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It has been difficult for the reputation of English cuisine to gain international respect. Still the butt of many jokes, things are finally beginning to cook in merry old England. Like in America the rise in popularity of fast food adds to the culinary tarnish while the rise in popularity of star chefs increases awareness and experimentation. But the cuisine of England is steeped in tradition and features a wide variety of what we would call comfort foods. In general all native cuisines are subject to three things, 1. location, 2. available crops, and 3. external cultural influences. These have had a profound effect on the history of cooking in the UK.

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Our table was meant to be reminiscent of an English rose garden. We wanted the table to look crowded and loaded with pattern, almost as if you were visiting grandma and she had brought out all of her "good stuff". The color palette was determined by the dinnerware. The pattern consisted of red and yellow roses, trimmed in gold. To this we added some milk glass salad plates and pink carnival glass coffee cups. But it wasn't until we placed the bouquet on the table that everything came together!

First off England is an island, so it should come as no surprise that the sea, in the form of fish and chips, was impetus behind be the most popular and uniquely English dish ever created. Easy to harvest and prepare, this dish could be considered the country’s staple. Because preservation was a concern, many Northern European countries have the tradition of salting, smoking or pickling their foods. Pickled herring anyone?

the mix:
Everyone knows several people who are less adventurous in their dining tastes (a nice way of saying picky). This is a good "meat and potatoes" kind of meal and should satisfy the crowd that goes for the good old basics. Let the table add the spice this time! The crops available to the English have historically been tubers. Therefore potatoes, carrots, parsnips and turnips have been feartured prominently. But because of its temperate climate, the hills of England have nourished wonderful sheep, cows and pigs. In fact one old British adage suggests that “you can eat every part of the pig except its squeal.”
As Britain became an international power, trade brought exotic spices and foods back home. Add some interesting herbs to pickled vegetables and you have chutney. Worcester sauce has a distinctly Asian feel to it and of course what is England without tea time?
As our introduction to English cuisine we have chosen the traditional Sunday Dinner. Every Sunday as a special treat the British sit down to a roasted meat, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes and trifle. We hope you enjoy this stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal. And as far as we are concerned, any culture that gave us the sandwich it alright with us!
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