Heritage Food

How often do you pass by a pub that advertises “traditional pub grub” or how often do you use that slogan in your own marketing? For many this sobriquet will conjure up dishes such as Cottage Pie or Sausage and Mash or Fish and Chips (and even Chicken Tikka Masala) but I am sure you won’t be surprised to learn that these islands have an ancient, rich and varied culinary tradition beyond these examples.

As well as being an opportunity to use local produce and seasonal ingredients you could add to your pub’s USP by adding truly authentic traditional British dishes to your menu … and don’t forget wine. ale, cider and mead play an important part in the story too so plenty of opportunities for food matching. You could even go the full hog, so to speak, and dress up for the occasion too!

In this guide I will provide some recipes, food and drink ideas and point you in the direction of some really useful information on what is “Best of British”. It really could be as simple as ABC.

Authentic British Cuisine

I have in mind three ways to exploit what will undoubtedly be a huge resurgence in interest in our island’s rich cultural heritage, but I am sure you will have your own ideas:

Concept One – “British Food Through The Ages”

Whether you were to feature a menu reflecting British cuisine from Anglo-Saxon to Tudor and Regency to Victorian as a series of theme nights or add an ABC section to your standing menu you will find a fabulous heritage of cooking in this country.

Concept Two – “Lost British Food Rediscovered”

Another way to present ABC would be to look at obscure, but toothsome dishes from the past 1,000 years and as for the majority of that time many foods we take for granted nowadays were prohibitively expensive for most of the population you’ll find plenty of inexpensive and delicious ideas on the web. For instance what about Pease Pudding, Angels on Horseback or Stargazy Pie?

Concept Three – “Elizabethan Food Revisited”

After the success 2012’s Golden Jubilee celebrations that saw many pubs get a welcome uplift in trade, forget Coronation Chicken (unless you have a brilliant new twist on it) and bring a little ABC to your customers in the form of an Elizabethan banquet. How about turning your traditional Sunday Roasts menu over to a Tudor feast? And now the Jubliee’s passed … just stick to Tudor …

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