Some of the UK’s most loved regional holiday food, such as Cornish pasties, candy floss and cockles are at risk of extinction according to new research by Travelodge, which included children in Grantham.
‘The Flavours of Britain’ study - conducted by the hotel chain as part of its new campaign to inspire the nation to ‘get up & go’ and explore Britain - surveyed 1,000 children across the UK to investigate their knowledge and appetite for classic regional British foods.
The research says that despite 24 per cent of children in Grantham claiming that they like to try new foods while holidaying on British shores, many have never tried, or even heard, of some of Britain’s classic regional holiday dishes.
Over a third (41 per cent) of children in Grantham have never experienced a traditional full English breakfast, and 56 per cent of children in Grantham have never eaten a Cornish pasty – probably one of the most famous regional dishes on the UK food map, dating back to the 13th century.
The study also found that 70 per cent of children in Grantham have never enjoyed a Devonshire cream tea and 32 per cent do not know what it is. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of children in Grantham think a cream tea is a cup of tea topped off with whipped cream.
The study also revealed that 91 per cent of children in Grantham have never tried the national dish of Scotland, haggis, and 32 per cent stated that they have never even heard of the dish. In addition, 68 per cent of children in Grantham have never tried black pudding, a delicacy that comes from the Black Country and the North West of England.
The report also found that, despite seaside holidays being very popular with young Britons, 32 per cent of children in Grantham have never tasted the seaside classic treat, candy floss – which was invented in 1897 by the dentist William Morrison, and 59 per cent have never had a stick of rock. Furthermore, 93 per cent of children in Grantham have never tried cockles and 96 per cent have never tried David Beckham’s favourite snacks, jellied eels.
Monica Askay, cook and food historian, said: “Looking at this research, it is a great pity that so many young Britons are not aware of, or have not had the opportunity to enjoy, our rich and varied regional culinary heritage.
Many modern Britons appear reluctant to try the great range of regional dishes this country has to offer yet they are very open to international cuisine. In my experience, once people have tried these regional dishes they are pleasantly surprised at how tasty they are.
“Many regional dishes give us insights into the cooking of much earlier times and it would be a great shame to lose this culinary heritage. I would strongly encourage parents and their children to seek out and try these dishes for themselves in order to help preserve our food heritage for future generations. If not, we could lose both a great source of enjoyment and a very valuable part of our culinary history.”
Travelodge spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed said: “Food is a big part of Britain’s rich heritage. However, our research has highlighted that we are at risk of losing some of our famous regional dishes because children have not been given the opportunity or encouraged to try them. To save Britain’s food legacy, we would urge families to get up and go this summer and taste their way through Great Britain.”
Interestingly when children in Grantham were asked what foods they would consider as their UK holiday must have a number of international dishes took prime position. This included: Pizza, Burger and Chips, 99 Ice Cream and Doughnuts.”