When people think of the foods of Yorkshire, it's usually the humble Yorkshire pudding that comes to the forefront of their mind, however, the home of the dales offers so much more than the delicious Sunday roast prerequisite. From beautiful spicy jams to tasty gingerbreads there's something for all taste buds to savour. With this in mind, here's our guide to the best traditional foods of this county.
We begin our edible tour of Yorkshire with Parkin, a gingerbread cake made with oatmeal and treacle. While it is baked to a hard cake, when left to rest it becomes moist and sticky and has been a popular delicacy of Yorkshire since 1728. If you want to taste parkin at its very best, Lottie Shaw's is definitely the place to go. Specialists in making parkin and other traditional recipes for over a century, the parkin from Lottie Shaw's is award winning and is made using no artificial ingredients. Passionate about bringing her family traditions to dinner tables across Yorkshire and beyond, the love and attention taken in the production has been recognised by TV chefs such as Brian Turner and Paul Hollywood.
When we got in contact with Lottie Shaw herself, she explained that the products are all created using old family recipes to ensure it tastes ‘just like grandma used to bake'. With all products from Lottie Shaw's delivered across the country, be sure to try this award winning line of produce before you head off on your holiday break in Scarborough.
Yorkshire Curd Tart
We move on to the Yorkshire Curd Tart, another delicacy which dates back to the 1750s. Traditionally, the Yorkshire Curd Tart was baked for Whitsuntide when many villages in the county held fair days. Today it is enjoyed all year round and it remains a must taste for anyone looking to explore the true delicacies of Yorkshire. Created using Yorkshire curd cheese and finished with a hint of lemon curd, the tarts from Bettys are the perfect product to sample at home.
We just had to mention the pudding. While it may be a simple recipe of batter, eggs, flour and milk that is practised in kitchens across the country, nobody does it quite like the people of Yorkshire. It is unique because it's one of the few foods which is perfect for a main course or dessert, with post-dinner recipes incorporating sugar, golden syrup or jam. While you may be more familiar with the mini Yorkshire puddings on your roast dinner, there's also the large Yorkshire pudding which is big enough to fit your entire roast dinner inside - a perfect way to avoid those peas and carrots falling off your plate!
Another popular export from Yorkshire, particularly in recent times, is chilli jam; offering a taste sensation for those more used to a refreshing and cooling conserve to put on their scones. The mastermind of this is Simon Barrett, otherwise known as the Chilli Jam Man who has spent years experimenting to get the taste and texture absolutely spot on. His perseverance has clearly paid off, with his products winning countless awards in the past. As well as offering the likes of Scotch Bonnet Chilli Jam, his innovation has led to a number of brand new condiments such as Jammonaise and Mango Bhutney. If you want to try his products for yourself, be sure to check out his website.
For crisps with a difference, the robust and unique flavours of Yorkshire Crisps are likely to have you making online orders by the box full. Handmade in the county and committed to using only local produce, among the great flavours you can sample are chardonnay wine, sweet chilli and lime and sweet cured ham and pickle.
As well as being available in sandwich shops, wine bars and other establishments across Yorkshire, they are one of the many products that you can have home delivered through the Yorkshire Pantry, the retailer holds all manner of Yorkshire-made products from savoury to sweet and snacks to confectionary.
Yorkshire is famous for the Rhubarb Triangle, a nine-square mile area between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell which is renowned for producing early forced rhubarb. West Yorkshire remains a very important area in rhubarb production and once accounted for 90 per cent of the world's rhubarb production.
Marking the significance of the region every year is the Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink & Rhubarb, which this year takes place from 20-22 February and looks to celebrate everything relatable to the production of forced rhubarb. From rhubarb-themed menus, to rhubarb gifts and souvenirs, it's an experience which is sure to delight the senses of all.
First produced in the village of Wensleydale, Wensleydale cheese is admired for its supple and crumbly texture and today is produced in creameries across the country. Although first produced in the 12th Century by Cistercian monks in the valley, it wasn't until 1897 that the cheese was first produced on a large scale. It's so loved in fact that it recently achieved Protected Geographical Indication (PDI), putting it in the same company as the Cornish Pasty and the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie.
The dedicated team at Wensleydale Creamery offers a chance to taste this fantastic cheese at its best, with their knowledge and expertise in the art of cheese making helping them to win countless awards over the years.
Finally we have Henderson's Relish, a spicy sauce that you would be forgiven for mistaking for Worcestershire sauce. Crafted in Sheffield for more than a century, this secret recipe is incredibly versatile and can be used as a sauce for meats, soups and even in marinades. Available in supermarkets up and down the country, as well as stores across Yorkshire, be sure to pick some up for the perfect souvenir from scenic holiday in Whitby.
Enjoy the best of Yorkshire food from Deliciouslyorkshire
With the foods previously mentioned just some of the many delights that Yorkshire has in store, it's clear that the county has something to offer all food lovers. This is a belief also shared by Deliciouslyorkshire, an organisation that loves nothing more than supporting local foods of the county. We were able to speak to Jo Satariano from Deliciouslyorkshire, who explained just why the foods of Yorkshire are so popular:
"We're incredibly lucky in Yorkshire to have a rich, vast and varied landscape which means we're spoilt for choice when it comes to local food. Fish and Seafood from the East Yorkshire Coast, sweet and tender Yorkshire dales lamb, traditional Yorkshire cheeses, countless fantastic Yorkshire breweries and fantastic fresh produce such as forced Rhubarb from the Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle to name but a few!
Historically Yorkshire is a land of hard work, industry, miners, factory/mill workers, farmers etc. and while this stereotype may not apply as widely today it's certainly reflected Yorkshire's most traditional foods. In particular the Yorkshire Pudding, which was traditionally eaten as a starter before the roast beef, to fill the family up so they wouldn't eat as much of the more costly roast beef."
- Jo Satariano, Deliciouslyorkshire
Image Credit: Lottie Shaw's, Bettys, Timitrus, Hayden Blackey, Tim Parkinson (Flickr.com)