Western Europe

English cuisine

The culinary tradition of England encompasses a rich tapestry of cooking styles, traditions, and recipes. While distinct in its own right, it shares similarities with broader British cuisine, influenced both historically and by the exchange of ingredients and culinary ideas during the era of the British Empire, as well as through post-war immigration from diverse regions like the Americas, China, and India.

Ancient origins underpin many traditional English meals, including staples like bread and cheese, roasted and stewed meats, pies filled with meat and game, boiled vegetables, broths, and a variety of freshwater and saltwater fish. Recipes for such dishes can be found in historical texts like the Forme of Cury, dating back to the 14th century during the reign of Richard II.

Throughout history, English cooking has embraced foreign ingredients and cooking techniques. The influence of Indian curry, for example, began in the 18th century and was adapted to suit English tastes, as evidenced by Hannah Glasse’s recipe for chicken “currey.” French cuisine also left its mark on English recipes during the Victorian era. Following the rationing of World War II, Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food, published in 1950, introduced Italian cuisine to English households and inspired a broader exploration of culinary styles, including Chinese and Thai. Today, England continues to integrate culinary influences from around the globe.

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Bon appetit!

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