Have you recently had a health or blood sugar check or a thought-provoking chat with your healthcare professional? As we get older it’s important to eat healthily in order keep our bodies in tip-top condition. When healthy eating seems like a boring, puritanical task, it’s easy to get off track and be tempted to eat anything and everything. The key to maintaining long-term healthy eating habits is variety. Luckily, the UK has one of the most diverse food cultures in the world, with ingredients and recipes from all corners of the globe. In this article we talk through the top four cuisines that have influenced British food culture.
Indian food has had such an impact on British cooking that elements of the two food cultures have now merged into an Anglo-Indian mix of flavours. Think spicy chutneys and the famously pseudo-Indian curry, chicken tikka masala, that was actually designed for western tastes. Every true Brit loves going for a curry, and by adapting Indian flavours to healthy eating recipes at home, you can often make tasty, wholesome versions like spicy vegetable and chickpea salads.
Another Asian import, Chinese food has become a British national staple. Not only do we now eat rice with all sorts of meals, traditional Chinese flavours are a big part of UK cooking. Sweet and sour? Chinese five spice? Soy, garlic and chili? All important ingredients for any modern British cook. Using fresh herbs, spices, garlic and ginger makes it possible to create great tasting, healthy food low in salt and fat.
Like the UK, America is a melting pot of different cuisines and cultures, but the world’s biggest economy has certainly put its own stamp on certain foods. Cured meats, salads, corn and slush puppies all come from our neighbours across the pond. Indeed, there are many different food cultures within the United States itself, which makes for great home-cooking inspiration. Why not try a wholesome US-inspired salad, with apple, walnut raisons and celery?
Our fourth choice for the most influential international food in the UK is, of course, Italian. In fact, Italian food in the UK is so common we sometimes forget its European roots. Most British families eat pizza or pasta at least once a week, perhaps in the form of a traditional spag bol or carbonara sauce. Add in plenty of veggies for fibre and lean protein for a healthy eating version.
Those are our top four international foods in Britain. It’s safe to say that this is in no way an exhaustive list! With people going ever further afield to fix their culinary cravings, no doubt the future will see more and more interesting influences on what we Brits eat.