There have been a number of surveys made on the nation’s favorite foods, but while there are many overlaps there are also many variations. There is no doubt that dishes from outside the UK are now much more popular than many traditional British foods, but despite that it seems that the favourite take away food is still fish and chips, though curry, Chinese takeaway and pizzas are not far behind. Remember you can get a lot of the ingredients to make this at home from Cotswold Fayre.
Fish and chips
Despite the huge variety of take-away food shops that are found in every reasonably sized town and city, taking the nation as a whole the favourite take away food is still fish and chips.
There are few things that could be more British than fish and chips, preferably wrapped in paper, doused in vinegar and salt and eaten in the open air. Just the thought of it is sufficient to make your mouth water.
Fish and chips first gained popularity in the UK in the 19th century. North Sea fishing boomed as the advent of railways that connected sea ports with the main cities meant that fresh fish could be transported across the nation. The very first fish and chip shop opened London in 1860.
Today 39% of Brits favour fish and chips over all other take away foods, which keeps it in the lead, but is considerably down on the 1972 figure when 64% of Brits favoured it.
Stir fried chicken
Stir fried chicken is the nation’s second favourite food, and it has recently overtaken Indian curries. Naturally there are as many forms of stir fried chicken as most people can count in a life-time, so its number 2 status maybe a little unfair. However it is the most popular Chinese take-away and also the most popular international dish cooked in homes.
In fact around one in five of us have chicken stir fry at least once a week, and the most popular recipe is simple Cantonese style with fresh vegetables and noodles. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it very easy to prepare, much easier than most traditional British dishes.
While modern life styles mean that the traditional Sunday roast is no longer as common as it has been in the past, it still remains a favourite food across the nation.
Traditionally it consists of roast beef, though alternative meats are lamb, pork and chicken; roasted and boiled potatoes; and seasonal vegetables. Accompaniments include Yorkshire pudding, stuffing and gravy.
There are various stories about its origin, but it seems likely that it dates from the 18th century when landowners rewarded their labourers by providing them with a meal of meat and potatoes after church. When it became traditional to prepare a Sunday roast at home, it was always the man of the house who was tasked with carving and serving the meat, as both a gesture of generosity and a feeling of pride.
Although today far fewer Sunday roasts are prepared at home, many pubs serve Sunday roasts, and they are always very popular.
Indian curry is the third most popular food in the UK, and the favourite dish is said to be Chicken tikka masala. This consists of chicken marinated and cooked on skewers in a clay tandoor oven and served with a masala sauce. While the masala sauce if generally tomato and coriander, many alternative ingredients and recipes are used.
There are various claims made about the origin of this dish. Some say that it was invented in Punjab around 50 years ago; others claim that it originated from an Indian restaurant in Glasgow; in fact this was debated in parliament; though the dish might have come from Birmingham or even Newcastle.