Cobbler – USA
This was first made as a replacement for suet pudding by settlers in the British American Colonies, who struggled to find familiar ingredients. Balls of uncooked dumplings (or American biscuits) are placed on top of a fruit or savoury filling and baked in a casserole dish. While the savoury versions feature a meat or vegetable and gravy base, today it is most commonly served as a dessert using stewed fruit. Peach cobbler – served with ice cream – is perhaps the most renown, and is largely popular in the Southern states of America.
Bara brith – Wales
Directly translated as “speckled bread”, Bara brith is a dense Welsh tea loaf made by adding dried fruit, spices and candied citrus peel to a yeast bread dough. Some recipes call for the fruit to be soaked overnight in tea. Bara brith takes several hours to prepare, due to waiting for the yeast to rise and proofing the mixture several times. The loaf is served sliced with butter, alongside a cup of tea.
Damper – Australia
A traditional Australian bread, damper was often eaten by drovers or stockmen as could be made using basic rations of flour and water and cooked buried in the ashes of a campfire – a method influenced by that of Aboriginal seedcakes. Damper is still popular with campers, and can be made sweet by adding sugar to the dough and serving with golden syrup or jam, or made savoury by adding salt and dried meat.
Bobotie – South Africa
Often heralded as one of South Africa’s national dishes, bobotie is known for its unusual sweet and savoury flavour combination. The casserole is made by combining milk-soaked slices of white bread with minced beef, dried fruit, onion, curry powder and apricot jam, and covering with an egg custard and bay leaves before baking until golden brown. It is garnished with banana slices tossed in shredded coconut and served with rice cooked in turmeric.