We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again… sampling local food is one of the best ways to really get to know a new place and its associated culture.
Food is also often steeped in local history, making it one of the most sought after souvenir items when travelling.
For a UK trip, we’ve listed eight of the best British food souvenirs below… before heading home, make sure you snap up at least one of these delicious items!
1. Anything from Fortnum & Mason
Originally starting out as a small store in St James Market in 1707, Fortnum & Mason is now a world-renowned sensation and sell their goods across a number of own-brand London-based stores, as well as via wholesale stockists around the world.
It’s fair to say that Fortnum & Mason really is a household name when it comes to British food and so it should come as no surprise that it tops this list of the best British food souvenirs you can buy.
From chocolates, to tea, wine, spirits and even homeware, you’d be safe to buy practically anything from Fortnum & Mason… but our advice would be to look for souvenirs that come in their iconic turquoise packaging, such as chocolate or loose leaf tea.
2. Cadbury Chocolate
Although Cadbury chocolate can be bought from all over the world, the recipe is often changed overseas, thus, the real deal can only be bought from the UK.
Cadbury was founded in 1824 and actually started life as a grocer’s shop in Birmingham, from which cocoa, drinking chocolate, tea and coffee were sold.
It wasn’t until 1897 that Cadbury started manufacturing their sought-after chocolate bars (50 years after the very first chocolate bar was created in Bristol by rival company, Fry’s).
Following the years since this solid chocolate innovation, Cadbury have continued to innovate and are now one of the most famous chocolate brands in the UK… thus, you must stock up on Cadbury when visiting the UK.
If you’re stuck for choice, we’d recommend buying Dairy Milk (any variety), Roses, Milk Tray, Wispa, Twirl and Creme Eggs (only available during Easter).
Biscuits have long been synonymous with the UK – in fact, the average UK household eats through 103 packets of biscuits every year!
This means you can’t really get more British than buying a packet… or two… or three packets of biscuits during your trip.
We’d recommend heading straight for McVitie’s biscuits such as Digestives, Hobnobs and Fruit Shortcakes, as they’re one of the most well-known (if not most well-known) biscuit brands in the UK.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
You may love it. You may hate it. Either way, you can’t deny Marmite is a very traditional British food souvenir item.
Marmite is made from yeast extract, which is a byproduct of beer brewing, and has a highly distinctive, salty flavour. It was originally manufactured in a factory in Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire and founded in 1902.
There’s no denying that it’s a very acquired taste but you can’t possibly know whether you love it or hate it without trying it, right?
Plus, this love it / hate it debate has been doing on within UK households for years so join the locals and form your own opinion once and for all.
Even though fudge wasn’t invented in the UK, (it apparently originated in the US), fudge has now become synonymous with trips to the UK.
It can be a lot of fun scouting out a traditional sweet shop (you know, the ones with the pink stripy bags and large jars of everything?) and choosing your favourite flavour. Scott and I love clotted cream fudge, as well as either chocolate-orange or white chocolate-raspberry flavours.
Although the best fudge is made in Cornwall, you can still get fudge from most other sweet shops and supermarkets throughout the UK. It just might not be as good as what you can get in the ‘West Country’.
6. Stick of Rock
Throughout the 50s and 60s, kids everywhere dreamed of the time they could get a ‘stick of rock’. Why? Because this meant they were probably taking a trip to the seaside!
A ‘stick of rock’ is a hard stick-shaped boiled sugar sweet, usually tasting of mint (a bit like a hard candy cane to be honest!) Inside, you’ll find a set of letters that will spell something out — usually the name of the seaside resort where you’re buying it, such as Brighton or Blackpool.
Although rock is now a less popular British food souvenir, it has such a huge part of UK history, that it must be on this list and in your suitcase when heading home.
7. Mince Pies
Available in the run up to and throughout Christmas, Mince Pies are a very traditional food item in the UK and make for the best food souvenirs if you’re visiting the UK in the winter.
Although the name makes them sound like a savoury or meat pie, they are actually served as a sweet snack or dessert. Inside a shortcrust pastry case, you’ll find fruits like currants, raisins and sultanas, which have been soaked in boozy liqueur such as brandy, whisky or cognac, as well as spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg prior to baking. In the UK, we say these flavours taste like Christmas!
Although you can eat Mince Pies cold, they’re best served warm (and are even better with a bit of cream!)
Most supermarkets in the UK will sell packets of 6 to 12 mince pies, which are cheap, yet delicious. Or if you want to splurge a little, head to a patisserie shop like Patisserie Valerie or another posh food store like Fortnum & Mason.
Okay, so tea might not be a food item, but you can’t possibly leave the UK without bagging yourself some delicious tea so we’re adding it to this list anyway.
Apparently, the average Brit drinks 876 cups of tea per year – enough to fill two whole bathtubs.
Basically, we love the stuff, we’re proud of our tea, and we want you to buy loads of it when you visit.
Should we have put a warning on this post not to read it if you’re hungry? Probably. Sorry about that. Either way, we hope your taste buds are salivating just a little ahead of your trip to the UK!
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