Skink, a wonderful name for a fairly simple warming soup made from haddock, milk, cream, potato and onion.

Hack puddings are interesting. Hailing from the now defunct county of Cumberland in the north west of England, hack was only made for special occasions although today it is generally popular as a filling dessert. It is made from a mixture of oatmeal, minced lamb, currants, apples, sugar, nutmeg and a range of spices, all bound together with beaten egg. Traditionally it was stuffed in a calf’s stomach and boiled but now it is cooked in the same way as a Christmas pudding.

Many people have heard of a Sally Lunn, but few actually can describe what it is! In fact, a Sally Lunn is the original Bath bun, a light brioche-like cake style bun well glazed and sometimes flavoured with lemon or different spices.

Most people living in the UK know what Eton Mess is although I am sure it still is a big cause for puzzlement for some visitors from overseas. The super sweet mixture of strawberries, meringue and cream originated from the famous Berkshire school during the last century but is now found on many menus across not only Britain but also abroad.

If you are offered a Huffkin, there is no need to turn away. This wide flat bread roll originated from Kent and is a softly crusted wide flat bread role with a cake like texture. It can be filled with savoury meats such as bacon or sausage, or served filled with fruit, especially cherries.

There are probably many other local recipes with individual names around our country – if you have any favourites from your own specific region, do let us know. Email:-


Nutricentre Discount for laterlife visitors If in any doubt about any of the information covered in health and nutrition related articles and it's relevance for you, consult your GP.




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