5 Great Yorkshire Foods

By ‘eck, we love us grub in Yorkshire! And rightly so… we’re a hard working lot and we need our fuels.
Here are 5 of the greatest foods Yorkshire has given the world.

1. Yorkshire Parkin

food parkin
Good ol’ Yorkshire parkin. Picture credit: flickr Spider dog wikipedia creative commons

This classic local sweet treat originated around the time of the Industrial Revolution and is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night. Originally from the West Riding, it is made with flour, oatmeal, butter, black treacle and ginger.

There are other variations of parkin, such as in East Yorkshire, where it has a more biscuit-like texture and another from t’darkside over t’Pennines that we won’t even entertain on here.

Best served with a cup of Yorkshire Tea in front of a roaring fire!


2. Wensleydale Cheese

Wensleydale Cheese had a surge in popularity, when Wallace and Gromit choose it as their favourite cheese.
Wensleydale Cheese had a surge in popularity, when Wallace and Gromit choose it as their favourite cheese.

First made among the rolling hills of the Dales in the 12th Century by local monks, this delightful delicacy has been perfected over many centuries.

It was first commercially made in 1897 and is still produced today using traditional methods at its creamery in Hawes.

The crumbly nature and flavour of Wensleydale Cheese makes it a very versatile food and can be mixed with various fruits, such as apple and cranberry. During the festive season it can be enjoyed with a slice of Christmas cake and a glass of mulled wine. In the 1990s sales of Wensleydale cheese plummeted, which threatened to put it out of production, until a certain animated character called Wallace and his pet dog, Gromit saved the day!

3. Pontefract Cakes

Dave Spellman – Flickr

As the only town to grow liquorice in its surrounding fields and make it into its very own sweets, the town of Pontefract has made a unique contribution to Yorkshire food.

A traditional Pontefract cake is 2cm in diameter and 4mm thick. They are stamped with a picture of its famous castle and a raven. In 1872 the first secret vote took place in the town and the ballot box was famously sealed with a Pontefract cake.

4. Rhubarb

A modern day, Oldroyd and Sons Rhubarb Field.
A modern day, Oldroyd and Sons Rhubarb Field.

Rhubarb, a mysterious plant, which made its home between Wakefield, Rothwell and Morley, has provided Yorkshire folk with many a nice pudding over the centuries.

Stewed with sugar and covered with pastry, rhubarb pie and all its other variations is a classic Yorkshire dessert. On cold days add some warm custard to make it extra special!

In Ancient times a variant form of rhubarb was used in medicine as a common laxative.

5. And finally… Good Ol’ Yorkshire Pudding

So so good! Picture credit Sharon Wilkie (IFY community)
So so good! Picture credit Sharon Wilkie (IFY community)

Well, where do we begin? As a starter? With the main? Or laced with jam fo’ puddin’?

First recorded in a recipe book dating from 1737 this classic Sunday Lunch staple has become the most synonymous with God’s Own County.

Made with a batter consisting of eggs, flour, milk and beef dripping it has also become one of the most versatile food creations known to man. Traditionally a giant Yorkshire pudding can hold anything, meat, gravy, veg, sausages, treacle, Pontefract cakes? Well, maybe not the latter!

More recently mini-Yorkshires have become more popular as an accompaniment to the classic Sunday roast. It took until 1995 for the first commercially available frozen Yorkshire pudding to be available in supermarkets and in 2010 was voted the most popular thing to come out of Yorkshire.