Tea: the quintessential British drink that’s steeped in tradition and history. As National Tea Day approaches on January 15th, it’s the perfect time to delve into the rich tapestry of this beloved beverage and explore its fascinating journey from leaf to cup, as well as its surprising role in the realm of culinary delights.
A tale of tea
Legend has it that tea was discovered in ancient China by Emperor Shen Nong around 2737 BC when tea leaves accidentally fell into his boiling water. Whether myth or truth, tea cultivation and consumption soon became an integral part of Chinese culture, spreading to Japan, Korea, and eventually, the world.
Tea made its grand entrance into Britain in the 17th century, thanks to the Portuguese and Dutch traders. However, it wasn’t until Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese wife of Charles II, popularised tea-drinking in the royal court that it became a fashionable drink among the aristocracy.
Tea in the UK
Fast forward to the UK today, and tea remains a cornerstone of British culture. The iconic “cuppa” is a daily ritual for many, with Britons consuming around 100 million cups a day! From the classic Earl Grey to robust Assam, the tea aisle offers a tantalising array of flavours to suit every taste.
But tea’s influence doesn’t stop at the teacup. Its versatility extends to the kitchen, where its unique flavours and aromas elevate various dishes, both sweet and savoury.
Tea in the kitchen
Tea-infused cuisine has gained popularity in recent years, adding depth and complexity to a wide range of recipes. These include:
- Tea-Smoked Salmon: A culinary masterpiece of salmon fillets smoked with tea leaves, creating an aromatic dish that pairs beautifully with a zesty citrus salad.
- Earl Grey Tea Cake: Imagine a moist, fragrant cake infused with the delicate floral notes of Earl Grey tea. This delectable dessert is a tea lover’s dream come true.
- Green Tea Noodles: Infused with the subtle grassy flavours of green tea, green tea noodles are not only visually stunning but also delightful on the taste buds when paired with a light, savoury sauce.
- Chai-Spiced Porridge: Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal infused with chai spices for a breakfast treat.
- Tea-Brined Chicken: Marinating chicken in a tea-infused brine lends it a tender texture and a subtle, nuanced flavour that’s truly irresistible.
Grab a freshly brewed cuppa and peruse www.heyfresto.co.uk for our chef-made nutritious meals that are frozen to ensure they’re fresh from the oven to your door. Whether it’s a trip to the Himalayas, China, or a feel-good meal from good old Blighty you fancy, we offer a range of meals and sides that will never have you reaching for the tea leaves to predict your next meal again.