Now that we’ve all somewhat recovered from the gluttony of Thanksgiving and all the leftovers have finally been polished off, I believe it’s safe to approach the topic of food once more.

Some research was done in Britishland to see how its inhabitants view the country’s “traditional” dishes.  The foods were ranked on how the respondents placed them on a tier (“God” all the way down to “Crap”). (At this point, my Murkin Readers should refrain from saying “It’s ALL crap” because that would be wrong, and you would be at risk of being labeled “ignorant” by the owner of this here back porch.)

Here are the results:

Now, I have tasted every single dish* in the above, and in fact, I grew up eating a lot of them.  Some are not only beloved, but can be regarded as part of the extreme top of Kim’s Food Triangle.   (*I have never touched Jellied Eels, whose existence can only be ascribed to Satan’s Work, and the thought of ingesting the slimy shit makes me throw up in my mouth, and not a little either. )

Nevertheless, I beg to differ with many of the rankings, thus:

Some explanation ad comment:

  • Crumpets (a.k.a. English muffins) are really just toast, i.e. an accompaniment to a meal.  (Crêpes are another matter altogether, but they’re European, not British.)
  • Cottage- and shepherd pies taste like bland gray hamburger meat covered with mashed potato.  Ugh.
  • Steak ‘n kidney pie could easily make my “God” tier, come to think of it, as could bangers ‘n mash.
  • Welsh rarebit:  chunks of crispy toast in hot beer cheese with fresh tomato pieces… nom nom nom.  If I want to lure my kids over for dinner, I only have to say that this will be on the menu.
  • All the lower-tier dishes pretty much belong there, and I will only eat them out of politeness to my host.
  • I have no idea why sausage rolls weren’t included;  in fact their omission makes the entire study even more suspect than it already is.

All the rest should be self-explanatory.

Oh, and by the way: a “ploughman’s lunch” is not  as pictured in the chart;  made properly, it consists of a cheese roll, an apple and a pint of beer — being what would fit in a farm worker’s lunch bag without falling to pieces and/or messing up the inside of the bag.  I don’t know where they got all that other crap, but it’s bullshit.

Here’s my personal Trifecta Of Yummy:




Were it not for the fact that Doctor Killjoy believes that weighing 500 lbs is A Bad Thing, I’d eat that lovely stuff each day forever.  With a sausage roll for tea.


  1. Why is Beef Wellington ranked so low? Probably because so few have tried it. It is fillet steak after all.

    And a properly cooked haggis is divine. Try this: take a slice of haggis, cover with bacon, and top with a poached egg. Now pour over some Hollandaise sauce. Nom. Pair with a slice of black pudding treated the same way.

  2. I’m not a picky dick when it comes to food but there are a couple things that I just won’t eat because of flavor or texture. Liver, fer instance, no matter how it is cooked will never cross this pallet again. Cantalope has an odd flavor to me, and the consistency of plain cottage cheese will make me heave.
    In that british line up the black disks that look like what you put under an uneven chair leg, those ghastly eels, and that strange looking haggis would probably be off limits. Best I can say is, set em in front of me and let’s see what happens. As Ronnie Van Zant said, “I tried everything in my life, Things I like I try ’em twice, You got that right.”

  3. I also wondered about Beef Wellington, then again I’ve only had it in a good steak house, the meat was so tender you didn’t need a knife.

    I’ve had black pudding, not something I’d go out of my way for but I’d eat it again (and yes, I know what it is). I also really like Shepherd’s Pie, but again I’ve had it made in the US, so in addition to the ground beef, veggies and mashed potatoes, it had seasoning, something I’m told isn’t a staple of British cooking.

    I also like Kippers, but then again I’m half Norwegian so there’s not much that comes out of the ocean I won’t eat (although I’d likely draw the line at jellied eels, assuming they are what the name implies). Then again, one of these days I’m going to try Lutefisk just to say I did.

  4. I’m finding it harder and harder to find those True-Brit dishes on my biannual trips to the UK. The world is getting homogenized. Everyone wants to serve “International” food. Mcdonalds and the other chains are everywhere.

    Same in Germany, Hungary and Czechia when we visit the Continental parts of our extended family. Can’t get a decent Broettchen without driving 20k. Hungarian Goulash out of a can. Curry-Wurst. Ugh.

    Happily, the beer, and the Czechs make the best.

    1. That homogenization is a long standing trend.

      Back in the 80’s while stationed in Korea, my Ajima (housekeeper in the BOQ) had saved enough money to quit working on base and open her own restaurant off base.

      I stopped in when it opened and she would not let me order any of the Korean dishes on the menu and insisted on serving me a hamburger and fries. (while not bad, I could’ve gotten better on base, but she was so proud that I just smiled and ate it).

        1. 20 years in tanks and never made it to Korea. But lemme tell you about the currywurst and fries at the Walsrode ASP (Ammo Supply Point) kantine (near Bergen-Hohne training area). About a foot long spicy sausage and sauce curled round the plate, the fries were like old school McD’s, but 3 times larger… Didn’t do the beer as I was there on business dealing ammo but I’d come up with any excuse to fiddle with our basic load to be there at lunch.

          1. I did a 5 week TDY in Berlin shortly after the Wall came down and quickly learned that the best lunch was either a currywurst or a doner from the imbiss on the kaserne. There are a couple of decent German places local to me where I can get my fix when I need it.

  5. Having spent close to 10 years living in Britishland, most of those have found their way down my neck. Yorkshire puddings are an integral part of the traditional Sunday lunch (or at least they were at my English in-laws) so I’d give them the crumpet treatment. Sausage rolls will straighten your spine, cleanse your soul and keep the country from losing the War. Their omission is akin to leaving out one of the Apostles when sending out invites to the Last Supper. Now I’m going to have to make a few dozen…..

  6. I have tried about a third of those dishes and mostly liked what I tried.

    On the bottom tier, the only thing I have had is the liver & onions. I know I’m probably in the minority, but liver & onions was a dish my mom made when I was growing up, and, well, I *like* liver & onions. (Of course, that assumes that it is correctly prepared – onions properly caramelized and the liver not over or under cooked.)

    I have eaten everything on the top tier, and the only one I didn’t care for was the Yorkshire pudding. I love fish-&-chips, roast, the English style breakfast, and a plain bacon sandwich. (…throw a couple of slices of tomato, a bit of lettuce and a swipe of mayo on it and it’s divine.)

    Just remember that everyone’s taste is different, and free American citizens are allowed to have different tastes than yours or mine.

      1. Ordered L&O at a local Shoney’s (since out of business) just to prove to the kids that you can eat things you don’t like. Still didn’t like. I miss their Slim Jim. Okay, the Hot Fudge Cake, too. Can keep the strawberry pie…

    1. I hated L&O until my college room-mate John insisted on cooking it for as his English mother had taught him. He caramelized the onions as usual, but he sliced the liver very thin, then dredged it in beaten eggs then a mix of flour and fine bread crumbs. He fried those up in a very, very hot cast iron pan.

      The insides were tender and rare-ish and the outside were golden brown and crispy. Before that I thought liver was soggy, grey, cooked to death and evil tasting shoe-leather. I’ve been cooking it like John’s mom ever since and still love it.

  7. I’ve always considered talk of how bad English food is to be French propaganda.

    I’ve had French cuisine and while OK, certainly not the be all and end all so many hype to be. I certainly won’t pay premium prices to eat at a French restaurant if there is an alternative (Western steakhouse, Tex-Mex, Chicago Pizza, NYFC Pizza, Greek, English, Italian, Korean…) available in, say, a 60 mile radius.

  8. Howinthehell is Toad in the Hole not Top Tier? It’s like Yorkshire pudding WITH SAUSAGE!

    And a good scotch egg is a damn good meal, especially if there’s a little scotch in the dipping sauce.

  9. It took Mamma Gizzip the better part of 10 years to figure out how to make Yorkshire pudding but when she did ….. oh Heaven with au jus gravy and a nice roast beast!

    I had “Bangers & Mash” in Hamilton, Bermuda and was roundly unimpressed. But, of course, Fish & Chips is always a good go-to.

  10. I’ve tried them all too, Kim, except jellied eels. I would elevate Beef Wellie to “God” level if it were cooked properly (rare-medium rare); unlike the picture which is way over. And I also enjoy blood sausage, albeit the Latin variety. Steak and kidney belongs up there, too. Nothin’ like Yorkie with all the drippings!

  11. How many times . . . it’s Welsh “rabbit.” The name is *supposed* to be an ethnic slur! And I like to make it — the dish, that is. Not interested in annoying Taffy.

  12. I spent the summer of 2006 working in England, mainly bouncing between Cheltenham, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Having heard nothing but bad jokes about English food, I was pleasantly surprised. I actively seek out English food now, which, living in Florida, isn’t difficult to find.

  13. We have a local dive here in Lawton that purports to be an ‘Irish pub’. The menu included bangers and mash. It was tasty but good lord the serving was sufficient to feed probably 50 Ethiopians. Not that that is a bad thing, but I hate leaving food on the plate. And I had to.

  14. This was a hell of an article to read just before lunch. Some of those dishes are encouraging me to overeat.

    There’s almost zero chance I can find most of those in the wilds of Western Mass. Anyone have a source for traditional recipes? Recipes not modified to be vegan, or carbon neutral, or trans-fat free (or are we encouraging trans whatevers? I can’t keep track), or whatever new madness is inflicted on cooking these days.

Comments are closed.