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Some of your finest fish and chips, por favor, but I’ll use my own ketchup!

  • Barclaycard’s Great British Shopping Showdown reveals Brits put classic British fare at the top of the shopping list – fish and chips, Sunday roasts and tea are the favourites
  • Brits name Spain the no.1 destination for comfort food abroad, thanks to it serving up the perfect fish and chips – the nation’s favourite food
  • Fear of food overseas (#FOFO) leads to a third of Brits packing condiments in their suitcases
  • Tomato ketchup is the number one item on the pantry-based packing list, followed by Marmite and chocolate spread

With the nation ready to jet off for its summer holidays, some of the UK’s favourite comfort foods have been rated in our top holiday destinations. The Spanish Costas come out victorious for serving up top-notch versions of fish and chips, a Sunday roast and fry-ups.

Barclaycard’s Great British Shopping Showdown saw almost a quarter of a million battles fought to reveal the nation’s ultimate shopping list, with fish and chips coming out on top followed by the traditional Sunday roast, and the famous British ‘cuppa’ tea. However, whilst they may be firm favourites at home, almost three quarters of us don’t rate the way they are served up abroad.

Two thirds of British travellers admit to seeking out their familiar comfort foods when on holiday – over a quarter (28 per cent) looking for fish and chips and a fifth (20 per cent) desperate to recreate the feeling of home with a traditional roast or fry-up. UK travellers revealed that they spend an average of £26.92 on eating British food whilst abroad during a week’s holiday.

Whilst the Spanish may have perfected some of the nation’s top dishes, France’s reputation for fine cuisine hasn’t yet extended to the chip butty. However, the French penchant for pastries makes it the preferred destination for patisserie goods, coming out on top for our favourite British sweet treats: scones and the Victoria sponge.

More than one in 10 (11 per cent) of us are fearful of not liking the local food on our travels, being more afraid of this than falling out with a loved one or swimming in the sea on holiday. For British male travellers, this fear of food overseas – or #FOFO - beats that of flying or not having access to the internet. The fussiest eaters, however, are 16-24 year olds with almost a fifth (18 per cent) worried about not liking the local cuisine abroad.

Fear of food overseas may account for why over a third of Brits pack condiments in their suitcases. Tomato ketchup is the number one item on the pantry-based packing list, followed by Marmite and chocolate spread. Gravy granules round off the top ten so that travellers can give a British feel to their roast dinners when away from home.

Brits’ most popular foods/drink to pack this summer:

1.    Tomato ketchup

2.    Vinegar

3.   Marmite

4.   Jam

5.   Chocolate spread

6.   Long life milk

7.    Butter

8.   Seasoning mix

9.   Chocolate flake

10.Gravy granules

Seren Evans-Charrington, Food Historian, commented:

“Tucking into local dishes should be part of the holiday experience, but for many Brits sticking to what they know is the preferred option because it gives them a sense of comfort: making them feel 'at home' whilst abroad.

“Although British travellers might want to sample British fare in far flung lands, they also come back inspired by foreign cuisine and the increase in ‘exotic' ingredients lining supermarket shelves is testimony to this. In true British tradition, we will always add a little bit of our culture into any dish with a splash of Worcestershire sauce or a dash of tomato ketchup.''

Andrew Hogan, Global Head of Brand at Barclaycard, said:

“It seems that holiday suitcases will have a distinctly culinary flavour this summer as Brits look to recreate their home comforts abroad. To mark our 50th anniversary this summer, we asked Brits for their ultimate shopping list, which included many of our traditional national dishes in the top 10. It’s interesting to see that fish and chips and the fry up are as iconic and important for us on foreign shores as they are on home turf.”