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Are Traditional British Foods Becoming Extinct?

Seems like the Brits have a lot to worry about food-wise. First their curry industry ran into a crisis, and now it seems that their actual traditional dishes are becoming extinct. Experts believe that dishes like toad in the hole, spotted dick, steak and kidney pie, and jam roly-poly could disappear from dining tables by 2021.

A new survey conducted by Tesco — a huge British grocery store chain — discovered that only 6 percent of 18-40 year olds had cooked a Beef Wellington compared to 15 percent of 41-55 year olds.

The research claims that the traditional dishes are being prepared less frequently and that folks are opting for foreign cuisine, like spaghetti bolognese and curry instead. They believe that this will lead to the eventual wipe out of traditional dishes. Personally, I don't think this is true. We don't eat chicken piccata, or duck a l'orange very often, but those dishes have survived for centuries, and while not served in most homes, they're hardly "extinct."

So what do you think? Do you believe these dishes could become extinct?


Join The Conversation
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 9 years
Say it isn't so! I had the opportunity to be an exchange student in Australia, and I fell in love with British food because that was what my host mums fixed (they had come from Cornwall and Kent, respectively). They were so tickled that an American loved British food! They both made sure I wrote down the recipes for my favorite dishes! I treasure the recipes and the memories!
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
noooo! This would be horrible. My friend and I tried to go to Tea and Sympathy last year, Anglophiles that we are, but we didn't realize until we were literally at the door that the minimum order was $10 :( So we went next door to A Salt and Battery(love the name!) and had fish and chips and lovely stuff. It was really good:) I love British stuff! Don't go away ever!
smorzalli smorzalli 9 years
I love traditional British foods (I even like haggis!). I'd agree that it's less to do with the foods dying out and more to do with people opting for quick and easy meals (like spaghetti) rather than something as involved as beef wellington. But I definitely love me some traditional pub grub.
ahappierdiane ahappierdiane 9 years
What is spotted dick? I'd search it, but I'm at work. haha
Seka21 Seka21 9 years
I hope it happens.. i hate english food. I live in london and as a small kid i used to cry when they served spotted dick for desert at school! lol Only thing i like is toad in hole.. and thats not really what i would call a cullinary experience.
Advah Advah 9 years
Thanks, Bigestivediscuit, I get annoyed too when people criticize British food because of the usual stereotypes. I'll admit I really miss the quality of fruit and veg I'm used too, but I'll blame that on the Scottish weather as opposed to the Mediterranean coast. Seriously, British food might sometimes be different, but it's good and well-prepared.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
I really don't think that traditional English food is dying out - just look at pub food! It's just that the younger generation either can't be bothered to make the meals, but when they actually have the time to, they will. My boyfriend and I make Sunday roasts regularly with his flatmates and our friends. His flatmate makes a terrific toad-in-a-hole and there isn't a cold night when I don't crave Shepherd's Pie or bangers and mash. I'm not English but I've lived here for two years and it always bothers me when Americans who have never been to England say how disgusting the food is when they've never even tried it.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think that it all depends on whether a celbrity chef is able to bring the dishes back to life since it seems like that's what draws people to certain foods. either that or we can hope that things become retro and they come back. there are just so many foods that people don't make since they are afraid of what they are - and with british food, the dishes have odd names which could scare younger people away.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
I don't think they are - like some people have said, tourists create a demand for them, and most of these dishes are still the only things on offer in most pubs. Steak and kidney pie is dying out because no one wants to eat kidney (it doesn't smell or taste very nice!), but steak & mushroom or chicken & mushroom pies are quite popular. Spotted dick may well be disappearing, but it's quite disgusting. Toad in the hole is quite popular still, and fish & chips and bangers & mash are definitely the ultimate in pub-lunch comfort food!
Segat1 Segat1 9 years
Hah, as if Tesco has the right to tell us about food - they are the devil for paying farmers low wages and promoting cheap chicken. And they refuse to charge for plastic bags. Disgusting.
Advah Advah 9 years
I live in the UK and I can't tell you traditional food is not extinct, far from it! All the pub meals have most of these dishes, all the delis have a large variety of pies available, and people live for fish&chips (and deep fried mars bars, my personal fav :P) on a night out. My Yorkshire flatmate cooks a toad in a hole (toads in holes?) on a fairly regular basis, and now so does my Spanish flatmates; all of my English friends have a full breakfast at least once a week, and keep boiling all the vegetables they can find.. *rolleyes* So, nope, I don't think these dishes are even close to becoming extinct. :)
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i went ot school in london and lost about 20 lbs in 5 months (that i didn't need to lose) english food blows. hope the article is right :sick:
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 9 years
Aren't the English going through some xenophobia right now? This is could be the grocery store's propaganda, or they are overreacting. I agree w/ most everyone's opinion that the foods won't become "extinct," they just won't be day to day as in the past.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I don't know what beef wellington is, but I want some now. I don't know how it is in England, but in Taiwan, where my family is from, although traditional home cooking still has its hold, more and more kids are just McDonald's-ized from an early age--and obesity and health problems related to it are starting to become a problem there. I will always be sad to hear regional or national cooking traditions becoming extinct :(
caryatid caryatid 9 years
beef wellington is delicious! i'm definitely had it more than once, am 22 and american!
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
A few years back, I cooked a "comfort dinner" for a friend of mine. Nothing really fancy...just roast chicken, steamed asparagus and homemade mac and cheese. I was floored when he told me that he couldn't remember anyone ever making "real" mac and cheese for him. His experience was always the boxed Kraft crap. Sad!
LaPerla2 LaPerla2 9 years
When I visited london years ago, I was really impressed with the fish n chips!
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Jude c a full English breakfast.. aaw makes me wanna cry cos it brings back memories of my dad and i having breakfast before he dropped me off at school for the term
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
i made all of those things in high school and hated all of them except for beef wellington.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I tend to Wikipedia various cuisines when I'm bored--thanks to Wikipedia I really want to try Victorian cuisine now :feedme:
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
Oh no way! There's no way that I'd let some of my British faves disappear. Bangers and mash, kippers, scones, crumpets, baked or boiled puddings and fish & chips. Heck no. Thank goodness for me British Aunt - she keeps those traditions that she grew up with and just does them here in the US. I love going to see her because we still have time tea with crumpets and jam or clotted cream. I'd hate to see traditional Brit Foods fades from existence in England.
azucar_ame azucar_ame 9 years
I hope this doesn't happen!! !azúcar! Ame
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
When I went to England for a vacation, I fully expected to hate the food, having heard such horrid things about it, but I ate and ate and ate and absolutely enjoyed every meal :) I think my favorite was the full English breakfast...I've read that that's gone out of style, mostly out of time constraints and stuff...too bad.
sophia_HL sophia_HL 9 years
Not true! I happen to have a can of spotted dick in my cupboard right now... seriously!!
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
I don't think they'll become "extinct." Even if these things aren't made as often for awhile, I think they'll come back into favor after awhile. People are always going to want things that are traditional or have good memories associated with them.
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