You’ve probably heard the phrase “there’s nowt so queer as folk” and it’s probably nowhere more apt than when applied to Yorkshire people and our -some people may think – strange eating habits!
Of course, everyone in the country must be familiar with our glorious Yorkshire pudding. But did you know that many people here still eat it as a starter? This was traditionally so that you filled up quickly and didn’t need so much meat, which was the main feature of the following course. Try it – Yorkshire puddings always taste their best straight from the oven and with no other accompaniment than rich beefy gravy. But we also have a rather quirky “side” for this, known as Yorkshire Salad. Recipes vary from family to family but, essentially, this delicacy involves vinegar, spring onions, lettuce and/or cucumber, and perhaps a little sugar to balance out the acidity of the vinegar.
In Yorkshire we eat our fruit cake, apple pie and gingerbread with cheese – preferably a good hearty chunk of Wensleydale – and an old saying up here is: “apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze”! On Guy Fawkes’ Night, (Guy was a Yorkshireman) otherwise known as Bonfire Night, it has always been a tradition to eat Yorkshire Parkin – a deep, dark ginger bread, made with black treacle and fine oatmeal.
Then, of course, Yorkshire is famous for its Rhubarb Triangle (the area in West Yorkshire between the towns of Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell), where the most delicious stems of the rich red vegetable – yes, vegetable! – is produced under intensely dark conditions.
And for beautiful dark liquorice, which goes into the production of those small, roughly circular and delicious dark sweets known as Pontefract – or sometimes Pomfret – Cakes, which come from the town of the same name.
A world-famous gem in Yorkshire, and definitely somewhere to visit if you’re staying in the region is Bettys Café Tearooms – www.bettys.co.uk – where you can luxuriate in elegant surroundings and sample some of their fantastic Yorkshire treats, such as the Bettys Yorkshire Fat Rascal, a rich fruity scone, delicious warm and with lashings of butter, or the famous Yorkshire Curd Tart, a beautifully tasty treat produced using the curd ( remember the old nursery rhyme “Little Miss Muffet”, where she eats her curds and whey?) cheese, baked in a pastry case, with added lemon, dried fruit and nutmeg. Farmers’ wives used to cook up this delicacy and my mum always told me that it was particularly delicious if you made one with the milk from a newly-calved cow because this was when the product was at its richest – and Mum’s were even more delicious because she added a dash of rum to her mixture!
And then, of course, there’s the northern town of Malton, known as the Food Capital of Yorkshire, a must-visit destination for you if you have the time… www.vistmalton.com
Hopefully, this little snippet has given you a taste for Yorkshire. We have so much to offer, and not just our glorious food. Go on, give us a try!
Contributed by Chris Redman – Yorkshire Blue Badge Guide