It’s A Vegan World: British. The Roundup.

I learned about British foods by name in the books of the wonderful British authors who I read growing up. Scrambled eggs and sardines in P.G. Wodehouse, hot buttered scones and ginger beer in Enid Blyton, salmon and asparagus in Somerset Maugham… I had almost no idea what they would taste like, but they sounded strange, exotic and attractive at the time. Still my first introduction to British food on British soil was anti-climactic, if anything.

I had just spent the whole night and half the day at the airport and in a plane. I had butterflies the size of eagles in my stomach: it was my first trip abroad and I was joining a group of 12 journalists from around the world on an eight-week fellowship to learn all we could about journalism in Britain. I was already more than a day late because of passport-authorizing delays in India and although I’d been up nearly 24 hours I had no time to stop or grab a bite before I had to rush off to join the others who were already touring the BBC and were about to leave for the office of the legendary London Times.

My first meal was a dinner buffet laid out for us by the Times as we chatted with the top editors there (Rupert Murdoch — who owns the Times– wandered in at one point, realized he was in the wrong place, and excused himself immediately. But at the time it was a huge thrill for all of us to see one of the news business’s biggest moguls in the flesh).

I picked up a piece of tuna fish and some salad and immediately regretted it. Perhaps it was the fatigue, or my spice-ravaged tastebuds were just not used to it, but the fish tasted terribly bland and the salad was– well, I’ve said it many times before, I am not a fan of raw salads.

Over the next few weeks, though, I had enough time and opportunity to try out all kinds of British food and I am happy to say that I never again ate anything I absolutely didn’t love. Of course, we always ate at restaurants, but the restaurants were certainly doing a great job of making the local food nothing short of delicious even to tastebuds as diverse as those in our group– we had fellows from South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, among others.

But the food I ate was either meat-based or dairy-based (this was in my pre-vegan days), so when I got ready to announce It’s A Vegan World: British last month, I confess I was just a wee bit worried– how easy would it be to strip meat, fish, eggs and dairy from British food and still make it spectacular? I decided to go ahead because I reminded myself of all you adventurous cooks out there. You didn’t let me down and thanks to you, we have a great feast here that would convert any skeptic.

So here, without further delay, are your wonderful creations (in alphabetical order, by your names). Thanks to each one of you for participating– what can I say, you’re amazing!
Brown Scone by Arathi of Arathi’s Kitchen

Irish Soda Bread by Champa of BangaloreBaker

Leek and Potato Soup by Claire of Chez Cayenne

Spotted Dick by Jaya of Jayaspace

Oatcakes by Jules

Cranachan by Jules

Shepard’s Pie by Maria of Vegan Dinners

Mulligatawny Soup by Meena of Chettinad Fiesta

Soda Bread Scones by Pavani of Cook’s Hideout

Blueberry Cake by Priya of 365 Days of Pure Vegetarian

Cherry & Peach Crumble by Priya of Akshayapaatram

Scones by Priya Narasimhan of Priya’s Vegetarian Recipes

10 Vegan Pickles from the British Raj by Ramki of One-Page Cookbooks

Vegan Tattie Scones by Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf

Colcannon by Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf

My recipes:
Savory “Lamb” Stew (Scouse)

Scottish Shortbread

Sandwich Bread

Cucumber Sandwiches

Whole-wheat Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Jam

Do let me know if I missed anyone– it is not by design, and I’ll add you immediately.

Also, if you haven’t already, do catch up on past editions of IAVW. We have meat-free, dairy-free, fish-free and egg-free feasts from Morocco, Thailand, Mexico and Italy. And this month we’re featuring Malaysian vegan cuisine, so don’t forget to send in your recipes!

Cheers, all!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    I’ve been a blog lurker for a few months now.

    I always been drawn to vegan food since college and since I developed a severe milk allergy but never able to make the plunge.

    Recently found out about some not so good health issues that can be largely mitigated with a vegan low-salt diet.
    Just wanted to say “Thanks” for posting some great south indian recipes. My parent’s north indian food is often difficult to veganize, but south indian food is seems to easily veganize and remain tasty.

    Anyway, Thanks again! I look forward to trying several more recipes.

  2. says

    Jaya, Thanks.

    Charanya, Thanks, and hope you’ll send in a recipe!

    Karen, Thanks for your kind words. Glad you find the blog a useful resource. It’s certainly true that the risk for diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease can all be reduced or even reversed on a vegan diet. I find myself feeling much healthier since I became vegan.

    Nithya, Priya: Thanks!

  3. says

    Vaishali, Great roundup!This is my first time here.Although I did not participate, loved your write up and it is a wonderful theme….

  4. says

    Vaishali , great roundup ..and kudos to all the participants as its quite tough to make vegan British food ! You know, as you said I was so attracted to the ‘jacket potatoes’ that I had read about in books…nd on my first trip to UK , on my first weekend out thats what I ordered !! I didnt know they were just too lazy to peel the potatoes and glorified that too 😀

  5. says

    Vaishali, what a wonderful round up…I can feel nostalgia reading about the books you mentioned…luckily I haven’t been to there to feel otherwise..:)..I know its a shock for veg or even more tough for vegan..but as usual our blogger friends can come out with a bang!

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