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MONDAY, 4TH APRIL 2011
Derbyshire Traditional Foods


Raspberry Bakewell Tart - Chimmy - avlxyz - flickr

 

Derbyshire; the heart of the Peak District, and the gateway to gastronomy, influenced by the harvests of earth and agriculture. With rolling hills to the North, and flatter, fertile lands to the South and West, Derbyshire's traditional foods vary greatly by district. Both rural and urban areas are attributed with the conception of many recipes we take for granted today, such as the Bakewell Tart, Thorcake and Derbyshire Savoury and Battered Puddings. For cottages in debryshire.

Derbyshire's Famous Springs
During the height of the Roman Conquest in A.D 43, Derbyshire saw an influx of Roman settlers due to the rich iron ore found among the hills of of the Peak District. As land was cultivated, the settlers roamed the then wild  and arid lands, they came across what we now recognise as Buxton; a hilly area with natural springs. Fertile land almost certainly accompanied springs of such purity, and it was here the Romans also began to settle. The commercial bottling and sale of Buxton's spring water however, did not commence until the turn of the 20th Century.

Dairy Development
Sage Derby is one of the earliest types of cheese to be produced within Stoke. Sage Derby was based on the simple addition of sage roughly chopped, to influence the tang of the local cheese, however the herb did very little more than colour it. Marigold and spinach juice were both used during the latter 1800's to influence the colour of cheese, and are still sold today as Figure, and Chequerboard Derby. Hartington is now the centre for cheese production, having developed several creamy variants of veined cheese since the early 1900's. Blue Stilton, Dovedale Blue and Buxton Blue are big Derbyshire exports, yet Dovedale is considerably milder on the palate than the classic Stilton.

Derbyshire 'Lobby'
Lobby's traceable origins point toward North Staffordshire as the likely birthplace of this 'chuck-in' dish, however hot pots are commonplace throughout England - Derbyshire no exception. 'Lobby' takes it's name from the  German 'Labskaus'; a traditional dish comprising of salted or cured meat, onion and potato. 'Lobby' became particularly popular among the poorer inhabitants of Derbyshire (notably Potters) who could not afford fine cuts of meat, or the freshest vegetables. It was not unusual for pigs trotters and similar grazing cattle offal to be used as a base for 'Lobby'.

Baking,  and The Bakewell Incident
Derbyshire is well-known for it's rich desserts, however the Bakewell Tart is by far the most famous. Legend has it, the recipe for the Bakewell was an accidental concoction, created when the cook of the Rutland Arms Hotel misinterpreted the landlady's recipe for the Bakewell Pudding. The Bakewell Pudding mixture requires both almond paste and eggs mixed into the pastry. The unwitting cook created a filling from the concoction, and allowed it to set on top of jam. Thus the Bakewell Tart was born. The Bakewell Pudding also originates from Bakewell, and aesthetically, is not dissimilar to a custard tart.

Oatcakes, often considered a healthy snack for modern diet regimes also originate from Derbyshire. Stoke-on-Trent's flat griddle cooked pancakes are considered the original and the best. Derbyshire Oatcakes are also considerably thicker than their Scottish counterparts. Oatcakes are still an extremely popular staple within Derbyshire, and can be eaten either 'sweet' or 'savoury' - many regional cafes selling them with a side helping of beans, egg and bacon. Thorcakes are also made with oatmeal, and are similar in physical form to Eccles Cakes. Made with ginger, candied citrus peel and treacle, they are a surprisingly popular sweet 'biscuit'.

 

POSTED BY: RACHAEL
AT 16:42

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