Local dishes originated in very early times, among tribes and groups of invaders with different customs. They developed individual features because communications were poor and very few people could travel away from their immediate neighbourhood. The raw . materials available to country people were very similar, however, so that almost (but not quite) identical dishes appear in different parts of the country.
They developed almost identical traits, too, because even when the ingredients did differ, the cooking methods were similar. For instance, the West Country mackerel and pilchards were cooked in cider or vinegar with spices in the same way as the East Anglian herrings. In the same way, the plain baked goods made of flour and fat with a few currants or a little spice were cooked on a heated griddle over the fire everywhere before ovens came into common use. Because Britain had plenty of timber, stews and boiled puddings were the commonest cooked foods everywhere, for many centuries.