Maligned British Cuisine Gets Some Respect

"It will be interesting to see how strong our organic principles are now that the weekly shop is being credit crunched," said Turnbull, who is generally skeptical about the extent to which the higher-quality revolution has reached the masses.

In the broader market he still sees an unhealthy dependence on "ready made" meals, which he said have helped drag down English food's reputation for decades.

"For me the fundamental problem -- and I think this might go back to some form of collective memory of rationing -- is that we equate choice with quality. … It's the sign of a far more-civilized culinary nation to offer a no-choice menu, but each course made with love and passion," Turnbull said.

Parker Bowles identified a similar dilemma starting earlier in the 19th century.

"After the Industrial Revolution, we began to lose touch with the country and source of our food. Huge population growth allied with the advent of processed and canned foods created cheap, low-quality food. Add in two World Wars … supermarkets and rubbish food began to be the norm," he said.

Though standards may have slipped, the current trends are undoubtedly upward. "Good food has become a national concern. … We still, though, have a long way to go," he said.

Tom Parker Bowles's new book "Full English: A Journey Through the English and their Food," comes out from Ebury Press in September. Click here to read an excerpt of his last book "The Year of Eating Dangerously."

Click here for a simple roast chicken recipe from Camilla Parker Bowles, duchess of Cornwall.

Click here for Nigella Lawson's steak on a budget recipe.

Click here for fast food recipes from 3-star chef Gordon Ramsay.

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