Traditional British Grub Losing Out To Foreign Favourites

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Traditional British dishes have all but disappeared from our dinner tables in favour of foreign foods, a new survey has revealed.

Research by tourism and accommodation website found that half of Brits have never tasted traditional British dishes such as Toad in the Hole, Welsh Rarebit or Bubble and Squeak while more than 90 percent have Indian and Italian dishes such as curry, pizza and pasta at least once a week.

And when asked to name their signature dish, 38 per cent of those asked said Spaghetti Bolognese followed by a 24 per cent opting for Chilli Con Carnie and a fifth going for Lasagne. Only seven percent mentioned British dishes such as Shepherd's Pie or an English Breakfast.

The survey also highlighted the fact that previously popular British recipes are dying out as a third of people admitted to not knowing what Toad in the Hole was and a further 64 percent had no idea what Welsh Rarebit was.

Marcus Simmons, iknow-uk's managing director, said: "We think it's a huge shame that British dishes which were previously commonplace seem to be fading into obscurity.

"Whereas most British households serve pasta or pizza maybe two to three times a week, they might sit down to a traditional British roast dinner just once a month. It's important that we support British farmers and growers by bringing classic British recipes to the family dinner table more often.

"Whether it's an Eccles cake, a Cornish pasty or a Bury black pudding, regional food and local recipes are part of the identity of the nation so we're encouraging people to explore the UK and taste the nation's superb produce at the same time."

The survey focused on popular British dishes from around the UK including Cullen Skink, a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions originating from the town of Cullen in Moray, Scotland.

Bath Chaps, a dish from Somerset made up of the lower half of a pig's cheek, ideally a local Gloucester Old Spot, was also referenced by respondents.

Toad in the Hole was the most commonly referenced British dish but respondents struggled to name its main components of sausages in a Yorkshire pudding batter.

The survey comes ahead of British Food Fortnight which takes place from 19th September - 4th October.

Love British Food! is the organisation behind British Food Fortnight and Alexia Robinson, founder of the event, comments: "When I started British Food Fortnight eight years ago I joked that the aim was to make us more like the French and the Italians whose love of their national food is ingrained in their consciousness.  Well, according to this survey, what a long way we still have to go! 

"But it does reaffirm how important the national food promotion and its activities, particularly in schools, are - it is much more than a mere date on the calendar.  Many of our national dishes have a history as ancient as our castles and awareness is essential if they are not to be lost."

iknow-uk's websites cover the UK's most popular tourist regions and are visited by almost a million users each month.  

As well as listing accommodation, iknow's websites also list great places to eat during your stay using high quality local produce so holiday makers can enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the area they are visiting.

For more information, visit 


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Notes to Editors:


-          iknow-uk ltd launched iknow-yorkshire in September 2003. They have since launched iknow-lakedistrict, iknow-northwest, iknow-cornwall, iknow-devon, iknow-wales, iknow-scotland, iknow-dorset, iknow-kent, iknow-somerset, iknow-sussex and iknow-hampshire.

-          April 2009 saw the launch of a comprehensive hospitality section to iknow-yorkshire, which is also available on iknow-lakedistrict and soon to be on iknow-northwest.

-          Since their launch, the sites have received over 25 million visitors and created two million booking enquiries, which equates to £290 million worth of bookings, making iknow a leading authority on online bookings across the UK. 

-          For enquiries contact iknow-uk on 01772 52116

 -    Running from 19th September to 4th October and now in its eighth year, British Food Fortnight is the biggest national celebration of the diverse and delicious range of food that Britain produces.  Every major supermarket is running British food promotions during the event as are eight of the largest food service organisations and six major pub groups.  Wembley Stadium, Grey Gables Hotel in Radio 4's The Archers, the Cabinet Office, the BBC, John Lewis and the National Trust are just a few of the famous establishments taking part this year.  For further information and details of events taking place around the country during the national food promotion, see or telephone 020 7840 9292 E: