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The Surprising Origins Of Some Of Your Favourite Foods

The Surprising Origins Of Some Of Your Favourite Foods
Everyone enjoys visiting a restaurant or takeaway and grabbing a yummy portion of their  favourite food. Whether you’re away on a romantic getaway and helping yourself to the breakfast buffet or fancy a meal out with the family, we can all agree that food is fuel for the soul. As such, let’s take you through the history of some of your favourite foods. Be prepared, some of their real origins might shock you!

The Croissant 

When we think of a croissant, we think of France. Many people dream of eating an authentic croissant from a Parisian café. Sorry to burst your bubble, croissants are actually a viennoiserie pastry. They originated from the city of Vienna in Austria. The first croissants were known as the German word “kipferl” (meaning croissants in English), and date back to the 13th century. They came in different shapes and were filled with nuts or other fillings.  Overtime, their appearance changed following the food’s introduction to France in the early 1800’s by an Austrian entrepreneur named August Zang. He started a Viennese bakery and the kipferl ideal was copied, becoming popular in other bakeries. Later on, Parisians began calling them “croissants” because of their crescent moon shape. Fast forward to 1915, a French baker named Sylvain Claudius Goy wrote the modern croissant recipe we all love and enjoy today.

The Pancake

This famous breakfast dish has been around for centuries being a staple in British and many other cultures. As delicious as they taste, they also have an interesting story of origin. Experts believe that pancakes were enjoyed by our ancestors around 30,000 years ago during the Stone Age!  In ancient Greece and Rome, pancakes were made using wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and curdled milk. People began calling them “pancakes” during the 15th century, and the word stuck in 19th century America. Early American pancakes were called “johnnycakes” or “flapjacks” and were made using buckwheat or cornmeal. Today, the fluffy American pancakes are enjoyed all around the world. Pancakes Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, is a popular tradition in Britain dating back to the 16th century where Christians would make pancakes to use up leftover dairy products such as butter, eggs, and fats before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This is why the tradition falls 47 days before Easter Sunday.

Fish and Chips

Fried cod coated in a crispy batter served with mushy peas and chunky chips, drenched in salt and vinegar. Sounds delicious, no wonder it’s a traditional British favourite! Most people believe fish and chips originated in England, this is not entirely true. According to sources, fish and chips can be traced back to the 15th Century in Portugal where the dish was first invented. When Portugal fell under Spanish rule, Jewish individuals were targeted and threatened, causing some to fleed and settle in England. Bringing with them their cultural traditions. Jewish families would cook food on a Friday afternoon to last them until the next day. One of those dishes was a white fish, such as cod or haddock, fried in a coat of flour or matzo meal. This batter helped to preserve the fish so it could be eaten cold for the following day. They began selling dishes of fried fish on the streets of London and the fried fish expanded all over England.  For the chunky chips, we’re not sure where they directly originated from. Sources say Belgium claims to be the inventor of fried potatoes. What we do know is that by 1910, there were around 25,000 fish and chip shops recorded in the UK. Today, fish and chips are eaten all over the world.

The Curry

British people have been enjoying curry for hundreds of years. The first record of curry being sold in the UK was recorded in 1733. It’s believed that the word “curry” comes from the South Indian state of Tamil meaning “to blacken with spices”. According to sources, after the 1857 Great Indian Mutiny, British bureaucrats came to live in India. It’s also worth noting that curry isn’t technically an Indian dish. It was created by Indians, using Indian techniques and ingredients, but it was modified for British taste buds. This is how curry cuisine was developed. Surprisingly, tikka masala and madras curry dishes are not normally served in India.

Visit Boars Head Hotel for Your Favourite Food

We hope you enjoyed learning about the history and origin stories of some of your favourite foods. We’re very lucky that the above dishes have landed into our British culture and that we have the opportunity to taste them. In fact, you can enjoy all your favourite dishes at Boars Head Hotel. Have a look at our menus and plan your next meal with us by booking a table at our Derbyshire hotel and restaurant today.  
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Allergens and Intolerance

This website is to be used as a a best faith effort to inform you of our allergen and intolerance policy,  and may not be 100% accurate, or may be out of date at the time of reading, you should always advise your server on any dietary requirements, including intolerance & allergies. All our dishes are prepared in our kitchens where allergens are present. We therefore cannot guarantee that all our dishes are free from traces of allergens.

You must assess your own level of risk, based on your personal circumstances before consuming any of our food or drink.