5 Great Foods of Great Britain: Spotted Dick + More Hilarity

The United Kingdom has such a confusing culinary reputation. At once birthplace to a few of the world's blandest dishes, and yet the same place that brought us Gordon Ramsay and some of the most hilariously named foods imaginable.

It's those foods that we honor today: The oddly named, the somewhat vulgar and the just plain perplexing from England, Scotland and Wales. It was hard to narrow it down to just five, and to ignore that old favorite, bubble and squeak, but we did. Turn the page for the best named British food, past and present.

5. Cullen Skink:

To those not in the know, the name seems like either gibberish or a singing woodland creature not yet featured in a Disney film -- but the dish itself is a truly lovely smoked fish and potato soup that is the specialty of a village in Scotland. Other fantastically named Scottish dishes include clapshot and cock-a-leekie. We like Scotland.

JoAnn Stougaard, via Flickr

4. Tatties and Bashed Neeps:

It's SO close to being entirely inappropriate save a few vowels. Turns out they are mashed potatoes and turnips, respectively. No wonder they went sassy. Commonly served with haggis, which if you don't know, is a sheep's stomach stuffed with oatmeal and assorted sheep offal. It tastes better than it sounds.

Spotted Dick in a Can
Spotted Dick in a Can

3. Spotted Dick:

We'd be remiss if this classic wasn't on the list. Available in cans, we suspect this ends up in bachelorette party gift bags more often than it is actually consumed Stateside. Too bad really, it's a sweet sponge cake, studded with dried fruit. Lately, some restaurateurs have taken to calling is Spotted Richard, which we think takes all the fun out of it.


2. Hindle Wakes:

This dish originated in Lancashire and isn't made very often anymore. It sounds like a nursery rhyme gone awry. To make, take a chicken, stuff with nuts and dried fruit, poach, wrap in bacon and roast. It's been speculated the moniker is a combination of the locals misunderstanding Flemish for the sound a chicken makes and a holiday wake. Which was a happy event before it was for funerals. How that translates to chicken, we can't say. We would just call it delicious.

Scones, not quite singing hinnies, but close
Scones, not quite singing hinnies, but close

1. Singin' Hinnies:

Only funny if you pronounce hinnies with a long i. Then it's just hilarious. Because apparently, we are third-graders at heart. What it actually is is a type of griddle cake, a bit of a cross between a scone and English muffin that makes a sizzling or "singing" sound when it's put in hot oil in the pan. Blushing right now.

That, of course, was just scratching the surface. There was just so much to choose from. We had to pass over girdle sponges, priddy oggies and wet nelley. We may have to revisit this topic in the future.

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