The ‘Flavours of Britain’ survey, conducted on 1,000 children by hotel chain Travelodge, found that the majority of UK children have never tasted or even heard of Britain’s regional dishes.
Over half (58%) of British children have never experienced a Cornish pasty and nearly a third (32%) don’t know what the main ingredients of a Cornish pasty are. Seven out of ten children have never tried a Cumberland sausage.
The study also found that three quarters of children have never enjoyed a Devonshire cream tea, and that 43 per cent of young Britons don’t even know what a cream tea is. Nearly a quarter (23%) of children think a cream tea is a cup of tea topped off with whipped cream.
Nine out of ten (90%) British children have never tried haggis and nearly half (48%) stated that they have never even heard of the dish, while eight out of ten children have never tried black pudding.
Additionally, more than a third (36%) of children has never tasted the seaside classic treat that is candy floss. Nearly nine out of ten (87%) children have never tried the cockles and 98 per cent of children have never experienced jellied eels. Over a fifth of young Britons think this dish is eels made of jelly.
The study also showed that two thirds of British children have never enjoyed a stick of rock, and one in eight (12%) has never eaten fish and chips at the seaside.
When asked what foods they would consider as their UK holiday must-have, respondents put international dishes such as pizza, Chinese stir fry and Thai green curry on top of their list.
Monica Askay, cook and food historian, said: “Looking at this research, it is a great pity that so many young Britons are not aware of, or have not had the opportunity to enjoy, our rich and varied regional culinary heritage.
“Many regional dishes give us insights into the cooking of much earlier times and it would be a great shame to lose this culinary heritage. I would strongly encourage parents and their children to seek out and try these dishes for themselves in order to help preserve our food heritage for future generations. If not, we could lose both a great source of enjoyment and a very valuable part of our culinary history.”
Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman added: “Our research has highlighted that we are at risk of losing some of our famous regional dishes because children have not been given the opportunity or encouraged to try them. To save Britain’s food legacy, we would urge families to get up & go this summer and taste their way through Great Britain.”