Disgusting or delicious? Dishes that divide the nation from jellied eels to mushy peas.
1. Black pudding
"A slice of congealed pig's blood, animal fat and oatmeal with your breakfast, sir?" It's a polarising dish for sure, but fans claim it is as good for you as kale, thanks to high levels of iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
2. Mushy peas
None of these modern crushed minted peas, so often passed off as a mushy pea these days. No, a proper mound of mushy peas, made with dried marrowfat peas, soaked overnight in bicarbonate of soda and then boiled with sugar and salt is what we're after, please thank you very much.
3. Pease porridge
"Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold/Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old" or so the nursery rhyme goes. The dish, from the North East, is made by boiling yellow split peas in stock and puréeing. Often served with ham, bacon, or a Saveloy sausage, or in a sandwich. And, yes, it can be eaten hot or cold – not so sure about "nine days old," though.
Carried on a silver salver, accompanied by a piper and honoured with a poem by Robbie Burns, is there any other savoury pudding so revered in the world? It's unlikely, particularly one made with minced sheep's heart, liver, lungs and oatmeal, which is then encased in a sheep stomach.
We'll gloss over what our American friends think a faggot is, because what we are talking about here is a kind of rissole. Known as faggots in Wales and the Midlands and, according to our intensive research (Wikipedia), as Savoury Ducks in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Lancashire, these are made from minced pork liver and heart, bacon, onion and breadcrumbs. Serve with mashed potatoes, peas (marrowfat, not garden) and lashings of gravy.
6. Pickled eggs
OK, so other countries also claim the pickled egg as theirs (Denmark, for example, where they are called Solæg and pickled with beetroot, emerging rather pink) but there is something very British nonetheless about that jar of hard-boiled eggs glinting on the bar of the pub or chip shop counter.
Currently a significant proportion of the Inapub team hail from Wales, so we're not going to say much about this salty treat made from seaweed cooked until it forms a sort of mush – sorry, we mean sumptuous silky paste. Enjoy for breakfast with cockles and/or bacon, or simply spread on hot buttered toast. Cymru Am Byth.
8. Stargazy pie
Who doesn't want some dead fish staring up at them as they sit down to sup? Pretty much anyone not from Cornwall, we guess. On the Cornish coast they enjoy pilchards baked with eggs and potatoes in a pastry crust – out of which poke the fish heads and sometimes the tails too. Creepy.
9. Jellied eels
Traditionally eaten in the East End of London, this dish of chopped eels boiled in stock then cooled to set, has more than a touch of "Bush Tucker Trial" about it. Frankly we'd rather eat a fried tarantula – get us out of here!
10. Pork scratchings
What's not to like about pig skin roasted in its own fat and then salted into submission? The ultimate pub snack has even made a return as a hipster favourite, home-made and served with apple dipping sauce or seasoned with herbs such as fennel.