The Cuisine of the United Kingdom in Food Traditions & Culture Posted March 13, 2004 In terms of how availability of good ingredients in the UK has changed, there is no doubt that there is an immense variety of produce in the supermarkets and specialist shops that simply wasn't there 15-20 years ago. However, when I was growing up in the late 60's/early 70's I clearly remember accompanying my mother to the local butcher, fishmonger, and grocer and buying fresh ingredients for our meals. I still recall seeing the carcasses being delivered to the butcher and that he would often cut a joint to order. Now, meat is often delivered to butchers pre-portion and even pre-packed. My memory of food at home is that it was mostly cooked from scratch, despite my Mother hating the task. Of course we had fish fingers and burgers and the like, but more often than not it was freshly cooked fish or meat with veg, or a stew or salad and possibly a home made apple pie for dessert. Today, I have a very good butcher just around the corner from my house, but the nearest grocer's is the city centre open market, and the nearest usuable fishmonger is a 20 minute drive away. If I want to buy really good cheese and bread I have to find a deli whose prices are now aimed at those who can afford to treat food as a hobby rather than a necessity.So the situation today is that the good basic food that was available to me as a child on my doorstep at prices my family could afford is now only obtainable as part of a treasure hunt around a 10 mile radius of my home, and at premium prices. This is progress? i can recognize that picture from denmark, and from the rest of what i know of scandinavia. crap for the unthinking masses, luxury for the rich gourmets, and almost nothing in between. ham for instance, is either soggy stuff in supermarket plastic, or it's cut for you by a butcher who knew the pig's grandmother's name Oddly (or perhaps not), Andy Lymes' words there also mirror my experience of growing up in rural/suburban St. Louis, Missouri, USA, in the 1950s/early 1960s, vs. my current life here in suburban New Jersey.It's the way of the world I guess.OK back to your puddings!