How popular are the UK’s regional foods?

·3 min read
Many Scots said they have never tried haggis  (Getty Images)
Many Scots said they have never tried haggis (Getty Images)

Regional dishes are not as popular as once thought – with 43 per cent of Scots having never tried haggis and a quarter of South Westerners shunning Cornish pasties.

A poll of 2,000 British adults found almost two in five believe that it is actually tourists who are helping to keep these types of local cuisines alive.

As 40 per cent of people in Wales admit they’ve never tucked into Welsh rarebit, and one quarter of these have ‘no idea’ what goes into the dish.

While 21 per cent of those in the Humber region haven’t ever had a Yorkshire pudding with their roast dinner, while 39 per cent in the North West have not sampled traditional Lancashire hotpot.

In the North East, 62 per cent have never eaten the quintessential Teesside takeaway parmo – a piece of breaded chicken topped with béchamel sauce and cheese.

And despite fish and chips being the most popular British dish, nearly one third of all adults claim to have never eaten a Friday night fish supper.

It also emerged that 38 per cent haven’t made their local dish at home – despite half insisting guests tuck into them when visiting from out of town.

Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, which commissioned the survey, said: “Lots of people are proud of the dishes which make their region famous, but it’s surprising just how many others have never tried them.

“There are certain parts of the country where specific foods will instantly spring to mind, with visitors from across the UK helping to keep these foodie traditions alive.”

The poll also found that three quarters of holidaymakers will make the effort to sample the local delicacies when travelling around the UK.

Nearly one quarter will even select a staycation destination based solely on its reputation for quality food.

While 91 per cent believe it is important to enjoy good food when on holiday.

The most popular way for Britons to decide where to eat on their travels is by judging an establishment based on its exterior and interior.

More than one third will tap into the locals’ knowledge of the best place to visit, while another one in three will read restaurant reviews.

One quarter will seek advice from their accommodation provider.

In a bid to help keep local delicacies alive, Sykes Holiday Cottages has released a free online recipe book of regional foodie favourites from throughout the UK and Ireland.

CEO Graham Donoghue added: “Our research shows that a big proportion of travellers choose staycation destinations solely on their stomachs, but when we travel around the UK it can sometimes be overwhelming to know what to try and the best places to get it.

“That’s why we’ve created our recipe book to give holidaymakers the chance to sample a selection of local favourites – prepared just as the locals would – before their trips or to get inspiration for their next holiday spot.

“And it sounds like this could come in handy for some residents too.”


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