British cuisine is the specific set of cooking traditions and practices associated with the United Kingdom. Historically, British cuisine means "unfussy dishes made with quality local ingredients, matched with simple sauces to accentuate flavour, rather than disguise it." However, British cuisine has absorbed the cultural influence of those that have settled in Britain, producing hybrid dishes, such as the Anglo-Indian Chicken tikka masala, hailed as "Britain's true national dish".
Vilified as "unimaginative and heavy", British cuisine has traditionally been limited in its international recognition to the full breakfast and the Christmas dinner. However, Celtic agriculture and animal breeding produced a wide variety of foodstuffs for indigenous Celts and Britons. Anglo-Saxon England developed meat and savory herb stewing techniques before the practice became common in Europe. The Norman conquest introduced exotic spices into Great Britain in the Middle Ages. The British Empire facilitated a knowledge of India's elaborate food tradition of "strong, penetrating spices and herbs". Food rationing policies, put in place by the British government during wartime periods of the 20th century, are said to have been the stimulus for British cuisine's poor international reputation.
British dishes include fish and chips, the Sunday roast, and bangers and mash. British cuisine has several national and regional varieties, including English, Scottish and Welsh cuisine, which each have developed their own regional or local dishes, many of which are geographically indicated foods such as Cheshire cheese, the Yorkshire pudding, Arbroath Smokie, and Welsh cakes.
Roastbeef with yorkshire puddings
Romano-British agriculture, highly fertile soils and advanced animal breeding produced a wide variety of very high quality foodstuffs for indigenous Romano-British. Anglo-Saxon England developed meat and savoury herb stewing techniques and the Norman conquest reintroduced exotic spices and continental influences back into Great Britain in the Middle Ages as maritime Britain became a major player in the transcontinental spice trade for many centuries. Following the Protestant Reformation in the 16th and 17th Centuries "plain and robust" food remained the mainstay of the British diet, reflecting tastes which are still shared with neighbouring north European countries and traditional North American Cuisine.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, as the Colonial British Empire began to be influenced by India's elaborate food tradition of "strong, penetrating spices and herbs", the United Kingdom developed a worldwide reputation for the quality of British beef and pedigree bulls were exported to form the bloodline of major modern beef herds across the New World.  Food rationing policies, put in place by the British government during wartime periods of the 20th century, are often claimed as the stimulus for the decline of British cuisine in the twentieth century.
In common with many advanced economies, rapid urbanisation and the early industrialisation of food production as well as female emancipation have resulted in a highly modern consumer society with reduced connection to the rural environment and adherence to traditional household roles. Consequently food security has increasingly become a major popular concern. Concerns over the quality nuritional value of industrialisation of food production led to the creation of the Soil Association in 1946 and its principles of organic farming are now widely promoted, and accepted as an esential element of contemporary food culture by many sections of the UK population and animal welfare in farming is amongst the most advanced in the world.
The custom of afternoon tea and scones has its origins in Imperial Britain.
English cuisine is shaped by the country's temperate climate, its island geography, and its history.