I've read some article recently about, uh, classic british cooking that made some good points re the original development of certain foods and their being worth saving. Being a sieve brain and not local to the british isles, I've forgotten a lot of it, but I'll post the link if I managed to save it. I used the "uh" in there in that I spent a lot of years hearing how bad the food in England is from friends who went there and from some articles. I've not been there, but I've read a lot about the place over the years.
Nowadays (I use that word as one brought up recently on a2k, that I like), the food sounds to me greatly enhanced in recent years, partly because of johnny-come-lately interest by chefs in other than the usual, and partly because of the influx of immigration almost forcing a new look at different possible things to do with food, probably from new items in markets.
I read a book by Monica Ali a few months ago featuring an immigrant family from Bangladesh who lived in an estate in the London area with other mostly poor and immigrant folks. Somewhere in the book the protagonist went on about coveting all the english type treats, and I've seen similar in the comments section of Guardian articles. So there has been cross-pollination that I think is all to the good. At least cross-appreciation is.
I'll add something I'm almost embarrassed about - after several years of reading the Guardian, I clicked on the feature Blind Date, and read the reports in the Blind Date Index.
That was something of a revelation for the level of politeness in the descriptions of the dates, to me amazingly high.