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An Introduction to Tea Time and British Cooking

What could be more British than the concept of tea time – pots of hot tea, little scones, finger sandwiches and cakes, and all the fun that goes hand in hand with that? Although it is true the British love their tea, there is a whole lot more to British cooking than that. There are famous British dishes like fish and chips, the full fried breakfast, steak pies, and bangers and mash, but there is a whole other side to British cuisine, one which is fascinating to anyone who is curious about cooking in the UK.

What People Think about British Cooking

The main misconception about British food is that it is bland and uninspiring, but the reason for that is when they had rationing during wartime you just could not buy meat, eggs, fruit, sugar, tea and other staples, and just had to make do with meat (occasionally), vegetables and other simple things. Meals during that time (and this lasted up to 1954, remember) were bland and dull, but the war was on and people just had to make do.

Because rationing lasted so long, a whole generation went without previously much-used ingredients, and the rationing policies are largely blamed for the decline of British cuisine in this period. Modern British cuisine really began after the end of rationing, although some ingredients were still hard to find. Olive oil in the 1950s, for example, was only available from the pharmacy, not from a shop! Continue reading

How to Make Sandwiches for Afternoon Tea

An English afternoon tea is based around a pot of tea, hence the name, but you can also expect the sandwiches, small savoury and sweet snacks and cakes. So what type of sandwiches should you make for teatime? Take a look at this video and you will learn everything you need to know about how to make quintessentially English finger sandwiches.

One of the keys for making the best ones are to ensure the flavours and shapes are kept as delicate as possible, which means no strong flavours and no rough or rugged shapes. English teatime sandwiches are usually presented in finger-shapes or small triangles, and unlike conventional sandwiches which are bigger, you should be able to eat a teatime sandwich in just 3 bites.

So do you fancy the cream cheese and smoked salmon sandwiches, the egg mayo and cress ones or what about the dainty cucumber sandwiches? You might wish to get all these ingredients and have a go at making some of each. Just remember to trim off the crusts and serve the sandwiches on fine bone china plates for true British appeal. Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, my name is Christine and I would like to welcome you to TeaTime Recipes. Tea has always been a favourite of mine and I adore the tradition of serving this wonderful beverage with all kinds of little snacks both sweet and savoury. Read More