The Lowdown: YouGov's British cuisine poll

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

YouGov's British cuisine poll

Related tags: British cuisine

A new YouGov poll has revealed which British foods the nation most enjoys… and the results are proving hard to swallow for some people.

As if we needed any more proof that no good can come from asking the British people anything
Well, quite. And inevitably the results have led to an apparent nation-wide meltdown… at least that’s the case if you scroll through social media.

What’s it all about?
According to YouGov, it follows another recent survey that revealed 91% of Britons enjoy their own national cuisine (compared to say, just 25% of German citizens). By delving deeper into research, though, YouGov has been able to reveal the popularity of 50 ‘classic’ British foods​; 30 savoury choices, and 20 sweet.

And the results are?
Basically that British food is, on the whole, every bit as beige as we think. The most popular savoury items (ranked ‘god’ tier) are Yorkshire puddings, a Sunday roast and fish and chips; while in the sweet category scones and Victoria sponge cake top the list.

Doesn’t sound too controversial…
On the surface, no. But if you look down the lists you begin to see some more contentious results. In the savoury camp, for example, beef wellington and pork pies were lumbered in the ‘low’ tier, while faggots and black pudding were dismissed as ‘crap’. Things do appear slightly more formulaic on the sweet list, with Battenberg, spotted dick and Christmas pudding coming in ‘low’, and deep-fried Mars Bars the only contender to be considered ‘crap’.

So what have the public been saying?
That this is basically Brexit all over again. The Scots are up in arms to see their beloved haggis labelled as crap, with some even calling for a second Independence referendum as a result. Others are demanding that YouGov explain the methodology behind featuring Yorkshire puddings as an independent food stuff given that it is most commonly served as part of a roast dinner. Meanwhile, Greggs, the nation’s leading baker brand, is demanding answers as to why sausage rolls weren’t included on the list at all.

Sounds like a lot of hot air, but do these results tell us anything interesting?
Difficult to say. It’s hardly mind-blowing to discover that bacon sarnies are beloved by us Brits, but the online reaction is potentially quite telling. We are often told that our collective palate is changing, and that’s certainly evident in the ever-present increase of street food stalls and food hubs like Market Halls, which thrive on offering consumers new and exciting dishes they perhaps haven’t had the opportunity to try before. But while their popularity continues at pace, this level of social engagement does arguably show that there’s still plenty of love out there for the more classic British staples that have been served since time immemorial.

All this talk is making me hungry. Reckon it’s high time to reacquaint oneself with some of these British classics
Fancy some kippers?

Hmm… maybe I’ll pass.

Related topics: Trends & Reports

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