Try these 8 Traditional British Foods with Funny Names

Toad in the hole may not sound very appetizing. Despite the odd name, though, this comfort food is very delicious and popular in Great Britain. As an American expat living in the U.K., I have discovered lots of traditional British foods with funny names. For a little taste of life on the other side of the pond, give these eight British dishes a try with this round-up of recipes!

Toad in the Hole is a British dish with a funny name. It's made with pork sausages baked in batter.
Toad in the Hole is a dish of pork sausages baked in batter (Photo credit:

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1. Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole consists of pork sausages baked in a dough (similar to pancake batter) and then served with gravy. Originally created about 200 years ago, no one is quite sure why the dish has such a colorful name. One theory is that the sausages poking out from the batter looks like frogs peering from a hole.

You can make this British food with a funny name at home using this recipe from BBC Good Food.

Bubble and Squeak is a British dish made with potatoes, cabbage and other leftover vegetables
Bubble and Squeak is a British dish made with potatoes, cabbage and other leftover vegetables (Photo credit:

2. Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak was a traditional Monday dish in Britain that used the leftover vegetables from Sunday lunch. Similar to the Irish dish, Colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage), you fry together potatoes, cabbage, and any other leftover vegetables, like peas and carrots.

The name supposedly comes from the sound the cabbage makes as it is cooked on the stovetop. If you make Bubble and Squeak using this Nigel Slater recipe, you can judge for yourself how the sound compares to its name.

Welsh Rarebit, a traditional British dish
Welsh Rarebit is an interesting variation of a grilled cheese sandwich (Photo credit:

3. Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit is probably the most famous export from Wales, besides Catherine Zeta Jones. For this traditional British dish, you pour a melted cheese sauce on top of toasted bread. Imbued with a liquid such as ale or milk, the cheese sauce gets a bit of kick by adding mustard, paprika or Worcestershire Sauce.

The name started off as a joke, i.e., the Welsh used cheese because they were so poor they couldn’t afford meat (rabbit). The Welsh got the last laugh, though, because when you make Welsh Rarebit at home with this BBC Good Food recipe, you’ll understand its popularity.

If you like this British grilled cheese, you’ll love this list of grilled cheese sandwiches from around the world.

Scotch Eggs, a British dish with a funny name
Scotch Eggs are a way to jazz up a hard boiled egg for dinner (Photo credit:

4. Scotch Egg

Despite the name, Scotch Eggs come from Yorkshire in the northeast region of England, not Scotland. The eggs are deep-fried or baked. The result is a hardboiled egg that has been wrapped in sausage meat and covered in breadcrumbs.

Wealthy Victorians would take Scotch Eggs on picnics or on long journeys. You can try out this snack for yourself using this recipe from Delicious Magazine.

Lancashire Hotpot is a British lamb stew topped with potatoes
Lancashire Hotpot is a lamb stew topped with potatoes (Photo credit:

5. Lancashire Hotpot

Lancashire Hotpot is a hearty lamb stew. It originated in Lancashire in the northwest region of England. The stew consists of lamb, onion, and carrots, topped with sliced potatoes and cooked over a low heat.

Lancashire Hotpot started off in the 19th century as the poor man’s version of a savory pie. An easy-to-make but hearty one-pot dish, Lancashire Hotpot is great for a weekday dinner. Try this recipe from BBC Good Food.

Traditional Eton Mess with strawberries
A traditional Eton Mess with strawberries (Photo credit:

6. Eton Mess

This British dessert is easy to prepare and a firm favorite with everyone I know. Eton Mess is believed to hail from Eton College, the traditional senior school of the aristocracy of England.

To make this treat, fold sliced strawberries into broken meringue and whipped cream. Simple but delicious, this Eton Mess recipe is a popular dessert to make and eat.

Trifle with Jello, custard and cream
Trifles are a popular dessert after Christmas dinner in Great Britain (Photo credit:

7. Trifle

My children prefer Trifle to Eton Mess because they find meringue a bit too sweet. A traditional Trifle consists of a bottom layer of sponge cake, then a layer of fruited gelatin, which drizzles into the sponge cake. Next comes a layer of custard. Top it off with a layer of whipped cream. For a strictly grown-up dish, soak the sponge cake in a liqueur, like port or sherry, instead of the gelatin.

Trifles have been popular for over 300 years when people started mixing cake and custard to create a dessert. You can get lots of variations on trifle, but check out this BBC Good Food recipe for a popular classic Trifle.

Classic spotted dick is an English comfort food
Spotted dick used to be a popular dessert at school (Photo credit: The Happy Foodie)

8. Spotted Dick

Spotted Dick is a sponge cake filled with dried fruits. It’s made with suet, the hard fat that collects around the kidneys of cows and sheep.

I typically steer away from this desert. Who needs sugar AND lard to top off a meal?

The name comes from the dried fruits (the spots) and a short form for the Old English word for pudding, puddick. If you’re game, check out this recipe from British chef, Jamie Oliver.

I do make an exception for suet in one dessert, though. Christmas Pudding is also traditionally made with Suet. I would face a revolt from my British in-laws if I didn’t serve this end to a British Christmas dinner!

Traditional British Foods with Funny Names Recipes

Save these Traditional British Recipes

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Want to make more traditional British dishes? Take a look at Traditional Cooking of the British IslesIt features 360 recipes from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

If you liked this story, then we bet you’ll love this list of books that all British kids read and this selection of romantic movies set in London!

Which of these traditional British foods with funny names would you like to try? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. I”ve tried a version of Scotch Egg before. not sure i loved it. The Welsh Rarebit sounds really interesting though. I love the look of it from the photos!