When I decided to go to Scotland for university the first thing my well-traveled uncle said to me was, "Good luck with the food". While his prediction was not entirely wrong, the Brits do know how to execute amazing snack foods. I discovered some of the most wonderful British snack foods and side dishes that, thankfully, did not include sheep's heart and liver (I am looking at you haggis....) and were absolutely delightful. So delightful, that when I was sent home because of Covid-19 I decided to search the grocery stores, and Amazon, to find some of my favorite British snack foods.

While travel is still contentious, it can be fun to treat yourself to some world traveling from the seat of your couch. So sit back, maybe pop on an episode of the Great British Baking Show, make yourself a cuppa, and dive into some of the best British snack foods that you can get in America. 

Digestive Biscuits 

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels

on Pexels

While the name is deceiving, these are my go-to snack to this day. At the time of their inception, they were some of the first Scottish biscuits to introduce sodium bicarbonate (baking soda for us Americans) into their recipe with the theory that it would assist in digestion. Proving to be true, these biscuits are the perfect in-between lunch and dinner snack. They share the texture of a graham cracker but are less sweet, more tender, and crumbly.  My favorite version has one side coated in dark chocolate, perfect for dipping into tea or coffee. These biscuits are available on Amazon and in some grocery stores that have European sections. The version without chocolate is also perfect for the creation of one of the best desserts on the planet..... Banoffee Pie!

Banoffee Pie

While stuck eating dorm food in Scotland, the dessert was always what I looked forward to. Especially after I discovered Banoffee Pie. A layered pie that had a digestive biscuit crust (equivalent to a graham cracker crust, for comparison), a layer of dulce de leche, sliced circles of banana, topped with whipped cream, and a light dusting of cocoa powder. This desert alone chased away my seasonal depression when the Scottish sun set at 3 pm in the winter. Light, sweet, and decadent this dessert is a must-try for any American. Though it cannot be bought in any store that I have found, there are plenty of recipes on the internet. If you want to overachieve, I would suggest this recipe from the BBC

Heinz Baked Beans

My first morning in Scotland in the dorm was full of surprises, one of them including beans for breakfast. A traditional English (or Scottish) breakfast always includes Heinz baked beans, often on top of toast. Sold in a distinctive teal can, these beans are easy to spot at any grocery store. The beans themselves are a white bean in a tomato-based sauce. The beans are smooth and creamy and full of protein to help keep you going throughout the day until your next meal. This British snack food goes perfectly as a side to more than just breakfast as well. The irony of an American product (Heinz was founded in Philadelphia) becoming an English breakfast staple truly makes me believe that there are no longer any hard feelings from the Revolutionary War.  

Tunnocks Tea Cakes

The attractive foil wrapping on these 'marshmallowy' treats was the first thing that caught my eye while walking around the Scottish grocery. The adorable packaging is a part of the experience of eating these tea cakes. The tea cake itself is a layer of soft, crumbly biscuit topped with a dome of Italian meringue (basically a less stiff marshmallow) dipped in milk or dark chocolate. They are sweet and a delight to eat. Plus, if you decide to throw an impromptu tea party, these would make an excellent addition! 

If you find yourself with the desire to travel to the United Kingdom, but lacking the necessary funds, I would highly recommend trying some of these snack foods to help transport you across the pond while stuck in your dorm/living room.