British foods date back thousands of years

Sept. 14, 2007 at 2:56 PM

CARDIFF, Wales, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Archaeologists said that ancient Britons had a diet that included delicacies like roast hedgehog and nettle pudding.

Researchers from the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff said that the nettle pudding is, in fact, the earliest one known in the British Isles, dating back 8,000 years. Nettles were mixed with barley flour, salt and water and added to the stew pot to cook like dumplings.

Ruth Fairchild, who heads the research team, told The Times of London that another pre-Roman dish was a stew of bacon, fish, milk and cream. About 6,000 years ago, Neolithic cooks prepared a mix of meat and fat cooked in intestines that is the ancestor of haggis, blood pudding and similar dishes.

“We were surprised how far back people’s favorite dishes go,” Fairchild told The Times. “Britons made versions of stews, soups and pancakes thousands of years ago.”

The Romans, who conquered England about 2,000 years ago, introduced the dinner party. They also added sweets, sauces and more varied spices to the island diet, The Times article stated.

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