The History of British Pub Snacks

Pub snacks are not a modern practice introduced in the more industrialized and modern times of humanity. Pub snacks are a thing of 19th century! People campaigned about their desire to have something edible to accompany their delicious drink. Their campaigns were heard and pub snacks where then introduced into the society. The snacks were not as luxurious as some that we have now such snacks including sausage rolls, pheasant and walnut pastries and exotic spiced nuts.

In the times of the early pub many village inhabitants kept pigs in their own private pens for personal use. Food was scarce in those days and absolutely nothing was thrown. The rise of the yummy pork scratching came from poverty and struggle. Pork scratching is the skin of a pig that is gently fried or roasted in pork fat. Some people who had an entrepreneurial spirit and had a skill to make delicious pork scratching met the societies demands and sold their homemade scratching on the street but mostly in public houses. Now pork scratching mainly came into play towards the end of the 18th century.

During the beginning of the 18th century pickled whelks were served. Whelks are a type of sea snail that are found in shell. One can pickle these sea snails by immersing them in sea salt, water, vinegar and spices. Plain pickled whelks where lower class version of the pickled whelks being that spices where something of extremely high value. Spices where brought from China via the Great Silk Road. The Great Silk Road stretched from China all the way to Spain and the cost of the goods would increase as the length of the distance travelled to transport them.

potato chips
Potato chips

From the pickled whelks came the innovation of the potato chips was introduced to the hungry enraged beer goers. Nobody can really but the pin on who really invented the potato chips but we all know that they are delicious and addictive! Crisps have really taken their place as a pub snack since their introduction. A pub without crisps was something normal during their introductory period but now, it is absolutely atrocious for a pub not to have crisps. Also, nowadays pubs will be looked down upon if they only have one variation of crisps.

Frank Smith of Cricklewood, North London was the first to start selling his own brand of crisps to the 19th century Londoners. His crisps even included a sachet of salt to sprinkle on the crispy potato slices. The added salt made them the perfect pub snack to wash down with a beer. Crisps where also very popular as they have a long held life and satisfied pub goer for a little bit longer than pork scratching.

Pub yummies such as peanuts and hot pastries got introduced to the pub going masses near a hundred years after people enjoyed pickled snails with their beers.