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Thursday, 23 April 2015

St George's Day 2015: Five very English things that are not actually English

It is St George's Day and the nation is celebrating its Englishness. But here are five quintessentially English things which have origins that may surprise you

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Here are five examples:

Fish & chips

The quintessential English fast food, what could be more English than picking up a portion from the chippie on a Friday? But fried fish was actually introduced into Britain by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain…
  • A spot of polo
Is anything more English than rubbing shoulders with the high-rollers at a polo match at the height of summer? Yet English plantation owners actually learned polo from locals in the Indian state of Assam in the 19th century…

A nice cuppa tea

We all know the English love a good cuppa! A lot of people know that tea was first grown in China, which was then taken to India by the British. But did you know that the tea bag was accidently invented by a New York tea merchant? In the very early 1900s, Thomas Sullivan sent his customers samples of tea in silken bags. Rather than emptying the tea from the bag, some assumed they should be used in the same way as metal infusers and consequently, the tea bag was born…

The good old pub

Long have the British population relished a pint in the local pub but it was after the arrival of the Romans, and the Roman road network, that inns began to appear where a passer-by could enjoy a refreshing beverage…

And Saint George

Believe it or not, even Saint George himself was born abroad! Although historians have argued the Roman’s soldiers place of birth for over a century, it is believed that that Saint George was born to a Greek Christian noble family in Syria…