Yorkshire Traditional Foods

Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Rare Beef and Horseradish Mustard Mayonnaise - close-up - flckr - avlxyz

Regarded by its own as 'God's county', Yorkshire takes great pride in the fact it is England's largest and most unspoiled Northern region. Its situ on the East coast has had considerable impact upon the varying cuisine of the county.

Windswept Whitby is regarded Northern England's premier fishing harbour, rich in succulent shrimp and crustacea, as well as an abundance of cod during the chilly winter months. Inland cuisine is largely influenced by the fertile soils and agricultural heritage of the Vales.The soil is both calcareous and acidic, making it ideal for cultivating large herds of livestock for both dairy and meat farming purposes. Despite the obvious benefits, Yorkshire is less renowned for meat production; primarily focused on the preservation of dairy heritage, such as that of Wensleydale Cheese. Like many agricultural regions, Yorkshire's culture has been shaped by the 'want not waste not' mentality of a largely poor population. Because of this, many of the traditional recipes were devised to use up kitchen scraps and provide sustenance at very little cost! To make the most of this fine Yorkshire fare why not book a holiday cottage in Yorkshire?


Yorkshire Pudding
No Sunday roast would be complete without this buttery staple, yet two hundred years ago, the humble Yorkshire Pudding was far more than a meat and gravy accompaniment. Dripping Pudding, as it was once known, was a daily prelude to the main plate of meat and vegetables, served by poor wives who could not afford large hunks of meat from the local butcher. It was traditionally made using leftover animal fat, along with milk, flour and occasionally eggs - if the family could afford them. Dripping Pudding differs little from the Yorkshire Puddings we are familiar with today, but was generally far larger and used as a receptacle for onion gravy.


The exact origin of Parkin remains a mystery. It is commonly linked with the former industrial powerhouse of Leeds, primarily because it played such a central role in the lives of working class families who lived there. With a lengthy shelf life and generally quite cheap to produce, Parkin was considered a vital source of energy and a staple of the working class diet, simply because of its high calorific content. Traditional Parkin is prepared with black treacle and lard, both key ingredients which give it that sticky, melt-in-the-mouth texture. The addition of ginger was probably an afterthought, but significantly improved the shelf-life of the product from 3 days to 2 weeks! The fruit-laden Yorkshire Brack loaf is another traditional favourite, often found within smaller, independent bakeries in the North.


Wensleydale Cheese
Modern Wensleydale is produced in Hawes, but according to purists, the heritage of Wensleydale Cheese can be traced far further back than the 19th Century. It is believed that the first Wensleydale creamery was established in 1156 by an order of French Cistercian monks in Ripon. As naturalists, they cultivated the surrounding land extensively, farming cattle for their own necessity. Wensleydale is inherently creamy with a slight earthy tang and undertones of honey, making it an ideal pairing with apples. Ironically, Wensleydale Cheese is one of the basal ingredients of St. Wilfred's Pie, an apple and cheese tart commonly eaten during the first week of August in commemoration of Ripon's Saint.



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