Once upon a time, British food and produce had a poor reputation. No taste, overcooked, shoddy preparation. Sad to say, but true at the time. Then things began to change. Production methods improved as did culinary processes. And I was lucky enough to be working in Public Relations in the 1980s where it was my job to show French journalists first-hand that one could eat well in the UK.
It was quite a challenge, since the French think they dominate the culinary world and that British cooking is really poor. Lucky old me got to take French journalists to the UK (I lived in Paris at the time) to wine and dine them. Someone’s got to do it, as they say! We were constantly and consistently amazed and delighted by the food we were eating, and my job was pure joy.
Now that I have been living in the UK for the past 9 years, I am still constantly and consistently delighted by the quality of British produce and the culinary achievements of my fellow chefs.
More than ever, I have learned to appreciate the value of local produce. Our friend and neighbour is still raising pigs and Bob’s Hogs pork products are among the most succulent we have ever tasted. You can’t get much more local than a half mile down the road, can you?
When we were in North Yorkshire last year we discovered Paganum Produce’s Yorkshire Chorizo in a lovely shop called Feast Pickering and we have been ordering it online ever since. (Hint, hint: you can order some, too!) Yorkshire Chorizo has been winning awards and appearing on TV for the past few years so I’m not the only one who loves it. Mike Robinson of Countrywise Kitchen and Ade Edmondson of The Dales can’t be wrong, either!
Today I used some of the Picante Yorkshire Chorizo and some onions to add zest to fabulous scallops, by simply sautéing thinly sliced onion with crumbled chorizo before searing the scallops in my hot pan. ThermoHubby John said he didn’t usually enjoy scallops but he adored the way the chorizo flavour enhanced their sea-fresh taste. What a lovely start to Sunday lunch!
So thank you to all the wonderful, local British producers who are putting such wonderful food on my plate. And don’t worry, I used my Thermomix for our main course
Bon appétit !