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"English" foods (?)


liuzhou
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I was recently asked elsewhere if England has English muffins?

 

Well, Britain has something similar, if not identical. I've never had American "English muffins", so I'm not sure. We just call them "muffins". We don't check their passports!

I have ordered some on-line and should have them in the next day or two. I'll let you know, but I bet they have never been anywhere near England.

Now. What about "English cucumbers"? What are they and what is English about them?

Any other foods called English?

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I think a lot of the problem with this is that most of those foods aren't English at all. Some are maybe British, but so many people don't know  the difference between Britain and the UK and England!

I have no idea what English toffee is? English Bangers, either. The expression 'bangers' for sausages actually came from Australia!

And English peas baffles me! What are they⁈

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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"This odd name used to describe these British sausages actually dates back to the early 20th century, during the time of World War I. Sausages were seen as a popular dish for the British working class, however, after the outbreak of the war, meat was in seriously short supply. In order to continue production and to get by on what meat they did have, cheap fillers and a high amount of water were used in the sausages which caused them to pop and explode rather violently in the cooking pan, giving them the name “bangers.”"

 

https://www.noblehops.com/a-brief-history-on-a-pub-favorite-bangers-mash/

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10 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

And English peas baffles me! What are they⁈

 

English peas are just standard garden peas, aka shelling peas.  The "English"  is just a silly usage that cropped up in a former colony.  Pay us no mind.  

Maybe it was to distinguish them from the edible-pod peas that we do NOT refer to as  "mange-tout."  

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20 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

Maybe it was to distinguish them from the edible-pod peas that we do NOT refer to as  "mange-tout."  

 

Yeah, I know. British English has always taken food names fron French rather than Spanish or Italian as is more usual in the Americas. Hence aubergines instead of eggplants, courgettes instead of zucchini, coriander rather than cilantro, rocket rather than arugula etc.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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57 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

And English peas baffles me! What are they⁈

 

I think this is a green pea as opposed to an edible dried pea and the fact that many of the modern varieties were developed by breeders in England. Maybe? 

 

Peas date back to ancient times and are believed to be native to Europe and parts of Asia. Cultivation of peas however is thought to have begun in the seventeenth century when plant breeders in England began developing new and improved varieties of garden peas. The modern english pea was named as such due to the plethora of new varieties that were breed there. Because of their long shelf life dried peas traveled to the new world with explorers and became one of the first crops grown by early colonists.

https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/English_Peas_2012.php

 

This explanation sounds plausible. 

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/publications/vegetabletravelers/peas.html

 

Garden peas were not common until the 18th century. Toward the end of the 17th century they were still such a rare delicacy that fantastic prices were sometimes paid for them in France.

"This subject of peas continues to absorb all others," Madame de Maintenon wrote in 1696. "Some ladies, even after having supped at the Royal Table, and well supped too, returning to their own homes, at the risk of suffering from indigestion, will again eat peas before going to bed. It is both a fashion and a madness. "

The English developed fine varieties; hence the common designation "English peas" in America.

Edited by FauxPas (log)
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I am guessing that England has many French food references since William de Normandie (The Conqueror) was from France and his French speaking court replaced the Saxon court.  I always thought that is why the Saxon farm workers that produced the food had different names for the food than barons who ate the food.. ie cow, beef (boef), pig-pork (porc)_, deer-venison, chicken-poultry, etc.  

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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I've probably told this here before, but when I was a little girl (4 or 5), my uncle showed me that it said "English Peas" on cans of peas (Le Sueur, probably) and convinced me that these were what the Beatles ate.  I gaggingly ate them for a couple of years until I smartened up.  😁

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5 hours ago, Norm Matthews said:

I am guessing that England has many French food references since William de Normandie (The Conqueror) was from France and his French speaking court replaced the Saxon court.  I always thought that is why the Saxon farm workers that produced the food had different names for the food than barons who ate the food.. ie cow, beef (boef), pig-pork (porc)_, deer-venison, chicken-poultry, etc.  

 

It's a popular theory, but one which has been challenged by several renowned lexicographers going all the way back to Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) through to Robert Burchfield, editor of the Oxford English Dictionary from 1956 to 1986.

There is little hard evidence supporting the theory and some contradicting it.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

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On 8/14/2021 at 12:52 AM, FauxPas said:

 

That would appear to be an example of what I mentioned upthread about many people not knowing the difference between the UK, Britain and the constituent members.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Wait a few years and all that silly UK stuff may change.  My surname is Walker and at least in these parts, Walkers are noted for their shortbread.

 

Strangely the recipe for Walkers shortbread was developed by Joseph Walker in 1898, the same year my father, Joseph Walker, was born.

 

 

 

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My "English" muffins arrived this morning.

 

muffins.thumb.jpg.f53302c07f1c07dc76f678d1a8695435.jpg

 

Of course, I had to try one.

 

116310661_EnglishMuffins3.thumb.jpg.bf3f6f7393acfcf9e2e3c16c9427036e.jpg

 

Toasted and buttered.

977862291_EnglishMuffins2.thumb.jpg.11546ecb3da99f4666bb6911cf4b47f6.jpg

 

Now, I have no idea if these are typical American "English muffins", but they look taste like what I call muffins, although the texture was a bit heavier. I don't know where they are actually from - possibly baked in Hong Kong, but that is a pure guess, based on where they wer shipped from - Shenzhen, just on the border with between HK and the mainland.

.

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1 minute ago, liuzhou said:

My "English" muffins arrived this morning.

 

muffins.thumb.jpg.f53302c07f1c07dc76f678d1a8695435.jpg

 

Of course, I had to try one.

 

116310661_EnglishMuffins3.thumb.jpg.bf3f6f7393acfcf9e2e3c16c9427036e.jpg

 

Toasted and buttered.

977862291_EnglishMuffins2.thumb.jpg.11546ecb3da99f4666bb6911cf4b47f6.jpg

 

Now, I have no idea if these are typical American "English muffins", but they look taste like what I call muffins, although the texture was a bit heavier. I don't know where they are actually from - possibly baked in Hong Kong, but that is a pure guess, based on where they wer shipped from - Shenzhen, just on the border with between HK and the mainland.

.

Yours look pretty standard for the U.S. version. 

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4 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Yours look like our commercial "English muffens".   I make what the instructions call "crumpets" which are essentially the same.

992391833_ScreenShot2021-08-13at6_47_31PM.png.5f01812d0f069b1ca344dd2bbaceddec.png

 

@nathanm explains the distinction between crumpets and English muffins.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I can’t imagine why one would think that English muffins are like crumpets. Would be tricky making an Egg McMuffin with crumpets. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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3 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I can’t imagine why one would think that English muffins are like crumpets. Would be tricky making an Egg McMuffin with crumpets. 

One could easily make an EMcM with the above crumpets.   What we need are definitive parameters of each.   

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“But the texture of a crumpet is quite different from that of an English muffin. Crumpets are chewy for starters, not crispy. (Though if toasted nicely, they can get a crispy edge to the top.) English muffins have a sourdough flavor that lingers at the back of your tongue and is often rolled in cornmeal before baking for their signature grainy texture. Crumpets tend to be softer, and milder in flavor.”

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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4 minutes ago, Anna N said:

“But the texture of a crumpet is quite different from that of an English muffin. Crumpets are chewy for starters, not crispy. (Though if toasted nicely, they can get a crispy edge to the top.) English muffins have a sourdough flavor that lingers at the back of your tongue and is often rolled in cornmeal before baking for their signature grainy texture. Crumpets tend to be softer, and milder in flavor.”

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Thanks for this.   Yes, these crumpets had a last minute inclusion of baking powder solution.   From my perspective, several day old crumpets were similar to US commercial English muffins.  What I appreciated about the homemade crumpets was the fresh bread aspect.    They were chewy but not tough, crispy edged when toasted but not crunchy.    The Guardian instructions I followed had one baking both sides on a stovetop grill.

 

re both Anna and liuzhou, I have yet to see how they are "completely different".   Major differences appear to be in characteristics that fade with freshness.   

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