For many years, England was thought to have the worst food on the planet. Food was either tasteless or unimaginative. The term "gourmet food" was never in the British vocabulary. And there was no such thing as grilled, barbecued, or even outdoor cooking of any kind. It rained too much for outdoor cooking.

Today, after many troubled decades of poorly-cooked food, there are many surprises to be found in English barbecue. Cooking in England has been rejuvenated. Grilled and barbecued food is coming on strong.

In England's restaurants, a great grilled eight-ounce Kobe beef steak can be found for about $100 US. Filets of beef in England are called "fil-its", not "fill-ays", or rump steaks. They are usually grilled over gas flames, but British chefs are starting to move outside, and using charcoal or wood more often, and for all of their offerings.

Pub food in England has also shifted toward barbecue and grilled foods, offering many "typically American" items such as buffalo wings, bbq ribs, steak bites, foccacia, and grilled mozzarella cheese. Non-traditional barbecue can be found as well. Ostrich filets, baby back ribs, grilled curry lobster, lamb cutlets, sashimi tuna, seared marinated beef carpaccio, and charred salmon can all be readily found in England. Many varieties of grilled fish, scallops, and shrimp are available everywhere in England. Even beef and pork fajitas are popping up.

Grilled items including blood sausage, hamburgers, long coiled links of various other farm-produced sausage, kebabs, and vegetables can all be on the streets of many English cities. In London, you will actually find many outdoor barbecue grills, where all an assortment of great barbecue and grilled foods are found every day.

English barbecue and grilling is becoming more and more popular in homes, as well. There are many local barbecue contests held regularly. A barbecue team from London recently won the prestigious Jack Daniel's World Championship recently. More British households have kettle grills in their backyards than ever. Homemade brick barbecues are becoming very popular in England.

While hamburgers, chicken, sausage beef, lamb and fish are still the most popular barbecue items in England, households are mixing in prawns, sea bass, and pancetta, and Portuguese chorrizo into their barbecue fare.

Fish and chips are still the favorites for Brits throughout the country, but the gradual transformation to a more "open", outdoor feel is the new English wave. This style of cooking is in its youth in this country, so the shift to barbecue grilling should continue to occur, and become more and more popular over time.

Billy Bristol is the editor and chief bbq pitmaster for TexasBarbeques.com, an outdoor cooking and entertaining website devoted to backyard living. TexasBarbeques.com has been providing barbecue recipes, cooking tips, grilling techniques, and backyard entertainment ideas since 2005.
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