The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

British food is the worst in the world

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 11,116 times Debate No: 12163
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (21)
Votes (2)




President Chirac of France recently made the following comment about the British: "One cannot trust people whose cuisine is so bad. After Finland, it is the country with the worst food." [1]

But Chirac is wrong. I've been to Finland and I can confirm their food is far superior to British food. [2] Here is a selection of favourite British dishes:

Tripe and onions
The stomach lining of an ox, boiled with onions and served with boiled potatoes – delicious!

Devilled kidneys on toast
Fried lamb's kidneys with Worcestershire sauce served on toast – beautiful!

Black pudding, bacon and eggs
A sausage made from pig's blood, pork fat, oatmeal and onions, sliced and fried and served as part of a traditional English breakfast – scrumptious!

Haggis, tatties and neeps
A traditional Scottish sausage made from a sheep's stomach stuffed with diced sheep's liver, lungs and heart, oatmeal, onion, suet and seasoning served with boiled potatoes and yellow turnip - super!

F@ggots with onion gravy, spuds and mushy peas
Meatballs made from seasoned pig's liver and heart cooked in an onion gravy and served with boiled potatoes and mushy peas – sensational!

Tongue with lentils
Beef tongue boiled and served with lentils – lovely grub!

Roast Pigeon with all the trimmings
Pigeon roasted and served in gravy and served with boiled potatoes and seasonal vegetables – fabulous!

Jellied pig's cheek, ears, tail and trotters served cold with bread and butter - wonderful!

Liver and bacon with onion gravy
Fried lambs liver with bacon served with onion gravy and boiled potatoes – tasty!

Semolina pudding
A coarse pale-yellow flour ground from hard durum wheat cooked slowly in milk and sweetened with sugar – yummy!

Popular those these dishes are in Britain, it would be very hard to find a restaurant that served them outside our country: British cuisine lacks the international appeal of Chinese, Indian, Italian, Japanese or French food; and that's because British food is the worst in the world.

Thank you.



Thank you, brian_eggleston, for starting this awesome debate.
I'm sure it will be very fun.

The Proposition has not listed what separates a bad food from a good food.
On what basis can you claim that Britain has the worst food?
To have "good food", you need several elements.
  1. Taste
  2. Presentation
  3. Healthiness
With this criteria in mind, I will prove that British food is not the worst in the world.

Furthermore, on a more semantic note, any food that belongs in Britain is technically "British food."
As a result, all the foods we love in our country can be found in Britain and are not the worst foods.
However, I am sure this is not what the Proposition intended for, so I will debate against "Traditional British food is the worst in the world."


My opponent has listed various kinds of British foods. However, many of the sources he displays simply show a recipe. The actual meal is not displayed, and it is difficult to judge the taste simply by a recipe or a picture.

But, one thing is for certain. Many of these foods are extrely healthy. British food has traditionally been based on beef, lamb, pork, chicken and fish and generally served with potatoes and one other vegetable [1].

As you can see, some of the dishes are served with onions. Onion is effective against many bacteria including Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella, and E. coli. Onions contain a number of sulfides similar to those found in garlic which may lower blood lipids and blood pressure. The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of onions for the treatment of poor appetite and to prevent atherosclerosis. In addition, onion extracts are recognized by WHO for providing relief in the treatment of coughs and colds, asthma and bronchitis. Onion extracts, rich in a variety of sulfides, provide some protection against tumor growth [2].

The potato is a critical part of the British meal and very healthy for these reasons [3]:
  • Has just 110 calories
  • Has nearly half your Daily Value of vitamin C (45%)
  • Is one of the best sources of potassium (614 mg) and fiber (2 g) in the produce section.
  • Is naturally fat-free and sodium-free
A serving of lamb kidneys contains 15.74 g of protein, which is about 31 percent of the daily value for protein. It also has 2.95 g of fat, or 5 percent of the daily value for fat. The carbohydrate content in a serving of lamb kidneys is 0.2 g, which is less than 1 percent of the daily value for carbohydrates [4].Tripe is another part of the Brit's meal. Based on a daily 2,000 calorie diet, here are the percent values [5].
  • Calcium 81 mg 8%
  • Protein 12g 23%
  • Total Carbohydrates 2g 0%
  • Phosphorus 66 mg 6%
  • Selenium 11.8 mcg 16%
  • Vitamin B12 0.72 mcg 12%
Adding onto tripe, famous chef Gordon Ramsey recommends this dish [7] (apologies for jumping out of order on the soruces).

Pigeon, also known as squab, is extremely healthy. Due to the largeness of the health benefits, simply go to this source and you will learn how useful the pigeon is [6].

Truly, British foods have been proved by the Opposition to be healthy. The Proposition has yet to prove how "disgusting," "distasteful," or "ugly" these dishes are.


My opponent has shown the supposedly negative side of British cuisine. However, one must examine the good foods of Britain before one can say this country has the worst food.

"The most common and typical foods eaten in Britain include the sandwich, fish and chips, pies like the cornish pasty, trifle and roast dinners [1]."

1762: The sandwich was invented in England.

There is a small town named Sandwich in the south of England. John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich invented a small meal that could be eaten with one hand while he continued his nonstop gambling [8].

Most popular, traditional foods

1. Roast beef served with Yorkshire pudding

This is England's traditional Sunday lunch, which is a family affair. The Yorkshire pudding is not usually eaten as a dessert like other puddings but instead as part of the main course or as a starter.

"Very Yummy!"
"...the yorkshire pudding was a 5 [star]."
"The flavors are great together."
"Excellent, especially the Yorkshire puds."
"I made this for my girlfriend after we had just gotten back from England. She said it's the best thing I've ever made!"

2. Fish and Chips

Fish (cod, haddock, huss, plaice) deep fried in flour batter with chips (fried potatoes) dressed in malt vinegar. This is England's traditional "to-go" food.

"The batter for the fish is just about perfect. Flavorful, puffy yet crisp, and browns perfectly. As with most AB recipes, this is easy to make & tastes great!"
"A classic! This is hands down, one of our favorite delicious fish recipes. Thanks for sharing."
"The fish was very tasty."

3. Shepherd's Pie

Made with minced lamb and vegetables topped with mashed potato.

"Awesome recipe! I would definitely use fresh herbs. We will be making this again."
"This was delicious; the whole family loved it!"


1. Trifle

Made with layers of sponge cake alternated with custard, jam or fruit and Whipped Cream. Sometimes alcohol-soaked sponge cake is used.

"This turned out to be absolutely delicious."
"I took this trifle to my daughter's preschool for a Mother's Day party and everyone loved it!"
"This is a hit wherever I take it."
"What a great cool summer dessert!"

2. Apple crumble

Often served with thick cream, ice cream or custard.

"Absolutely yummy!"
"This recipe was SCRUMPTIOUS..."

The True, Horrible Foods

Baby Mice Wine (China/Korea)

Baby mice wine is a traditional Chinese and Korean "health tonic," which apparently tastes like raw gasoline. Little mice, eyes still closed, are plucked from the embrace of their loving mothers and stuffed (while still alive) into a bottle of rice wine.

Balut (Phillippines)

Balut are duck eggs that have been incubated until the fetus is all feathery and beaky, and then boiled alive. The bones give the eggs a uniquely crunchy texture.

Casu Marzu (Italy)

Casu Marzu is a sheep' milk cheese that has been deliberately infested by a Piophila casei, the "cheese fly."

Its translucent larvae are able to jump about 6 inches into the air, making this the only cheese that requires eye protection while eating. The taste is strong enough to burn the tongue, and the larvae themselves pass through the stomach undigested, sometimes surviving long enough to breed in the intestine, where they attempt to bore through the walls, causing vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

7. is back on the menu

Debate Round No. 1


With many thanks to my opponent for his comprehensive and enlightening response, I admit that I neglected to include the traditional Sunday roast, fish ‘n' chips and shepherd's pie in my list of favourite British dishes and I do agree that they are both popular (in Britain) and delicious (at least to the British palette). I also concede that British food may be healthier than some others.

Moving on to his list of culinary dishes that are even worse than British food, I also agree that there may be a few. I mean, who would voluntarily ingest baby mice, duck foetuses and rancid, maggot-infested cheese? How hungry would you have to be to be tempted to eat that? What's wrong with the people that eat that sort of thing? They must be sick – I know I would be if I were forced to eat "food" like that.

But the dishes my opponent quoted are not representative of the respective national cuisines and there are many Chinese, Italian and Filipino restaurants beyond those countries' borders.

I would like to illustrate this point as follows:

Imagine you are a citizen of Walnut Creek which is a little frontier town in America's Wild West.

Now, even in this remote outpost of civilisation, hungry cowboys can dine in restaurants specialising in both Chinese and Italian cuisines plus restaurants specialising in Cuban, French, Greek, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Pan-Asian, Russian and Vietnamese food..

However, dining on British cuisine is not an option in Walnut Creek. In fact out of a total of 806,820 food outlets in the whole of the United States, 96,059 are Italian restaurants, 27,540 are Chinese restaurants and 26,088 are Mexican restaurants, but the sum total of British restaurants is 0.

So, if you did decide to sample British food, the nearest British restaurant would be in Cornwall, England and would involve an 11,036 mile round trip, which is a long way to go for a steak and kidney pudding.

Indeed, the online magazine dedicated to the discussion of British food in America wryly observes:

"In a culture that prizes authenticity, diversity and novelty, British food is not even conspicuous in its absence. British food does not exist as a viable cuisine in the American popular imagination: It remains only a pitfall to avoid and the butt of jokes. Nobody cooks what they understand as British food at home in the United States."

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and if British food was worth eating it would be available beyond these shores in countries like the US, but there are no British restaurants in America because British food is the worst in the world.

Thank you.


Huge thanks to my opponent for such a fun debate.
I was able to learn about the culture of Britain and learn which foods I want to stay away from.
So this is the final round, and I will prove why the Opposition should win this debate.


"However, dining on British cuisine is not an option in Walnut Creek. In fact out of a total of 806,820 food outlets in the whole of the United States, 96,059 are Italian restaurants, 27,540 are Chinese restaurants and 26,088 are Mexican restaurants, but the sum total of British restaurants is 0."

True, British cuisine does not exist where I live in Walnut Creek. However, there are certainly places nearby Walnut Creek that are primarily British-themed.

There is the 'CommonWealth Cafe and Public House' in Oakland.

You can find 'THE CROWN' in Danville.

There is the British pub/restaurant 'Redcoats' in Pleasanton.

Lovejoy's Tea Room in San Francisco.

And if you 'Google' British Restaurants, you'll find many more restaurants like the ones I have listed near you.

Now my opponent claims that there are 0 British restaurants within the United States, and he lists one interesting source. At first sight, there is no 'British Restaurants' section within the webpage, leading one to assume there are 0 British-themed restaurants in the US. But, there are multiple other sections where British restaurants could fit in, such as 'Cafes' or 'Lunchroom' or even the massive section of nearly 250 thousand options, 'Restaurants.' It is not safe to assume that there are 0 British restaurants in the US. Furthermore, just because your same source doesn't say 'Filipino Restaurants,' does that mean there are 0 such eating places in the United States? But then, if you were to assume few restaurants in a country means bad food, wouldn't Filipino food and British food be equally terrible, proving that British food is not the worst? There are too many contradictions within my opponent's argument and it is flawed.

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating and if British food was worth eating it would be available beyond these shores in countries like the US, but there are no British restaurants in America because British food is the worst in the world."

This is just another assumption. Just because there are few such restaurants in America does not mean the food is horrible. Once again, take my example of Filipino restaurants. The Proposition has the Burden of Proof and has failed to sufficiently answer it.

My opponent's entire case has been based on assumptions. He has conceded his first round arguments and has attempted to bring in a new argument that has been refuted.

Last Argument

Chicken tikka masala is an extremely popular food among the world. Where does it come from? Well, of course, India. Actually... no, it doesn't. Chicken tikka comes from India, specifically Bangladesh. However, chicken tikka masala is a British food, invented in Glasgow in the late 1960's. Britain exports chicken tikka masala to India.

"The first chicken tandoori on a British restaurant menu was at the Gaylord in Mortimer Street, London, in 1966 - the same restaurant where Not the Nine O'Clock News was invented in 1979. The recipe reached Glasgow shortly afterward and when, as the legend goes, a customer asked for some gravy to go with it, the chef improvised with tomato soup, spices, and cream."

In 2001 Foreign Secretary Robin Cook declared that: "Chicken tikka masala is now a true British national dish, not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences."

The Opposition has listed various other foods that are worse than British foods.
I have also shown that not all British foods are bad, and that many foods (fish and chips) are popular and treasured in today's society.

For these reasons, the Opposition should win this debate.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by XStrikeX 6 years ago
Um... You're welcome. :D
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
Thanks for accepting this challenge XStrikeX - this debate was first posted over a year ago, but for some reason I cancelled it. However, I resurrected it as I think it is a subject worth debating.

Plus, being British, I can't lose: if I don't win the debate, my opponent will have proved that British food isn't the worst in the world!
Posted by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
Probably. :P It's like 10,000 calories probably. No wonder Americans are so obese.
Posted by Puck 7 years ago
Do people die after eating that?
Posted by belle 7 years ago
oh yeah?

"bacon cheese turtle burgers"
Ground beef pattie topped with sharp cheddar cheese, wrapped in a bacon weave shell with hot dog head, legs and tail.

"meta meat cake"

Four types of sausage, bratwurst, chorizo, ground beef, ground pork, diced ham, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, hickory smoked bacon, hot cappy, queso blanco, provolone and sharp cheddar, wrapped in sausage, bacon and cheese ball dough and baked. Then decorated with American, cheddar squeeze cheese and bacon strips.

i think america wins :P
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
I dunno. When I try to bake desserts, it always comes out pretty poorly. I made cookies once that came out green. Also, I tried to make a pound cake once without the special pan which pound cake requires; it was a huge failure.
Posted by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
Eww, that's disgusting. xD
Posted by mattrodstrom 7 years ago
just in case people want some ideas....
Posted by Anarcho 7 years ago
I love Italian! But it could just be because I am Italian lol.
Posted by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
Indian food is the best imo. Curry... *drools*
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Aaronroy 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: As odd as it sounds, brian gets my points, for I know first-hand how terrible British food is. You KNOW there is something wrong when putting vinegar on your food to improve its
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Brian as always, entertaining to read. Con, nice rebuttal but you worst foods contain verbatim descriptions from all from a single Cracked webpage and the descriptions are not quoted or sourced. 3:2 Brian