Agriculture,  Culinary History,  Farming,  Food History,  History,  Tourism

Influence of the Land

Like any country, England and the countries that make up the United Kingdom, are very tied to their farmers. The climate and land of a country often shapes the produce and eating habits of its people. The United Kingdom is no exception. What a lot of people forget is that the United Kingdom is actually a very large island. Any food that it doesn’t grow itself needs to be imported.

This is why it was hard in World War II when the United Kingdom found itself standing alone for awhile against the German advance. But with the determination and hardiness that is part of their heritage, they survived. They had rationing like we did here in the United States, but with the land girls plowing and farming the land, no one went hungry. 

The United Kingdom has a decidedly cool and wet climate. This can make it hard to grow produce as the growing seasons are shorter. But on the flip side, there are many types of produce that thrive in such weather and they have found themselves as prominent parts of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish cuisine. Root vegetables like swedes, carrots, beets, turnips and potatoes grow very well. Apples and oats grow wonderfully.

Of course, England has a booming fish industry and a love for all things from the sea. Cattle and sheep do well on the island making for lots of dairy and cheese specialties. In fact, there is a special breed of cattle found exclusively in Scotland known as the Highland breed. 

And what would England be without it’s tea time tradition? Tea is the British beverage of choice (besides beer and other spirits!). And living on such a wet, windy island like theirs, a warm beverage always hits the spot!

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