As we are in British Food Fortnight, we have been debating in the office about our food heritage.

If you ask around the world, we think the most common answer to the question would be Fish and Chips, Roast Beef, Afternoon Tea or the Full English Breakfast. All brilliant and great ambassadors, but we don’t think they really tell the full story.

afternoon tea

To previous generations ‘British food’ might be the classic meat and two veg, pie and gravy, sausage and mash. Of course all have their place but maybe all a bit beige to represent the whole cuisine in the 21st century?

To us at Hay Hampers the best thing about Britain is its desire to seek out the new and interesting unbound by the culinary rules of many other cuisines. Maybe this is a result of Britain’s colonial days, our multicultural cities or as a rebellion against such a beige food history?

Certainly all the British food and wine producers are what British food is, and we are hugely proud supporters of ours – seeking out artisan producers as passionate as we are about food wherever we can.

But we notice how much British producers enjoy the same joy of finding the best of other cultures’ flavours and techniques, and bringing them together without confines. Consider our British Brie producer from the Cotswolds: using a French technique with British milk to produce something wonderful and unique which stands out in a cheese hamper.

Or our Bombay Mix – certainly not something you would find in Mumbai but an historical British appropriation of the flavours and ingredients we found and loved in India.

Consider the wine making of one of our English wine suppliers, Greyfriars, who aim not just to produce a Champagne ‘copy’ but to create great sparkling wines which reflects the unique geology, soil conditions, climate and heritage of their own landscape. This wine is a great addition to any Christmas hamper or festive wine gift.

So in British Food Fortnight, enjoy a fish and chip takeaway but also revel in the joy of the glorious patchwork of our modern cuisine – make a Mexican Lasagne, make a Bombay Aloo Frittata, make a Kimchi Burger, make a Reuben Croissant, make a Cauliflower Cheese Pizza – just make anything and enjoy it!