Sometimes it can be fun to search Google Scholar for words or phrases that you might not expect to ever appear in the title of an academic article. So last night, I conducted an important scientific study and looked at the popularity of various quintessential items of Britsh cuisine:
- Among all of the foods that I searched for, Fish and Chips proved the most popular item with 52 results. Most of these are articles talking about Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH) and Chromatin IP (ChIP) experiments.
- The next most popular item was the healthy delight that is Black Pudding. This was represented by 9 results, one of which is this gem from the British Medical Journal: Controlled prospective study of faecal occult blood screening for colorectal cancer in Bury, black pudding capital of the world.
- Sticking with puddings, I looked at the popularity of what is unquestionably the King of all puddings: the Yorkshire pudding. This has just 3 search results and one of these appears to be a gripping thriller: Rheological Study of Batter Dough for Yorkshire Pudding Production.
- There were only 3 results for pork pies but they include the wonderful title of a PhD thesis from the University of Nottingham: Storage changes in pork pies (a real page turner!).
- The beloved Cornish Pasty also merits just 3 results including a paper in the Journal of Genetics and Development that sounds bizarre: A modified cornish pasty method for ex ovo culture of the chick embryo.
- There are 3 mentions for Spotted Dick, one of which seems to be a zinc-finger protein in Drosophila.
- The humble Sausage roll gets only a solitary mention (a piece in New Scientist titled Sausage-roll science: the battle of the buffet).
- Last, but not least, is a dish that often confuses people that are not from the UK. The delighful Toad in the hole was something that I thought would never feature at all in this list. It only merits 1 result, but what a result! The article in question is something from a 1924 issue of The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal titled: The Toad in the Hole Circumcision—A Surgical Bugbear.
Updated: 2014-12-10: includes addition of 'Spotted Dick' thanks to reader @MattBashton.