I mean, where would our bacon sandwiches be without a bit of brown sauce?

Sure, Britain may have rubbish weather and extortionately priced petrol, but those who remain preoccupied with such teeny imperfections should remember this: without our small isle, the world probably wouldn’t have brown sauce. What a shudder-inducing thought…

That’s not our only gastronomic achievement though, far from it. This list of Britain’s best culinary creations is enough to make even the most reluctant Brit stick their hand on their heart and burst into an uplifting rendition of God Save the Queen.

Sausage Roll
The creation of the sausage roll as we know and love it today is attributed to us Brits – and I for one, am immensely proud. I’m not sure exactly who it was that first wrapped a morsel of meat in a piece of pastry, but boy do I want to thank them.

Yorkshire Pudding
The first recorded recipe of the world-renowned Yorkie is from 1737, an apparent golden year for multipurpose batter. Back then it was called dripping pudding – I can see why it was renamed. Although certainly a British creation, there seems to be no actual evidence that the Yorkshire pudding indeed originated in Yorkshire. Apart from its name that is – and to be fair that’s evidence enough for me.

HP Sauce
You know the one; great when dolloped on fry-ups, slathered in bacon sandwiches and, according to graphic designer Morag, it’s also a winner squirted in a pot noodle. Although I can’t personally vouch for that one… HP has been gracing our dinner tables since 1899 when it was invented by Frederick Gibson Garton, a grocer from Nottingham. It’s even rumoured to have appeared in the dining rooms of the Houses of Parliament once upon a time – hence the name. Freddie eventually sold his sauce for the grand sum of £150 – if he could only see the HP empire now. He’d kick himself.

The Sandwich
Oh yes, my friends – we invented the sandwich. Pretty impressive, no? John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich came up with the genius idea in 1762. The word on the street is that the sandwich was the result of Montagu’s attempts to eat his snacks with one hand during what must have been a rather intense game of poker. Yes alright – it is rather unlikely that old Johnny was the first ever person to plonk something between two slices of bread. But he was the first to shout about it, not to mention have the quick-thinking initiative to name it after himself.

Sorry Scots, I mean not to shatter the historic dream, but although British through and through, apparently haggis was dreamt up south of the border. Back in 2009, food historian Catherine Brown (a Scot herself, ironically) found the recipe for this much-loved meal in an English cookery book dating back to 1615. That’s a long time ago. 171 years before the Scots caught on in fact…but hey, who’s counting?

Sparkling Wine
It’s true – it would seem we’ve been seriously misled on the origins of this popular tipple. A doctor in Gloucester (no, not Foster – Christopher Merret, actually), developed a recipe for a Champagne-esque beverage a good couple of decades before Frenchman Dom Pierre Perignon swiped the concept and took all the glory. So, in light of my recent discovery, I’m going to stick my neck out and claim Champagne as ours as well. That feels good.

Scotch Egg
Invented as a portable snack for travellers on long journeys, the Scotch egg began its rise to glory in 1738. The company Fortnum & Mason claimed this scrumptious little idea as their own, which means once again, with the greatest of respect for the nibble’s namesake, it’s actually an English invention. But let’s not focus on that. Instead let’s concentrate on thinking of the nearest place to pick one up, because I don’t know about you, but I have a bit of a craving now…

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3 Responses to Great British Inventions

  1. Micheal G. says:

    Good to see siomeone flying the culinary Union Jack! I believe we have some of the finest food here in Britain and we should be very proud of what our kitchens have produced. Bravo.

  2. Marvellous to see English Sparkling Wine included in your list. Like many good English producers, we have some lovely fizzes made using the ‘methode tradionelle’. We tell everyone who visits Eastcott Vineyard in West Devon, about this story.

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