5 British Holiday Foods Every American Should Try

Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding

You’ve already had your Thanksgiving dinner, so this post should come as no threat whatsoever to the all-American delights of candied yam and tater tots. But if you’re considering Britishing up your festivities this year, here are five dishes you’ll need to look into. And then put in your mouth.

Note: each subheadline is a link to a recipe. Enjoy!

Mince Pies
We’ve written about them before, but if you want the real British Christmas experience and you don’t have mince pies, you’re doing it wrong.

Pigs In Blankets
You take a miniature sausage and you wrap bacon around it. To be served as a meaty garnish with your Christmas Day roast, with enough left over for cold leftovers at teatime.

Never mind Friends and their beef and onions, the English trifle is a layered pudding consisting of fruit, jello, sponge fingers (often doused in sherry), blancmange, whipped cream, and whatever sprinkled toppings you fancy on top. Not everyone likes every layer, but it’s a firm party favorite.

Bread Sauce
Hot liquid bread: such a brilliantly gluttonous idea I am surprised it wasn’t thought of in America.*

Christmas pudding
A similarly brown and fruity treat to the mincemeat in mince pies, Christmas pudding is another alcohol-soaked festive favorite. So much so that it is traditionally served on fire. And with brandy butter, brandy sauce, and brandy brandy as garnishes. And it sometimes has coins jammed in as a special surprise for the children, or a relatively cheap and painful way to kill of an unpleasant relative. Cheers!

See more:
A Very British Christmas Part 1: Three Essential Songs
Anatomy of a British Christmas Dinner
A Very British Christmas Part 8: Christmas Pudding
A Very British Christmas: Sprouts

* Three words before there’s an international incident: Man vs. Food.

Join @MindtheGap_BBCA on Twitter Wednesday, December 18 for a chat on British holiday food favorites. Tweet your questions using hashtag #MindTheChat: http://www.twitter.com/mindthegap_bbca

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2. He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage. Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
View all posts by Fraser McAlpine.