Above: a counter at a local eatery displays a veritable smorgasbord of British cuisine.
British food. Brits love it, the French mock it and Americans still think we only eat ‘bang-gers and mash’.
Either way, let’s rattle off a few stalwarts of our nation’s glorious cuisine: chips; chips with gravy; cheesy chips; cheesy chips with gravy; chicken and chips; roast dinner; curry; leftover curry; kebabs; kebab meat and chips; pork pies; chicken kievs; sausages, saveloy sausages, sausage rolls; reduced price sausage rolls; not-sure-it’s-actually-sausage sausage rolls; 20 chicken nuggets; Chicken Cottage; KFC; Nando’s; sausage, eggs, chips and beans; and so on.
You get the idea. You may have also noticed that a lot of stereotypically British foods don’t seem very halal. In fact, they seem 100% haram, even if those sausages aren’t 100% meat.
But is this always the case? Do many of the British favourites we assume to be haram actually exist in halal form? We scoured the net to see what we could find.
Halal Sausage Rolls
We started with an easy choice: the sausage roll. Most Muslims in the UK have probably never tried one, for fairly obvious reasons. According to our non-Muslim pals, not all sausage rolls are created equal. For the more discerning customer, there exists a roll filled with high quality meat and spices encased in crisp, crumbling pastry.
For people who just want to grab a quick, calorie-dense snack after filling up their car at Cobham services on the M25, there’s a roll that’s essentially just mystery-meat and air wrapped in a rubbery mush. If you pay more than £2 for six, you’re a mug.
Yet despite the sausage roll class-warfare, both are haram. But what if you’re yearning to try something similar, is there a halal version out there? Yes. Yes there is.
It did not take us long to find this halal beef sausage roll, on sale at Tesco (there are dozens of other halal rolls available elsewhere, too). At £0.59 a pop, we going to bet these ones don’t necessarily contain the highest percentage of top notch meat, but then no one really wants a bouji sausage roll.
The classic British food. The fuel of football terraces and backbone of chip shop heating trays. Sure, they can contain a whole farm’s worth of different meats, but few would expect something fashioned so far back in Britain’s culinary history to carry halal certification.
But fear not. We found this tweet purporting to show a ‘good ol’ English meat and potato pie’, and that meat is halal.
— Halal Eater Mcr (@HalalManchester) August 28, 2012
We don’t actually know what that meat is, but as long as it’s not pork we’re willing to take a punt on it. Which is basically what everyone does when they bite into anything off one of those chip shop heating trays.
Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips, once the staple of the British takeaway, appear to have fallen out of favour thanks to the recent rise of kebabs, chicken shops, and delivery apps; many of which happen to offer a healthy amount of halal options (note: healthy meaning large and plentiful, not actually healthy).
We’re not entirely sure why this is, because Fish and Chips are delicious and usually halal (provided nothing’s beer battered or fried in lard). Next time you’re after a takeaway, why not order this British classic?
Oh yeah, and try to be woke about the whole thing. It’s 2017, so opt for a sustainable fish with your chips. That means no cod. Or shark.
For more halal fish and chips tips, head to Halal Gems.
Me & my baby had our Christmas today 😍 Gluten-free halal roast dinner 😂 I’m a legendary cook I don’t care pic.twitter.com/GruPdzP45o
— SKARLETTugm (@SKARLETTugm) December 25, 2015
The best roast dinner is the one you make yourself. And as long as you don’t accidentally toss a suckling pig in the oven, we reckon you’re well equipped to make a halal roast – complete with all the trimmings – with your own talented hands.