Britain's regional delicacies that we love, hate, and haven’t even tried!

Jemima Kirkwood 24 August 2021

We were curious to find out which British regional delicacies sit at the top of the scale when it comes to the most loved British delights.

Through our survey featuring 50 local delicacies from all over Britain, we have been able to find out which British dishes are the most popular, the most disliked, and which ones most Brits have never even tried.

Have you heard of a fat rascal or a Bedfordshire clanger? Or are you more familiar with a singing hinny and a bacon floddie? The results are in - this is what we found...

Britain's most loved regional foods

Cheddar cheese, Yorkshire puddings and Devon’s cream tea are Britain's top three favourite local delicacies.

Britain's regional delicacies

8 in 10 Brits LOVE Cheddar cheese! It is a commonly-known hard cheese which originates from the English village of Cheddar in Somerset. Cheddar is the most popular kind of cheese in the UK and people of all ages enjoy it in all sorts of ways - in sandwiches and lasagne, on pizza and spaghetti bolognese to name a few. Cheeses of this style are now produced all over the world, but Cheddar will always belong to Somerset.

8 in 10 Brits LOVE Yorkshire puddings, and amazingly, 100% of the British population have tried them. It was the only regional food that we looked at that everyone had tried; perhaps this is down to Britain's well-known tradition of enjoying a Sunday roast!

7 in 10 British people LOVE Devon's very own cream tea. Who could resist a home-baked scone with lashings of clotted cream and jam? Served with a pot of tea, there really is nothing better. But we must insist it should be eaten the Devon way, with cream and then jam...  

What else did we find?

6 in 10 Brits LOVE Welsh rarebit, and the majority of those fans reside in Wales and the North West of England. Welsh rarebit is similar to cheese on toast, although rather than slices of cheese, it is a hot cheese sauce that is served over slices of hot toasted bread.

Cornish pasties

Eton mess (from Berkshire) and the Cornish pasty (from Cornwall) tie in fifth place on the most-loved regional food scale. Eton mess is a wonderful mash of meringue, whipped cream and strawberries. It is a delicious summertime dessert to indulge in. Cornish pasties originate from Cornwall and are filled with beef, sliced potato, turnip and onions.

Leicestershire scoops two places in the overall top 10 with Melton Mowbray pork pie and Red Leicester cheese. The Melton Mowbray pork pie is an authentic pie which has been around since 1851 when Dickinson & Morris made it - they are the official founders of this delicious pork pie.

What regional dishes do the people of the South West love the most?

8 in 10 Devonians love Cheddar cheese more than their very own cream tea! However, this survey has proved that Devonians are loyal to their regional foods, with four of their top ten favourites being from the South West: cream tea, Cheddar cheese, Cornish pasty and apple cake. We stick to what we know and love!

Cream tea

Here is the South West's top ten:

  • Cheddar cheese - 86% of people from the South West love it
  • Cream tea - 82% 
  • Yorkshire pudding - 82%
  • Cornish pasty - 72%
  • Dumplings - 60%
  • Eton mess - 60%
  • Red Leicester cheese - 58%
  • Melton Mowbray pork pie - 58%
  • Chelsea buns - 57%
  • Apple cake - 56%

Britain’s regional delicacies that do not get Brits excited

We couldn’t resist looking at the British foods in the UK that people tried once and vowed never to eat again. We can’t all love everything, but it seems a lot of us are in the same boat when it comes to not enjoying certain regional foods.

9 in 10 British people who tried jellied eels cannot stand them! Jellied eels originated in the east of London in the 18th century. They are chopped eels boiled in spiced stock, which forms a jelly when cooled. Whilst not overly appealing these days, they were commonly eaten in the olden days, as eels were often available when other foods were not.

On another interesting note, half of the British population haven’t even tried jellied eels! Eaten cold, they are nutritious and good for you. So if you want to boost your omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and vitamin A intake, we highly suggest you try them. The jelly is also said to be a source of collagen which is great for the skin and joints. 

What else did we find out?

Jellied eels and Stilton cheese (from Cambridgeshire) are the most disliked regional foods across the UK - this includes the South East where they both originated from! Two in five Brits dislike Stilton cheese. Perhaps we can’t quite handle the strong smell!

Blue cheese

5 in 10 people don’t like Cornwall’s stargazy pie, but that only accounts for the 26% of the population who have even dared to try it!

Interestingly, haggis made it into Scotland’s top five most hated foods after jellied eels, Stilton cheese, Shropshire Blue cheese and Kendal Mint Cake. Haggis is also disliked by all the other UK regions we looked at, excluding Wales - they are neither “here nor there.”

Stinking Bishop cheese, Kendal Mint Cake, pease pudding and Shropshire Blue cheese are all unpopular across the UK, with over a quarter of the British population disliking them. 

But what about the foods we have not tried?

There are lots of regional foods that have originated from the many different counties across England, Scotland and Wales, from the Buckinghamshire bacon badger to the Dorset knob! Our survey has concluded the top ten regional foods that Brits have never tried (and quite possibly never even heard of) - here they are:

10 UK foods most Brits have never tried

9 in 10 Brits have never tried Coventry god cakes from the West Midlands or Yorkshire's fruit nevilles. 

Coventry god cakes are a baked puff pastry filled with sweet mincemeat, first introduced in Coventry, England. The triangular shape of them is said to reference the Holy Trinity, and they are a new year tradition in the city. 

Fruit nevilles are not widely known but are Yorkshire’s answer to fruit cake. They are small shortcake biscuits which are baked with currants to add some fruity flavour. Often served with a warm cup of Yorkshire tea, these are a tasty treat. Whilst 93% of the population haven’t tried them, 32% of the people who have tried them didn’t like them - what a mysterious fruity biscuit!

From the Buckinghamshire bacon badger to the singing hinnies and the Dorset knobs, there are so many regional foods most of the public have never even tried. We challenge you to find out what they are for yourselves. 

Have we inspired you to try more UK regional foods? 

Maybe this has given you some ideas and inspiration for your next foodie holiday. Make an effort to hunt out the strange and unusual foods the region offers, and ask the locals why they are given unusual names; there is usually a great story behind them. 

We now know the fabulous foods of the South West are incredibly popular, so make sure you come and visit with your taste buds in gear and sample the regional delights that are on offer. 

If you are interested in staying in Devon and trying the famous cream tea, check out our range of Devon cottages which offer the perfect base for your foodie adventures.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

Like it? Share it...

Read more like this

The UK’s best 24-hour city trips

It turns out you don’t need to head to the big cities for fun adventures - come and discover the UK's best cities that can be seen in a day!

Things to do and see in Appledore

Discover Appledore in North Devon and find out what makes it a magical holiday destination.

15 secret North Devon beaches

North Devon’s coast is home to many amazing beaches, but discover the most secret and hidden ones today.
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Stay In Devon is an appointed representative of ITC Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their registration number is 313486) and which is permitted to advise on and arrange general insurance contracts as an intermediary.
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Stay In Devon | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210.