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  • Writer's pictureJamie

4 Classic Cockney Dishes Everyone Has To Try

When it comes to knocking up some tasty, hearty grub, London can mix it with the best of them. Indeed, while our iconic capital city may be better known for its fashion, music and theatre, London is also renowned for its delicious and unique dishes.


In this blog post, we'll take a look at four culinary classics from London. If you're a local then no doubt you've sampled all of these again and again, while those new to the city or just visiting who want a true taste of London simply have to give them a try!


Pie And mash


Let's start with one of the most popular dishes not just in London but throughout the UK - pie and mash. London pie and mash is some of the best in the country, with fluffy pastry, generous filling and silky smooth, buttery mash.


It's often said that some of the best dishes are the most simple, and this is certainly the case with this tasty creation!


Packed full of protein, carbs and a multitude of vitamins and minerals, pie and mash was a staple throughout the second world war, and it's no surprise given the meal offers so much bang for your buck, nutritionally speaking. 


The versatility of pies is something that often goes unnoticed, but they cater to all tastes and dietary preferences. Meat lovers will rejoice in delicious fillings like steak & kidney, chicken and meat and potato, while those following a vegetarian diet will find various options available such as cheese and onion, mixed vegetable and butter pies. 


Vegans may struggle to find options in some places, but some companies specialise in plant-based options, meaning pretty much everyone can find a pie they love! 


Jellied Eels


While jellied eels might sound like a bush-tucker trial to the uninitiated, the term "don't knock it until you've tried it" is most certainly applicable when it comes to this East London delicacy.


Jellied eels, which consists of chopped eels boiled in a spiced stock that sets to form a jelly, originated in London in the 18th century. The dish became popular due to its cheap and nutritious nature, and jellied eels became a dietary staple for many of the city’s poor.


In the 1700s, the first eel, pie and mash shops opened, and some of the city’s longest-running shops have been specialising in this dish for over a century.


Due to their history and surprisingly scrumptious taste, jellied eels are a must-try for anyone in London who wants to sample the local cuisine.


Cockles


If you’re a lover of seafood then you’re going to love this cockney delight! Cockles are small marine creatures that have been eaten by Londoners for many a decade.


In times gone by, vendors would sell cockles by the point full to tipsy punters outside pubs. These days, you can still find cockles sold in some of the country’s seaside resorts, and if you’re in the capital you should be able to pick up a jar in most fishmongers.


Curry


Although India is the first place that springs to mind when we think of this meal, curry is actually Britain’s favourite dish. In fact, a recent poll revealed around one in five Brits would gladly trade in their traditional Christmas dinner for a curry!


Although this might raise one of two eyebrows, when we look at the history of curries in the UK, it isn’t actually all that surprising. You see, many of the dishes on the menu at your local takeaway aren't exactly the most authentic Indian meals! 


Over the years, traditional dishes have been anglicised to suit the British palate, case in point, the ever-popular Chicken Tikka masala, which originated in either London or Glasgow, depending on who you believe.


London has some of the best curry houses in the UK, so if you’re looking to sample this enduringly popular Indo-British favourite, hit Brick Lane where you’re guaranteed to find some of the tastiest in the land!


So there are four of the capital’s most iconic dishes. As you can see, these London favourites have a long and interesting history, so if you’re here in the capital and you get a chance to try out some of our iconic dishes, don't pass up the opportunity.


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