Cumbria Food Specialities
From award-winning meat and cheeses to celebrated jams and relishes, Cumbria brings you the best and tastiest locally sourced and lovingly produced food and drink.
Cumberland sausage is a form of sausage that originated in Cumberland, now part of Cumbria.
The sausage is traditionally very long, and sold rolled in a flat, circular coil.
The sausage is made using only natural ingredients and selected cuts of pork. The meat is normally chopped rather than minced, so giving it a distinctive chunky texture, and does not contain any added coloring or preservatives. The seasonings are prepared from a variety of spices and herbs. Once mixed, the sausages are filled into natural pork casings.
In March 2011, the “Traditional Cumberland sausage” was granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status.
Peter Gott is a very well respected leader in Artisan Food Production, and is often at food festivals demonstrating the traditional craft of making Cumberland sausage.
Grasmere gingerbread is no ordinary gingerbread; it’s more like an intensely ginger-flavoured shortbread topped with sandy, sugary, gingery crumbs. It’s been made since the 1850s in the tiny Lakeland village of Grasmere.
Grasmere Gingerbread is made in the tiny building, once the village school, by the entrance to St Oswald’s church in Grasmere. It is made to a “secret recipe” popularized by Sarah Nelson (1815-1904).
It is available only from this shop, and by mail order.
Kendal Mint Cake
Kendal Mint Cake is a glucose-based confectionery flavoured with peppermint. It has been made by Romneys of Kendal since 1918. Kendal Mint Cake is popular among climbers and mountaineers, especially those from the United Kingdom, as a source of energy.
According to legend, a Kendal confectioner, intending to make glacier mints, took his eye off the cooking pan for a minute and then, resuming his task, noticed that the mixture had started to ‘grain’ and become cloudy, instead of clear. When poured out, the result was Mint Cake.
Sir Edmund Hilary and Sirdar Tensing ate this mint cake on top of Everest as they gazed at the countryside down below. Tensing also left some to appease his ‘gods’. This happening naturally increased sales of mint cake to hikers and climbers and visitors to the Lake District.
The Lyth and Winster Valleys between Kendal and Windermere are well know for their damson orchards, the home of the Westmorland Damson, which are used to make various damson products including Damson Gin.
The Westmorland damson is a member of the plum family. It is thought to be a type of Shropshire prune (possibly the Blue Violet) but improved by the unique conditions in Westmorland and pollination by the wild Bullace and Sloe. There are damsons in other parts of the British Isles but the flavour of the smaller Westmorland damson is said to be second to none
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky toffee pudding is a British steamed dessert consisting of a very moist sponge cake, made with finely chopped dates or prunes, covered in a toffee sauce and often served with a vanilla custard or vanilla ice-cream.
The dessert’s origins are considered a ‘mystery’, however, the dominant story is that Francis Coulson developed and served this dessert at his Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel on the shore of Ullswater in 1960.
Cartmel village shop is famous for its sticky toffee pudding, with their products being available throughout Cumbria and beyond at many grocers.
Salt Marsh Lamb
Lamb that has grazed on the salt marshes on the Cartmel peninsula at the edge of Morecambe Bay eat the grasses and herbs that are never sown as a crop, but are wild (species include puccinellia, sea lavender and marsh samphire) and are untreated with agricultural chemicals. The resulting salt marsh lamb meat has more flavour than young ‘spring’ lamb.
Cumbria salt marsh lamb can be bought from Higginsons of Grange over Sands, Holker Hall food hall, Booths supermarkets, and by mail order.
Related Links :
- Wikipedia – Cumberland Sausage
- Peter Gott – master sausage maker
- Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop.
- Kendal Mint Cake
- BBC Cumbria – Kendal Mint Cake
- Holker Hall – salt marsh lamb
- Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding.
- Cowmire Hall Damson Gin
- Westmorland Damson Association
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