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From bangers and mash to high-end cuisine, Britain offers some of the best food in the world

Yahoo! Contributor
Visit Britain
March 8, 2012

When it comes to comfort food, nobody has perfected it quite like the Brits. Staples like bangers and mash, fish and chips, or a delectable curry are just a few of the best.

But sometimes those foods are seen as somewhat boring, says Danny Boome, a British chef and star of Food Network's Rescue Chefs and ABC's daytime talk show The Chew.

"What people seem to forget is that our comfort food began because of World War II rations," he says. "The dishes we had were basically designed around milk, sugar, eggs, flour, fats, bacon and all these stodgy foods… So what people saw as boring, flavourless, high-fat food was basically due to the rationing system."

But that's not really what British food is all about. Britain's immigration explosion in the late 1950s and early 1960s introduced Brits to a whole new world of flavour.

"You started seeing fruits and vegetables coming in from Jamaica because people from Jamaica were bringing them," Boome says. "You also started seeing herbs and spices from India and the Asian continent."

That led to staples like exotic curries and Chinese cuisine being added to Britain's staple comfort foods. And today, British cuisine is even more varied, thanks to a growth in high end cuisine in the late 1980s and 1990s and the rise of celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver.

If you're travelling to Britain today, you can be sure to find an exciting meal no matter what your tastes. But if you want a truly British food experience, here are Boome's must-have foods to try when in Britain.

A traditional Sunday roast: You'll find this at just about any pub in Great Britain; a traditional Sunday roast with all the trimmings. It can be roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, roast chicken or pork, but Sunday night isn't the same without one of these traditional dinners.

A good curry: You can pretty much find a good curry at any of the many Indian restaurants in Britain. Even if you've made plenty of Indian cuisine at home and you are not of Indian descent, Boome still recommends trying it in Britain as it's a completely different experience. "There's a different flavour when different people are making the food," he says.

Fish and chips: Okay, it's cliché to want to eat fish and chips in Britain, but you won't regret it. If you do, be sure to have it with a can of Vimto (a soft drink made with grape, raspberry and black currant juice) or dandelion and burdock soda, says Boome.

A proper cuppa: That's British slang for a good cup of tea and, as Boome says, British tea is really the only kind of tea. Have your tea with milk only for a proper English experience.

A bar of chocolate: Good English chocolate is very different from anything you'd get in North America, Boome says. That's because their chocolate is made with real cocoa, whereas most of our chocolate is made with soy beans as a fat substitute. The best bars? Boome recommends grabbing a Mars bar or a Galaxy bar. You won't be disappointed.

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