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Regional food

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by modelmaker, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    The French are proud of their regional foods, it seems in some areas almost to the point of competition between neighbouring towns. I wonder why we're not really bothered here. I see packets of Wiltshire ham or West Country icecream, Norfolk turkeys and the like in the shop but that's not the same as poulet Brest (confusing, I know) our moules du Etang de Thau. I don't believe there aren't or at least weren't regional specialties before the hypermarkets took over.
    Are we as a nation missing something or have I been missing some things as I travel around?
    Do any of you have a local food that's a bit special?
     
  2. Pork pie and Stilton.

    Not together, unless you really want a heart attack....!
     
  3. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I presume you mean a Melton Mowbray pork pie? Yes! We have one, and of course Stilton cheese is a regional one. Cheddar cheese comes from as far afield as Australia though.
     
  4. Yes - I think the Cheddar guys missed a trick there. They really should have got that registered, or whatever it is that you have to do to food to keep it reasonably authentic.
    I read somewhere recently that Britain actually has more regional cheeses than France, but I'm no sure whether that's true.

    There are loads of local specialities - some of them have undergone terrible indignities but the real things are still there
    Bakewell Tart
    Bury black puddings
    Eccles cakes
    Yorkshire curd tart
    Parkin

    and remember the fantastic beers too - OK we get a lot of kegged rubbish that isn't fit for washing pipes, but there ARE still breweries producing the real stuff.
    I just wish more people took an interest and a pride in this stuff, though - that's where we lose out, I think...

     
  5. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Pasties.
     
  6. Haggis!
     
  7. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    I've got a feeling that they did try but as it had been made in other places for so long, it could not be done. I'll check on that though.

    What about South Downs lamb, Sussex pond pudding?
     
  8. the evil tokoloshe

    the evil tokoloshe New commenter

    I would say the only specifically regional dish here would be the bunny chow. Everything else is really just variations on South Indian cookery, what makes the bunny special is the scooped out loaf.
    Pap, relish, nyama and greens are all over at least half the continent with little variation (honestly a bowl ugali with spinach and nyama is the same in Nairobi as a bowl of sadza with spinach and nyama in Harare or pap with spinach and nyama in Eshowe) so nothing really regional there and we don't have mopane trees so no worms (that would be a regional food on the Zim border).
    As for soutie food, I can get black pudding, haggis, square sausage and occassionally white pudding at my local supermarket! Cheese selection is improving - I think people have started to realise that cheddar should have flavour.
     
  9. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    It's Bresse, not Brest! Plus, it's poularde, not poulet.....
    Brittany is a big pig farming area, chickens are famously from Loué near Le Mans and St Sever in the area I live.
    I would agree, though, that there is much more emphasis on regional foods here, Leclerc hypermarkets have a range called ' Nos régions ont du talent ' in which you will find everything from Potje'vleesch to Brocchui!
    One of the problems is probably that small shops have disappeared from British high streets and you can no longer find little bakeries selling regional cakes or delicatessans with specialities such as local cheese or hams.
    Don't forget York ham, chelsea buns, london buns, tablet, cornish clotted cream. There are many regional specialities but too many people prefer a burger or a curry....
     
  10. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Back in Crudsville *shudder!* there was very little in the way of 'local' delicacies. The local butcher sold mainly burgers and nugget-shapped battered meat for deep-frying, because that was what the people wanted. Cheese was plastic in shrink-wrapped poly-cases....most popular was the 'string' variety of cheese. There was , hoever, a farmers' market where once a month you could buy 'real' food.
    Here, on the East coast, things are different. I shop mainly in little independant shops. The butcher gets locally shot game. There is a choice of local cheeses. The bakers have freshly baked produce, including the most divine tea-cakes.
    However, there doesn't seem to be the same 'pride' in local produce that I know back in Germany. I remember the Gruenkohl (curly kale) season where each local butcher has there own recipe for Kohlpinkel (cooking sausage for kale)....thatb sort of thing doesn't seem to happen in England.
     
  11. Single Gloucester cheese
    Perry
    Gloucester sausage - made form a Glos Old Spot
    Gloucester squab pie - no pigeon here, it's made from lamb and apples
    Elvers!
    Lampreys!

    I've tasted and enjoyed all but the last one - no-one seems to do lamprey any more!
     
  12. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I ate something claimed to be Gloucester Old Spot in a posh hotel in the NEC complex in Birmingham where the chef was a reknown TV celebrity...Brian someone or other. It was sh!te.
    I'm not saying the pork doesn't deserve an excellent reputation, I'm suggesting, as a nation we wouldn't be able to detrmine the difference between **** and sugar and who would ever know whether the chops were in fact from a Gloucester Old Spot or from the Wormwood Scrubs pigyard.
    I started this thread hoping someone will tell me something special I might look forward to if and when I'm next on their doorstep. Come on guys. There has to be something.
     
  13. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    Come to Middlesbrough and try a Chicken Parmo.


    We're extremely proud of our local grub!
     
  14. I DID!

    Dickinson and Morris pork pies from Melton, and Long Clawson stilton is the best IMO. Walkers pork pies from the shop in Leicester market are excellent as well - I actually think the meat is better than Dickinson and Morris, but the pastry isn't as good.

    Get thee over to Leicester and check them out - you can get some amazing curries as well - that's practically a regional delicacy too.
     
  15. ROFLMAO. Eva, we must meet up one day for a Parmo! (I can manage a half of one if I am fairly drunk).
    I have to admit, I can think of loads of Brit food when asked in Germany, but regional? I can think of LOADS of regional stuff from my area in Germany.

     
  16. Sorry to hear Brian thingy ruined an Old Spot, MM.

    As for something special The whole Glos list is pretty special!
    Elvers aren't what you'd expect.
    Single glos cheese is odd, refreshing, quite different from what you may expect.
    Squab pie is delicious!
    What do you really want?

    Something exotic is only going to come from exotic places - and you live here (UK) so nothing is going to be exotic!

    Come to Glos in the summer and try a single glos 'ploughmans' and wash it down with a glass of perry.
    Then tell me it isn't special!

     
  17. the evil tokoloshe

    the evil tokoloshe New commenter

    If they still do them (inpreference to a pret a manger or whatever other hideous sarnies there are), Mr Porky pork baps with stuffing, apple sauce, gravy and crackling from the bullring used to be the brunch of choice when I lived there. And obviously, should you be in Brum at all the balti is a must have - there's even a few guides so the latest issues would have the best places to get the real deal in (otherwise Royal Watan on the Pershore Rd was a decent fallback)
     
  18. I'll second that. I also think MM should try Stinking Bishop, which is not refreshing but quite definitely odd!
     
  19. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    I grew up in Surrey and now live in Berkshire
    Apart from the odd beer, I can think of no regional specialities from either

    [​IMG]

    except maybe Sweeney Pies in Reading!!
    [​IMG]
     
  20. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    Well, I certainly agree we have an excellent choice of regional ales, something I do my best to keep up to speed with. It'll no doubt cause an arguement but the finist I've so far found is Fuller's ESB from Chiswick in London, and I've tried a few.
    Pobble may well be right about Gloucester having some regional specialties I might like. I do like lamb but I like it roast or in chops, not often that fond of it cooked in other ways. If I ever visit Gloucester and find squab pie on the menu I shall try it on Pobble's recommendation and report back.
    Reading through the posts I get the feeling posters might think I don't look out for special things. Of course I do, I love food but rarely find anything that knocks my breath away on my travels, This may well be because I travel the 4 corners of Britain as part of my job and rarely have time to discover local culture.
    I think what I'm trying to say is although we probably have countless regional recipies, for some reason they aren't being advertised the same way they would be in France, i.e. that if you liked a particular food, a visit to that region would be like a visit to Mecca.
    Saying this, and back to the opening paragraph, the very best pint of Bass I ever tasted was consumed within sight of the Bass Brewery in Burton on Trent. The second, third and fourth were just as good. Wouldn't it be brilliant if we all knew such things? If we knew the only place to eat squab pie was in Gloucester or pork pies from Melton or the recipies will be bastardised to save money?
    This is what the French are good at. Everything seems to have a name that tells you where it came from.
     

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