ORDER an English muffin in England and you’ll most likely get a funny look.

It’s one of those foods that we all eat, but we rarely give a thought to this English breakfast staple, which has quite an intriguing history.

It always amazes me that what the Americans call an English muffin is what we used to call, well, a muffin.

It’s just an American moniker, contrary to popular belief, which bears little resemblance to its American counterpart.

Did they know the muffin man, the muffin man that lived on Drury Lane? Sadly no!

Since those fist-size buns in paper cases invaded our supermarket shelves and stole our good name, our own little plain bread muffins have become neglected over the years.

It’s something of a food that never really occurs to us to make totally from scratch at home.

It somehow magically appears on the bread aisle of the supermarket in brightly-coloured packaging not made by human hands.

They are perfectly split for us, having nooks and crannies that so expertly collect pools of butter, jam and runny egg, covered with a light dusting of semolina sprinkled over.

The word muffin means ‘’little cake’’, and they were sold from door-to-door by hawkers (someone selling food items on foot under licence) as a snack before households were provided with ovens.

In the early 19th century, giving the rise to the English nursery rhyme ‘’The Muffin Man’, ‘ an English man emigrated to America and opened his own bakery using his mum’s secret recipe for English muffins.

They were griddle-baked and never saw an oven, creating a muffin that was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

They soon become so popular that he was selling them in hotels and grocery stores all over America, becoming an alternative to toast and eventually a popular part of the American breakfast.

If you do want to make a batch at home, you will discover that they are actually very easy to make and no harder than knocking up a pizza base or simple white loaf.

They will have crannies that provide little pot holes and swimming pools just waiting to be filled.

But remember also, muffins have holes on the inside and are best ‘’fork-split’’ which preserves the nooks and crannies lost to a knife.

An English muffin – I think so!