What are the National Dishes of Britain and Ireland?

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings. Getty Images

What are the National Dishes of Britain and Ireland?

Each of the four countries, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, has their food identity and therefore own, not exclusively, national dishes,  So familiar are these dishes they are eaten in all the countries to some lesser or greater degree. That said, each country clings fiercely to its dish, and some like England, even claim more than one, there are so many to choose form. 

Here are some of those dishes.

The National Dishes of England

There is much dispute about which is truly the English national dish. Number one on the list for many years has been Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings, followed closely by Fish and Chips.  There is a vast multi-cultural diversity in Britain much attributed to historical references of the British Empire and years of the  British Raj (the rule of the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947). Hence, it is no surprise that  Chicken Tikka Masala is also included in the list of England's national dish. Chicken Tikka was devised for the British; it is not a traditional Indian curry. 

The National Dishes of Ireland

Irish Stew is a thick hearty dish of mutton, potatoes and onions and undisputedly the national dish of Ireland. Within the dish are many of the ingredients synonymous with the island, potatoes being one of the most recognised. 

There is debate whether modern translations of the dish containing carrots and other vegetables are truly an Irish stew but the original recipe is the winner of this accolade.

The National Dishes of Scotland

Haggis is regarded as the Scottish national dish. It is a sheep's stomach stuffed with offal, suet, onions and oatmeal, an exotic type of sausage. Though it was traditionally eaten only on Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) and Burns' night, it is now eaten year-round.

The haggis is celebrated in Scotland's most famous poet Robert Burns in his Address to a Haggis.

The National Dishes of Wales

Cawl is the national dish of Wales. It is again a stew and made from bacon, Welsh lamb or beef, cabbage, leeks though recipes for Cawl vary from region to region and sometimes even season to season.

Cawl can be eaten in one bowl, though often the broth will be served first followed by the meat and vegetables hence the saying  "Cystal yfed o'r cawl â bwyta's cig" - It is as good to drink the broth as to eat the meat."