There are plenty of stereotypes about the various regions of the UK. These are normally centralised around accents, fashion and culture. One of the elements within the culture debate is food and it is really quite humorous when you look in to it.
Here, we have listed the differences in everyday food habits and slang in the north and south and we think it may cause some debate:
When it comes to snacking, the north are very much on the lookout for something savoury that will fill the gap nicely. Forget fancy salads – it’s all about choosing a hearty snack that will leave you feeling full. So what do northerners tend to do when their stomach grumbles? Pop to Greggs in their lunch break for a pastie or sausage roll of course. You just can’t beat it.
It may be due to the fact that a sausage roll in the Hull area for example, costs just 66p, in comparison to 85p in Hammersmith – that’s almost a 30% rise!
Apparently, those living in Greater Manchester also love an Eccles Cake when they’re peckish for a snack; which sort of resembles a mince pie but has a flaky pastry outer…never tried it, but sounds delicious.
Southerners seem to be far more inclined to pick up a posh bag of crisps – or perhaps a healthier option such as an apple. They’re also more drawn to pick up the little snack pack bags whilst out shopping – the nuts and fruit mix for example. Some call it calory counting; others call it nibbling on rabbit food.
Up north, whatever meal you fancy eating, they want it it to be bulky! Why do you think there are so many carverys and buffet style restaurants up in the top half of the country compared to the south? The more food on that plate the better!
Southerners tend to opt for the finer dining choices. As opposed to the all-you-can-eat / pile your plate up until it’s overflowing option, they most definitely prefer quality, not quantity.
If you’re a modern southerner, you’ll most likely be eating the finest small steak, a couple of peppers to fill the plate a bit and a drizzling of posh sauce to finish. By the time you’ve eaten your first mouthful, you’ll usually be halfway through your meal.
It’s a total shocker when your pint hasn’t got a good head on it – I mean, what’s all that about? Northerners are very passionate about their beer, so a pint with a decent head is a must.
Recently, a new beer pump was created in Manchester so drinkers could choose exactly how much of a head they desire on their pint. Get this – the contraption even goes as far as to offer two options – a ‘Northern Head’ and a ‘Southern Head’. If you’re a northerner, the head should be thicker and much more creamy in consistency.
Justin Adams, MD of Greene King brewery said: “To date, cask beer drinkers in the north of England prefer their beer one way while those in the south like it differently. We wanted people to have a choice while still being able to enjoy the fantastic flavour of a quality cask beer, wherever they are”.
On average, the people of the North East pay a mere £3.05 per pint, whereas folk living a little lower down such as in Derbyshire, pay just £2.99 per pint.
Southerners on the other hand, prefer their pints to have a far slimmer and more bubbly head.
On average, southerners pay a whopping 65p more per pint than those in the north. Those living in Surrey pay roughly £3.52, whilst Londoners could pay up to £3.60. Many northerners visiting the city have gone as far as to say the capital is a total ‘rip off’ when it comes to the price difference in alcohol.
“In the South East, big brewers used to own most pubs, which tended to limit the competition. But I think people in the South East are simply less careful with their money.” The Guide’s Fiona Stapley told The Mirror.
If you live in the north you’re bound to have tried chips and gravy. I mean, it’s just part of the culture. One southerner who visited the north on a night out, told the BBC of their absolute horror of discovering this ‘odd’ combination:
“Went for a night out while visiting a mate in uni and unsurprisingly ended up heading home from the club at 3 am, dying for a load of cheesy chips. My usually-trustworthy friend decided to play the gallant host and get us some grub. When he returned, I dug in without a second thought… until I realised something was off: the chips were all weirdly soggy. He’d decided to treat me to a Northern speciality: chips with gravy… gross! Plus, I’m a vegetarian! Never forgave him.”
The Midlands also have their very own tradition when it comes to how chips should be eaten. If you’re ever stopping by the Black Country, you’ll have to get your hands on some of their finest orange chips – oh and be sure to ask for plenty of battered bits and tonnes of salt and vinegar.
Many posh southerners, on the other hand, would never be seen walking into a chip shop. They’re much more inclined to make home-cooked chips from scratch, with a three-stage process known as ‘triple cooked’. This involves the chips being fried, then cooled, deep fried again and cooled for a second time. It sounds bizarre, but the result is to die for.
The recipe was discovered by English chef Heston Blumethal; which he had been working on since 1992, with the intention of creating the ‘perfect’ chip. He described his unique chips to have “a glass-like crust and a soft, fluffy centre”.
Apparently, the north and south have been at loggerheads as to the appropriate length of time to dunk a biscuit into a cup of tea.
Northerners are far more inclined to leave their biscuit drowning in the tea until it is soggy – often having to face the trauma of fishing out the sodden biscuit in the event of a crumbling disaster. According to a poll carried out by the Daily Mail, 65% of northerners are actually the slowest to dunk in the whole of the UK.
Those living in the north also much prefer a standard custard cream or digestive, as opposed to some of the posher biscuit variations on the market.
A spokesperson at Waitrose told the Daily Mail: “With over two-thirds of the nation admitting to dunking their biscuit in their drinks, it is most definitely a quintessential British habit.
‘Tea is the most popular dunking choice, although half also like to dunk into coffee too. One in ten of those surveyed think that it’s rude to dunk, with Scots the least likely to do it, however, those from the northeast are proud to admit to dunking.’
‘Brits eat an average of six biscuits a week, with men eating one more than women, despite over half of females admitting to secretly indulging in a biscuit and hiding it from their family and friends.”
Southerners, on the other hand, are far more inclined to pick up a breakfast biscuit or cereal bar snack, due to the majority of those living in the big cities having to make lengthy commutes to work.
The most popular biscuit brand was voted as ‘BelVita’ in the London region, but those in Brighton were much happier with a classic KitKat.
‘The choice of biscuit could definitely be linked to your postcode” the Waitrose spokesperson added. Hmmm… interesting.
Yorkshire puddings obviously originated in Yorkshire, therefore the opinion of northerners on what deems to be the perfect pud cannot be argued with. I mean, let’s face it, they practically have ownership of this classic delicacy. Northerners love their Yorkshires oversized, podgy at the base and full of air – oh, and homemade is a must. They’re the perfect finishing touch to compliment red meat, or you may prefer the recipe being made into a classic ‘toad in the hole’ dish.
Southerners on the other hand, would rather just pop to Waitrose and grab an Aunt Bessie’s. But, even we must admit, it’s just not the same.
Northern England was certainly put on the map last year, when the classic Yorkshire pudding started being sold as a ‘Yorkshire pudding burrito’ in supermarkets and most recently, a Yorkshire pudding pizza was invented. Although it seems supermarkets are trying to keep up with the times, we’d much prefer it if the classic Yorkshire pud was well and truly left alone.
Who’d have known that a bread roll could have such a variation in nicknames and create such a huge north-south debate?
Konnie Robinson who specialises in dialects and accents told The Daily Express: “Bread was historically a generic term for any baked item and ‘cake’ and ‘loaf’ originally referred to the shape of that ‘bread’, with ‘cake’ usually being smaller and ‘loaf’ meaning ‘large bread’.
In the north, you’ll find regions such as Manchester and Liverpool naming the bread roll a ‘Bun’ or a ‘Barm’, whilst folk in the East Midlands are known to say ‘Teacake’. Any of these sound familiar to you?
A little further south, and the common phrases in the Midlands are said to be a ‘Cob’ or ‘Bap’.
Sticking with tradition, the majority of southerners around London name it the formal ‘Roll’. A little further on into the South West and Cornwall, and you may hear bread being referred to as ‘Oggies’ or ‘Lady Cakes’.
Take a look at this picture and check out the variations in ‘bread roll’ slang across the UK:
1.Tea or Dinner?
What is the appropriate term for an evening meal?
According to ITV News, a survey taken by the University of Manchester questioned 1400 students on their preference as to whether the evening meal should be called ‘dinner’ or ‘tea’.
It’s well-known that northerners tend to say ‘tea’, whilst southerners are far more likely to use the term ‘dinner’. Midlands folk, on the other hand, haven’t got a clue where they stand and place themselves somewhere in the middle – sometimes saying ‘tea’ or even ‘supper’.
The English Oxford Dictionary describes the evening meal as follows: ‘The main meal of the day, taken either around midday or in the evening; A formal evening meal, typically one in honour of a person or event.’
According to The Guardian, Noel Gallagher who was born and bred in Manchester most definitely calls his evening meal, ‘tea’:
“Me and my kids call it tea. My wife calls it dinner. She went to uni, I didn’t. She’s middle class, I’m not. As for supper? What is that, exactly? As a kid, I ate Irish stew. As unemployed teenagers, it was something with beans. After that, until I left home, it was, “Make it yourself!” That’s when it started to get tricky. You can move the boy to London, but he’ll always be a northerner.”
Tom Parker-Bowles from London, on the other hand, claimed that the traditional ‘dinner party’ is typically associated with a “forced dress code and fussy food, stilted conversation and whiff of self-satisfaction, is something to be feared. But then, so is any meal possessing these horrible qualities, regardless of whether it’s branded “supper”, “dinner” or “feast”. All that matters is the shared pleasures of the table, time to eat, drink and be merry.