We have chosen the topic Food and drinks because we have heard a lot about British cuisine but in fact we don’t know a lot about it. We think that with this presentation we could give you a little bit more information about the food and drink habits of the UK. 1. A brief history
British cuisine has always been multicultural. In ancient times it was influenced by the Romans and in medieval times by the French. When the Frankish Normans invaded, they brought with them the spices of the east: cinnamon, saffron, mace (foelie van muskaatnoot), nutmeg, pepper, ginger. Sugar came to England at that time, and was considered a rare and expensive spice. During Victorian times (1837-1901) good old British stodge was mixed with exotic spices from all over the Empire. One of the benefits of having an empire is that they did learn something from the colonies. From East Asia (China) they adopted tea, and from India they adopted curry-style spicing, they even developed a line of spicy sauces such as ketchup and mint sauce to indulge these tastes. Today we can say that curry has become a national dish. Unfortunately a great deal of damage was done to British cuisine during the two world wars. Britain is an island and therefore supplies of many goods became short. The war effort used up goods and services and so less were left over for private people to consume. Ships importing foodstuffs had to travel in convoys and so they could make fewer journeys. During the second world war food rationing began in January 1940 and was lifted only gradually after the war. The best in England was only that which showed the influence of France, and so English food let itself become a gastronomic joke and the French art of Nouvelle Cuisine was adopted. Nouvelle cuisine is characterized by lighter, more delicate dishes and an increased emphasis on presentation. Today
In the late 1980's, British cuisine started to look for a new direction. Disenchanted with the exaggerated (and under-nourished) Nouvelle Cuisine, chefs began to look a little closer to home for inspiration. Appealing to a rich tradition, and utilizing many diverse and interesting ingredients, the basis was formed for what is now known as modern British food. Especially in London, you can not only experiment with the best of British cuisine, but the best of the world because there are many distinct ethnic cuisines to sample. Chinese, Indian, Italian and Greek restaurants are the most popular. Although some traditional dishes such as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasties, bread and butter pudding and fish and chips, remain popular, there has been a significant shift in eating habits in Britain. Rice and pasta have accounted for the decrease in potato consumption and the consumption of meat has also fallen. Vegetable and salad oils have largely replaced the use of butter. Today there is more emphasis on fine, fresh ingredients in the better restaurants and markets in the UK offer food items from all over the world. 2. Food and drinks on special occasions
2.1 A British Christmas
Christmas Dinner in the UK - Turkey and All the Trimmings
Traditional Christmas turkey with bread sauce, roasted vegetables, sausages and bacon
Smoked salmon, served with buttered brown bread and a slice of lemon, or wrapped around some prawns, is a typical festive starter. Turkey long ago replaced goose as the most popular main course. But it is what the turkey comes to the table with that make it especially British. The accompaniments include: * chipolatas - small sausages - wrapped in bacon
* roasted root vegetables, especially roasted parsnips (pastinaak) which are sweet and moist * brussels sprouts, often with chestnuts or bacon or both. Even people who never in a million years would eat a brussels sprout will manage a few for Christmas * bread sauce, a mixture of bread crumbs, milk, cream, onions and seasonings that can be something you had to grow...