Try these 8 Traditional British Foods with Funny Names

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Toad in the hole may not sound very appetizing. Despite the odd name, though, this comfort food is very popular and delicious 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 dishes a try!

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: Depositphotos.com)

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 toad in the hole at home using this recipe from BBC Good Food.

Bubble and Squeak is a British dish made with potatoes, cabbage and other leftover vegetables ~ 8 Traditional British Foods with Funny Names

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

2. Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak was a traditional Monday dish in Britain which 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, you can judge for yourself how the sound compares to its name.

Welsh Rarebit ~ 8 Traditional British Foods with Funny Names

Welsh Rarebit is an interesting variation of a grilled cheese sandwich (Photo credit: Depositphotos.com)

3. Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit is probably the most famous export from Wales, besides Catherine Zeta Jones. 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, you’ll understand its popularity.

Scotch Eggs ~ 8 Traditional British Foods with Funny Names

Scotch Eggs are a way to jazz up a hard boiled egg for dinner (Photo credit: Depositphotos.com)

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 lamb stew topped with potatoes ~ 8 Traditional British Foods with Funny Names

Lancashire Hotpot is a lamb stew topped with potatoes (Photo credit: Depositphotos.com)

5. Lancashire Hotpot

Lancashire Hotpot is a hearty lamb stew which comes from Lancashire in the northwest 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 ~ 8 Traditional British Foods with Funny Names

A traditional Eton Mess with strawberries (Photo credit: Depositphotos.com)

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 recipe is a popular dessert to make and to eat.

Trifle with Jello, custard and cream ~ 8 Traditional British Foods with Funny Names

Trifles are a popular dessert after Christmas dinner (Photo credit: Depositphotos.com)

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 recipe for a popular classic Trifle.

Classic spotted dick is an English comfort food ~ Traditional British Foods with Funny Names

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 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 is 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!

8 Traditional British Dishes with Funny Names

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 like 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 would you like to try? Let us know in the comments below!

About Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama

Shobha George lives in London, England with her husband, two children (boy/girl twins) and dog. Although she grew up in New York, she has spent most of her adult life as an expat in Asia and Europe, which has been a great help in feeding her travel addiction. She and her family enjoy nice hotels, good food and other creature comforts. She is the author of Just Go Places blog. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @justgoplaces.

Comments

  1. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says:

    This is why I love British food. Their names are hilarious. Toad in the Hole? Love it.

    • The colorful names definitely catch your attention. I have to repeat though that despite the odd names, these are all delicious!

  2. Jen Rattie says:

    OMG, these are great. The last one? I snorted and laughed like a 12 year old. LOL

  3. Catherine Sargent says:

    These all look and sound yummy. I would love to try the Toad In The Hole.

  4. Sarah @ TheOutsideFamily says:

    I’ve made Scotch Eggs before and would make them more often, IF I had the will power not to eat them all at once! There are some really fun foods on this list that I’ll have to try when I’m in a dinner rut.

  5. Pam Wattenbarger says:

    I have actually tried several of these foods before. I enjoy Eton Mess and Toad in a Hole.

  6. How awesome do all of these sound? I just want to try them so I can say their names, and say I’ve tried them! So fun

  7. I would like to try them all! These are had funny names but it looks tasty too.

  8. Janell Poulette says:

    These all look great, and do have funny names. The scotch egg looks amazing and I need to make that!

  9. Jocelyn Cañasa Brown says:

    Haha. I love all of these fun names. I definitely want to try a Toad in the hole and the Spotted Dick. lol. So funny to say!

  10. Toni | BoulderLocavore.com says:

    Fun names but they all look delicious! Would love to try toad in the hole!

  11. Reesa Lewandowski says:

    I have never had anything like these before!!

  12. Ok #8 took me out! The British are something else how come America cant have fun named foods like this?

    • I do wonder how these names come to be – in the US we’d be familiar with devilled eggs or pigs in a blanket, for example

  13. Amanda Love says:

    Funny names indeed! You wouldn’t even want to know what Toad in a Hole is unless you see it in person.

    • It’s a fairly innocuous dish – sausages in batter – that most people would eat but not if they went by the name alone!

  14. What unique names! I would have never guessed the dishes based on the names.

  15. Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly says:

    Mama warned me to always stay away from #8, bwah ha ha ha ha! 🙂

  16. Believe it or not. Wal-Mart in Memphis TN sells canned spotted dick. Never tried it, but I do like asking the clerk if they carry it.

  17. Will Willows says:

    You forgot Bangers and Mash…meal sausage with mashed potatoes. M…..m……m..

  18. Eduardo Aguilar says:

    What a brilliant article! I am a Spaniard who meets many British travellers with my business and I never stop laughing about the hilarious names they have for some foods!

  19. 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!

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