I love food, who doesn’t?! I love to cook it, eat it, look at it, and learn about it-I even briefly considered doing my Masters in food history (did you even know that was a degree?). Poking through grocery stores is one of my favourite things to do in a new place; it’s fun discovering new products, while also trying to decipher foreign printed labels!
Since I’ve moved to the UK I have discovered so many new foods, some good and some not so good, but there are a few that I would now consider favourites. So here, without further ado, are my top three favourite UK foods!
Cornish cream tea—mmmm….a warm scone smothered in lashings of jam and clotted cream, this is the food that dreams are made of! In June 2010 we took a road trip from our home in Liverpool down to Cornwall, with many a stop along the way. One of the highlights of the trip was our stop at the Eden Project, an amazing garden/biodome/educational charity/social enterprise and all around wicked cool place! It was here that I had my first proper cream tea. Sitting outside on a sunny day, surrounded by incredible gardens with a delicious scone and a cup of tea is definitely one of life’s simple pleasures.
Beans—I’m not above a good convenience food, and Heinz baked beans are the Kraft dinner of the UK. I grew up with beans and you can get some delicious baked beans in Canada, especially maple baked with pancakes at the sugar bush in the spring, but they aren’t the same as the ever-present tin canned variety in Britain. Here they’ll put beans with anything; with baked potatoes, with fish fingers, with sausages, and the Heinz website even has a baked bean pizza (though I remain dubious of this particular innovation)! Personally, my favourite preparation is cheesy beans on toast, with a little chipotle powder and chilli added for extra kick. This has quickly become one of my ultimate comfort foods and something I miss when I’m back in Canada.
Wheaten Bread—My boyfriend Damian is Irish, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Irish it’s that they like their carbohydrates! Potatoes are obviously at the top of the list, but there’s also soda bread, potato farls, and my personal favourite, wheaten bread. I’d never even heard of it before I left Canada for the first time, but now it’s a staple in my house and a necessity for a Sunday morning fry up. Wheaten, which is often simply called brown bread, is ubiquitous across Ireland and is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is really just a slightly crumbly, yeast free quick bread made with coarse ground whole-wheat flour and buttermilk. However, don’t let the unassuming ingredients fool you, it’s delicious!
Want to try making your own wheaten bread? Well here’s my favourite recipe, given to me by one of Damian’s aunts. It’s dead easy to make and it’s delicious! I think that’s a winning combination!
Irish Wheaten Bread
1/2 lb extra coarse wholemeal flour
3 oz porridge oatlets
1 teaspoons bread soda mix together
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons sugar or honey
1/2 pint buttermilk mix together
Add wet mix to dry mix. The mixture will be wet and sloppy.
Pour into a greased loaf tin.
Sprinkle some more porridge oatlets on top.
Bake for 45 minutes to 50 minutes at 190° or
170° celsius (fan assisted oven)
or gas mark 5. Done when golden brown and a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
Let cool for 10 minutes on a rack. Slice, enjoy and let me know what you think.