The best and most characteristically British form of salt fish is the kipper, which is a herring split open and cured in wood-smoke until it is deep brown colour. The usual breakfast meat dishes are either fried bacon, with or without fried eggs, grilled kidneys, fried pork sausages, or cold ham.
In talking of British cookery, therefore, one is talking of the past or the future – of dishes that the British people now see somewhat rarely, but which they would gladly eat if they had the chance, and which they did eat fairly frequently up to 1939. Ideally for nearly all British people, and in practice for most of them even now, this is not a snack but a serious meal.
The hour at which people have their breakfast is of course governed by the time at which they go to work, but if they were free to choose, most people would like to have breakfast at nine o’clock.
At normal time it is not unusual to eat grilled beef steaks or mutton chops at breakfast, and there are still old-fashioned people who like to start the day with cold roast beef.
In some parts of the country, for instance in East Anglia, it is usual to eat cheese at breakfast.
Garlic, for instance, is unknown in British cookery proper: on the other hand mint, which is completely neglected in some European countries, figures largely.
In general, British people prefer sweet things to spicy things, and they combine sugar with meat in a way that is seldom seen elsewhere.
Overpopulation and overcrowding contributed to the dismal conditions, and there seemed to be little hope that things would improve.
Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish writer, born in Dublin in 1667 to Anglican parents.
Trade restrictions had greatly hurt the economy and the lack of work led to rampant poverty and hunger.
The sight of beggars in the streets, was a common sight.