How far would you go for a decent banger, a delicious ice cream or a cracking bit of cheese? Not far as it turns out. Yorkshire is renowned for its friendly folk, dramatic and varied scenery and its rivalry with Lancashire but what about its food?
Do you pop to the local supermarket and grab the cheapest sausages, eggs and bacon you can find or do you make a point to buy local food and enjoy browsing the shelves for locally grown and produced food?
More and more supermarkets are giving shelf space to local products and farm shops and roadside stalls are springing up all around Yorkshire, often owned by local farmers trying to get a decent price for their produce and ensuring that their customers have the opportunity to buy good quality Yorkshire food.
Unfortunately, if you are watching the pennies, and let’s face it, there aren’t many Yorkshire folk who don’t; the temptation to go for the cheapest food often overrides all other considerations. However there are lots of very good reasons why you should think again – taste, quality, animal welfare, mileage and the fact that not only can you enjoy living in Yorkshire, you can also enjoy eating a little bit of Yorkshire, and I’m not talking about that wonderful Yorkshire delicacy eaten with roast beef throughout the world (or is that last phrase a bit of poetic licence? Answers on a postcard from the most exotic location where you have ever eaten Yorkshire pud or even better, just Facebook it). Nothing can be better than eating food produced on and from our wonderful Yorkshire countryside.
So, where to start on your journey of sampling and hopefully changing permanently to locally produced food. How about sausages! Have you ever compared a “cheap as chips” sausage to a more expensive, locally produced sausage or been offered the opportunity of tasting one in a farm shop or yes, even your local supermarket?
I am now speaking from experience and I can’t actually be accused of being biased as I am not particularly partial to a sausage of any kind, though I have to admit that if made to chose, pork sausages with red onion chutney aren’t half bad. My hubby manages a local Yorkshire sausage business and I occasionally run sausage tasting sessions at local farm shops and a particular well known supermarket chain. The pigs are born and bred outdoors in Yorkshire, butchered in Yorkshire, the sausages are produced in Yorkshire and only sold in Yorkshire. Their carbon footsteps are minimal. Their origins can be traced from birth to plate and as their slogan says, Yorkshire sausages, not tight on taste! So back to the tastings, apart from the people who look like you are offering them poison on a cocktail stick – if you are vegetarian all you need to do when offered a taste of sausage is to say thanks but no thanks, or think that a sliver of sausage is going to totally spoil their lunch at the supermarket or farm shop café, the majority of people are very impressed with the taste, the lack of fat when we are cooking them, the very fact that they are produced in Yorkshire and usually forgo their cheaper sausages for a packet of home grown tasty sausages.
Your Yorkshire sausages purchased your choice of recipe is endless. To name but a few, toad in the hole, sausage casserole, bangers and mash, sticky BBQ sausages or a good old English breakfast, or maybe we should be calling it a Yorkshire breakfast, just add locally produced eggs and bacon and you’ve cracked it! Having seen the pictures of the wonderful Yorkshire puds on “I’m from Yorkshire” Facebook page, I wouldn’t dream of giving a recipe for Yorkshire pudding except to say that I always use 2 eggs and add a splash of cold water to my mixture and they never fail to rise, I also keep a bit of mixture back to form the basis of my gravy, something my mum does and my gran always did, but only use a tad! However for a toad in the hole with a difference, try browning a sliced onion with your sausages and adding them to your batter – mmm, delicious!
So go on, next time you are out shopping, spend just a few pennies more and try some locally produced sausages, hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised and make a change for life!
Written By Amanda Cross