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11 Classic British Foods Explained to Americans

You've probably heard of all these traditional British foods, but now you can finally learn what they actually are.

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Scotch eggs on a plate with watercress salad and mayonnaise dipShutterstock / thefoodphotographer

Scotch Egg

Breakfast lovers will go crazy for this two-in-one dish. It’s a hard-cooked egg wrapped in sausage meat, then deep-fried.

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Yorkshire puddings in serving dishShutterstock / Joe Gough

Yorkshire Pudding

No, this is not a dessert. It’s more like a savory soufflé and is served with roast beef. Try our Onion Yorkshire Puddings.

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British Traditional Fish and chips with mashed peas, tartar sauce on crumpled paper.Shutterstock / DronG

Fish and Chips

British people don’t eat potato chips with their deep-fried fish fillets. “Chips” actually means french fries. Check out our version.

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Homemade Bangers and Mash with Herbs and GravyShutterstock / Brent Hofacker

Bangers and Mash

Americans call this dish sausage and mashed potatoes. The Brits just have cooler slang.

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Bubble and Squeak-traditional English dish made fried leftover vegetables, potato and brussel sproutsShutterstock / Fanfo

Bubble and Squeak

This dish is made with potatoes, cabbage and leftover veggies. It gets its name from the sound it makes when it cooks.

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close up of rustic english pub grub toad in the holeShutterstock / zkruger

Toad in the Hole

There aren’t any toads in this dish–only sausages that look like them. The American version is quite different.

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Grilled cheese sandwichShutterstock / locrifa

Welsh Rarebit (or Welsh Rabbit)

This sounds like a recipe you’d make after going hunting, but it’s meatless—basically cheese on toast.

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Spotted dick is a British pudding, made with suet and dried fruit (usually currants and  raisins) and often served with custard.Shutterstock / Radovan1

Spotted Dick

The Brits sure have weird names for pudding. This popular recipe is a boiled pudding “spotted” with raisins.

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Hot Home made toasted crumpets served with honey and jams. Shutterstock / Gaus Alex


You probably know you’re supposed to serve crumpets with tea, but what exactly are they? Think of English muffins that aren’t split apart.

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Eton Mess - Strawberries with whipped cream and meringue in a glass beaker.Shutterstock / Stolyevych Yuliya

Eton Mess

Named after Eton College (alma mater of princes William and Harry), Eton Mess is a dessert made with strawberries, meringue and whipped cream. It’s similar to a pavlova.

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Treacle Tart on a cooling rackShutterstock / stuar

Treacle Tart

Harry Potter fans have probably heard of this dessert (as well as these other magical treats). Treacle is a syrup similar to molasses and is used in the filling of a treacle tart.

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.
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