When I tell people I’m studying abroad in England they tend to have a lot of questions, some more serious than others. My mother asks me often if I brought enough layers for the cold weather, while my sister likes to check in on whether I’ve successfully dismantled the British monarchy yet (I actually can’t tell if she’s being serious or not). But one thing I’m rarely asked is what my favorite British foods are, which I guess is fair given that British cuisine doesn’t have a reputation for being at the pinnacle of global culinary experiences. However, in my two months here I’ve encountered several dishes that I can’t get enough of, which are as follows: 


  1. Beans on toast

It’s not a list of tasty British food without this one. Beans on toast is the quintessential English breakfast food, and it’s even better when paired with sausage and/or a fried egg. There is some contention among Brits about whether or not to add grated cheese on top - personally, I think it adds a nice boost of flavor. 


  1. Mushy peas

Mushy peas are exactly what they sound like - peas soaked in water and then mashed and mixed with salt, pepper, and sometimes mint. To be honest, this one sounds kind of gross, and when I first saw it on the side of my plate of fish and chips I was a little skeptical. However, it has quickly become one of my favorite comfort foods to the point where I judge a pub’s fish and chips based on its mushy pea offerings. 


  1. Afternoon tea

This is another essential British culinary experience. Afternoon tea involves tea (of course) along with a scone (which is similar to what I would call a biscuit) topped with jam and clotted cream (a thicker, richer version of butter). Again, there’s some disagreement over the proper way to enjoy a scone - some Brits prefer their clotted cream under their jam, while others like the clotted cream on top. I personally think the application is easier when the clotted cream goes on first.