We should not limit UK’s kitchen to only old traditional recipes, in fact some people even think that traditional British food is “stereotypical and portray such a narrow, clichéd view of the UK in the 21st century” and we have to agree on that.
As the United Kingdom is highly multicultural, it is obvious that it is also “multi tasteful”. Vast and expanding immigration provided good conditions for international cuisine development with the first Chinese and Indian restaurants starting their businesses back in 1930s. At the moment, one can find a number of restaurants offering something for individual taste buds ranging from Asian (Chinese buffets, takeaways, restaurants, Japanese Sushi bars, Indian, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Iranian, and Thai etc. restaurants and takeaways) to Western (including North American, Mexican), Mediterranean (Greek, Italian, Spanish) or even Eastern European (Baltic, Polish or Czech). Those looking for cheaper alternatives can still be able to enjoy “home” food as speciality shops selling Indian, Chinese, Russian, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech, African and other foods are found in every bigger city in the UK.
Not only cultural differences are abundant. With food trends playing an important role in people’s lives vegetarian foods have gained popularity. Here are some great products veggies can enjoy in the UK:
- Quorn (brand name): a meat substitute development started in late 1960s. It contains mycoprotein which is a nutritious memeber of fungi family. Being completely meat free, quorn contains high quality protein, is naturally low in fat and is free from cholesterol. Apart from that, it also has high fibre content. Quorn products are sold in a form of sausages, burgers, mince, “bacon” slices, “turkey” slices, “meat” balls, fillets etc.
- Pulses: a group includes beans, lentils, peas which are low fat, rich in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals such as iron. There is a number of varieties which do not require extensive cooking as are sold canned and are already cooked. These include: red, green, yellow and brown lentils, kidney beans, butter beans, runner beans, broad beans, chick peas, garden peas, black-eyed peas. These can also come with different flavoured sauces, for example, chilli. A great product made from pulses is humous. This is basically a blended beans and lentils product seasoned and flavoured in different ways. It can serve as a dip or act as a great vegetarian snack. Another product made from pulses is falafel. It has become a common street food of middle east and is usually eaten stuffed in a pita bread.
- Soya: Soya beans are of high nutritional value due to their protein composition since they contain all 8 amino acids essential for human health. The most popular soya products in the UK are soya milk and tofu. Soya beans are soaked and then ground with water. The resulting fluid is termed soya milk. Tofu is simply a cheese-like product made from soya milk. It is made by coagulating soya milk proteins and producing a curd which is eventually pressed into tofu.
Allergy Food advice
Foods containing allergens or which have been produced in a factory that uses allergens are labeled. This is an advisory labelling system launched by FSA (Food Standards Agency) and is voluntary, however, is based on “best business practice” and customer understanding. The labelling includes products that contain: eggs, milk, soya, shelfish, fish, wheat (gluten) and nuts.