Food Glorious Food

Regional British foods we should be more proud of

We tend to show a lot of love for regional British foods like Cornish pasties, clotted cream and Yorkshire puddings. But what about other often neglected regional delicacies? Shouldn't we be proud of those too?

Laverbread
Laverbread © Jo RomeroTraditionally eaten in Wales, laverbread is a type of seaweed collected from rocks along the shoreline.

After gathering, it's boiled and minced into a dark green mixture - often eaten with bacon, and sometimes cockles. You might also find it fried in patties with oatmeal, or served with eggs.

Although its colour and texture might put some people off, it's actually very good for you. Laverbread contains protein, calcium, vitamins and iron and is low in calories. So why let squeamishness get in the way of a nutritious breakfast?

Brown shrimps
Brown Shrimps © Jo RomeroMorecambe Bay is famous for its brown shrimps, which are often served potted (cooked in spiced butter and then sealed with more clarified butter), or gently heated and served with fish.

Don't let their size put you off. They're packed full of flavour: sweet and tender, they taste just like the sea.

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Next time, instead of automatically reaching for a packet of tropical king prawns, try a portion of brown shrimps, warmed in butter and spread on toast.

Tom Parker-Bowles is a fan, and once wrote that they are "one of Britain's greatest gastronomic treasures, and proof that greatness often comes in the very smallest of forms."

Lardy cake
Lardy Cake © RexCheck out the shelves of your local supermarket bakery section and you'll see American-style doughnuts, Belgian buns and French brioche. But you probably won't see much lardy cake.

This moist, fruit-studded bun is thought to have originated from the pig-farming industry in southern England, where all that rendered lard was put to good use.

Lardy cake is made by layering sweetened bread dough with lard, spices and dried fruits, although nowadays it's often rejected on grounds that it's unhealthy. But while lard is certainly calorific, it actually contains less saturated fat than butter.

Lardy cake is a true British food and reminds us of our farming roots. And as an occasional indulgent treat, it's also pretty delicious, too.

Pease pudding
Pease Pudding © RexYou might recognise this one from the nursery rhyme. Pease pudding, traditionally associated with the north east of England, is eaten with meat — usually ham, gammon, bacon or saveloy.

To make it, split peas are cooked until tender before they're mashed and scraped into a muslin cloth. The cloth is then tied and left to simmer in the liquid along with the meat.

[Related article: Chicken and leek pie: My favourite British comfort food]

One of the earliest mentions of pease pudding (or pease porridge) comes from the 14th century, but don't be put off by the thought of something so old-fashioned: it's very cheap and simple to make at home.

Jellied eels
Jellied Eels © RexMeaty chunks of cooked eel quivering in jelly might not be to everyone's taste but it's an institution in London, where it's eaten either on its own or alongside a plate of pie and mash.

It's thought that Londoners have eaten protein-rich jellied eels since at least the 1700s but according to research by the Zoological Society London in 2010, eel numbers in the Thames are declining. Whether or not the jellied eel's days are numbered, there are many that would hate to see the end of this wobbly snack.

Haggis
Haggis © RexWith haggis, you either love it or you hate it (the US went even further by banning it for over 20 years). It's made by mincing together lamb's lung, heart and other meat trimmings along with onions, oatmeal and spices and stuffing it all into a sheep's stomach before boiling.

While many people are squeamish about eating food that's been made from various cuts of offal, surely the haggis demonstrates frugal nose to tail eating at its best. It's a dish that uses the most of an animal and not just the well-known cuts.

[Related article: Comfort foods from around the world]

And there's no need to be squeamish - it's actually really tasty, with a flavour and texture a lot like coarse, peppery sausagemeat. Try it from your local butcher or get hold of some online.

Which regional British foods do you think shouldn't be forgotten?