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WHAT HAS IMMIGRATION EVER DONE FOR US?

It’s early spring and ‘Brexit’ is in the air. After the promised in-out referendum, Britain may soon choose to turn its back on the EU – or will it? Guy Dimond stops and thinks about what, food-wise, European immigration has brought to our country – and wonders if there really is such a thing as British food anyway
ILLUSTRATION ALICE PATTULLO

I grew up in Scotland, where the monotony of the north European diet was occasionally broken by rays of sunlight brought by Italian immigrants. They and their Scottish-born descendants introduced us to multi-coloured gelati, vibrant pizzas, and pasta dishes sprinkled with herbs and lashings of olive oil.

We knew the forebears of our neighbours and playmates had escaped poverty and unemployment in Italy by moving north, bringing their Mediterranean diet with them, despite the colder climate. Starting with fish and chip shops and ice-cream parlours, many migrants went on to bigger and better things. It’s small wonder that, for decades, many of the top-rated restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh were Italian; some of them (such as Valvona & Crolla in Edinburgh) still are.

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About Delicious Magazine

The March issue has inspirational ideas for the Easter Bank Holiday: gifts, chocolate eggs and the best brunches, lunches and family feasts. Enjoy recipes from Nathan Outlaw, José Pizarro and Vivek Singh – then dive into 16 pages of the best chocolate recipes ever. Plus there’s plenty of light and healthy recipes to help power you through the cold weather and our guide to making scotch eggs and the GBBO bamboozler, sweet flaky kouign ammans.
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