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Top Ten Forgotten British Foods.


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I havent been able to find this topic anywhere on eGullet - so I hope I haven't missed it and am repeating someone else's thread! In 2006 the Guild of Fine Food Retailers ran a competition to discover the top 10 Forgotten British Foods. The list (with descriptions and recipes) is <a href="http://www.britishfoodfortnight.co.uk/competitionlast.html">HERE</a>

In summary, the winners were:

“Eadles” Bath Chaps

Mrs Grieve’s Fish Custard

Mrs Langland’s Faggots

Grey Squirrel Casserole

Rook Pie

Rabbit with Prunes

Fife Brooth

Roman Pie

16th C Pancakes

A Grand Sallet (from Robert Mays’ cookbook of the 17th C)

How many of these have you tasted?

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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I remember Fife Brooth. I ate it as a child and loved it -- why don't I get more barley in my life?

Great recipes or whatever, I'm gonna pass on Mrs Langland’s Faggots,

Grey Squirrel Casserole and Rook Pie. Anything that features lungs (lights) is off my persnickity 21st century list of what's edible.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I havent been able to find this topic anywhere on eGullet - so I hope I haven't missed it and am repeating someone else's thread!  In 2006 the Guild of Fine Food Retailers ran a competition to discover the top 10 Forgotten British Foods. The list (with descriptions and recipes) is <a href="http://www.britishfoodfortnight.co.uk/competitionlast.html">HERE</a>

In summary, the winners were:

“Eadles” Bath Chaps

Mrs Grieve’s Fish Custard

Mrs Langland’s Faggots

Grey Squirrel Casserole

Rook Pie

Rabbit with Prunes

Fife Brooth

Roman Pie

16th C Pancakes

A Grand Sallet (from Robert Mays’ cookbook of the 17th C)

How many of these have you tasted?

None - unless Mrs Langland's faggots are anything like Mr Brains.

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I've had a faggot at St. John. Quite pleasant. From one of my earlier posts:

"And then there’s the faggot. Again, stealing from Penguin, this is a “simplified form of sausage, easier and quicker to make at home than a proper one. A mixture of pork offal – liver, lungs, spleen, etc. – fat, breadcrumbs, onions, and flavourings to tast is parceled in squares of caul.” How could I turn that down, I ask you? Even better, it appears that it was ”an accident with a batch of faggots at a shop in Pudding Lane that started the Great Fire of London in 1666.” "

The Penguin Companion to Food is an excellent reference for old (olde?) English dishes. It's pretty much indispensible for deciphering parts of Fergus Henderson's menus.

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IHow many of these have you tasted?

Well, we make them ourselves, but Bath Chap is a regular on the menu! Delicious too!

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Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Thanks for the post Janet, an excellent list. I’ve eaten Rabbit and Prune and faggots (they seem perfectly standard renditions).

I’d be quite tempted by any of them, with perhaps some caution reserved for attempting the Rook. The fish custard reads like a fish pie sans mash (funny how a name can be off-putting –it occurred to me that if you then freeze a fish custard you’d end up with something like Heston’s sardines on toast ice cream).

The Bath Chaps sound especially delicious.

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Last week I went to a tiny little shop that specialises in forgotten British foods, A. Gold in Brushfield Street, just opposite Spitalfields market.

Great selection of all that hard to get stuff of yesteryear, mostly in jars and tins and packets, but there is a fresh range, too. Pretty much the opposite of what is going on in that massive new foodie market in Kensington High Street.

A preview can be found on www.agold.co.uk

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Last week I went to a tiny little shop that specialises in forgotten British foods, A. Gold in Brushfield Street, just opposite Spitalfields market.

Wow! Thanks for this. I will be in the UK in late August/Early September for 3 weeks (going to the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery while I am there - anyone else from eGullet going to be there?)

I had not heard of this shop - it will definitely be on my list while I am in London.

Janet

[edited to fix a typo]

Edited by The Old Foodie (log)

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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  • 2 weeks later...
Grey Squirrel Casserole

How so? the grey squirrel is a relatively recent invasion from N America I thought. Wouldn't the traditional one have been red? :wacko:

The very traditional one would have been red, but I understand that the red squirrel is very poor eating. The introduced grey squirrel is apparently delicious, and because it has forced the native red squirrel out of its habitat, and is more damaging to trees etc, it became almost politically and environmentally correct to eat it.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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Some of the traditions are not that old either I suspect. The first OED reference for "faggot" in the culinary sense is only from the mid-19th century for instance and I imagine that Roman pie had a pretty short life span. Rooks were eaten (or their young was), but one has to wonder how widespread the practice was, in other words is it a forgotten British Food at all?

The use of specific named dishes is a bit odd too. "Faggots" are hardly a forgotten dish for instance, resorting to Mrs Langland’s Faggots seems to be pushing the definition of "Forgotten British Food". A similar case could be made for Robert May's salad (which I have made), why not "salmagundi" as a better representation of a class of dish? It's interesting and I like the idea, but the way it has been put together seems a little strange.

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The use of specific named dishes is a bit odd too. "Faggots" are hardly a forgotten dish for instance, resorting to Mrs Langland’s Faggots seems to be pushing the definition of "Forgotten British Food". A similar case could be made for Robert May's salad (which I have made), why not "salmagundi" as a better representation of a class of dish? It's interesting and I like the idea, but the way it has been put together seems a little strange.

I suspect it was a bit of an awareness-raising thing combined with a competition rather than a true search for forgotten historic dishes. There certainly seems to be a commercial edge to it all. Fun though.

What would be your choice of dishes Adam? Lets say only five, not ten, to make it a bit easier. How about the rest of you? Any ideas? (or is that another thread?)

I'll work on my list, as I get time, I'm a bit snowed under on all sides at present.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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Nice idea.

Salmagundi - as it is fun and creative and fits in well with modern meal structures.

Chicken pie with grapes and verjuice sabayon - as this was "Chicken Pie" from the 14th to the 18th century. Again it can be modernised.

Possets - served in shot glasses these are a nice winter drink.

Nesselrode pudding - I think that this is the perfect Christmas Pudding replacement for an Australian Christmas.

Puddings of all sorts - a cheat, but there are so many more interesting puddings then most people are aware of.

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Last week I went to a tiny little shop that specialises in forgotten British foods, A. Gold in Brushfield Street, just opposite Spitalfields market.

Wow! Thanks for this. I will be in the UK in late August/Early September for 3 weeks (going to the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery while I am there - anyone else from eGullet going to be there?)

I had not heard of this shop - it will definitely be on my list while I am in London.

Janet

[edited to fix a typo]

A.Gold is an excellent shop, but also try the deli next door. they have the best chocolate that money can buy, in my opinion anyway and I have tasted a lot!, made by Pierre Marcolini.

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