Sunday, June 21, 2009

Taste Map of Britain

Interesting Daily Mail article on dietary tastes of UK regions.

Work by Andy Taylor from Nottingham University

Key findings:

  • The UK's favourite regional foods stem from the West Country. Nearly a third of people polled preferred foods traditional to the South West, particularly Cheddar Cheese and Devonshire Cream Teas.
  • Scots are the slowest eaters and contrary to folklore, prefer Yorkshire Pudding and Italian Ice Cream because of their mouth-melting properties, dispelling the myth that all Scots love foods like Haggis and Kippers.
  • People from the North East seek tastes that offer immediate satisfaction, borne from a history of hungry heavy industry workers demanding foods that offer immediate sustenance.
  • The Midlands is known to be the Balti centre of the UK, but the research proved that people from the area were predisposed to enjoy Asian food long before it arrived in the UK. The region's taste dialect is for soft, suckable foods that impact the front of the tongue, have a slightly sweet dimension and can be eaten with their hands like naan.
  • The South: A melting pot of people and cultures from all round the UK and abroad, the South/South East of England has the least defined taste dialect of all the regions. Foods such as jellied eels and Whitstable Oysters are still redolent of the area but no longer represent mainstream choices or underpin a regional palate.
  • Coffee is the earliest recalled taste memory for under eighteens. In all regions, people noted the importance of getting a ‘good' rather than ‘average' cup of coffee.

  • A quarter of Brits said that London was where they'd had their worst taste experience.

2 comments:

Mary said...

When I visited the UK, my worst food experience was in London, aside from some very bad pre-wrapped pub sandwiches in Shrewsbury. It was Chinese food, which I learned later not to order in London's suburbs; "greens in oyster sauce" was overcooked cabbage in a soup of soy sauce and peanut oil that seemed to have no other seasonings, and were completely separated. There was at least an inch of each.

The best foods were at a pub outside of Totnes, in Devon (local trout and fresh local vegetables); and a place called "Persevere" in Leith outside of Edinburgh (grilled steak and/or salmon and/or chicken, all local, brought to the table on a sizzling iron platter with onions and mushrooms, chips on the side of course); and the trifle with local (some wild-picked) fresh fruit at a pub outside of Shrewsbury. The English breakfasts of sausage, tomatoes etc. were okay but got tiring fast.

My genetic heritage is from the south and west of England, and Edinburgh, but I've been from California for so long that I'm pretty sure I don't have any cultural ties left to the food.

GeoBlogs said...

Thanks for adding that story Mary - much appreciated...

Any other food stories out there ?