Foodies Guide to Yorkshire

Situated in the North of England, Yorkshire is the largest county of the United Kingdom and also one of the most accessible from overseas. Three airports throughout the region, Doncaster Sheffield, Leeds Bradford and Humberside Airport all ensure that a trip to the area can be executed really easily.

Visiting from mainland Europe is a breeze, with onward travel from the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras, London via fast train to York, Leeds, Doncaster, Sheffield and Hull taking a surprisingly short time. You can also cross from Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Zebrugge by ferry to Hull or Newcastle, both within easy reach of the region.

Why is Yorkshire a Great Place to Visit and Cook?

Yorkshire is an historic county of vibrant cities, such as Leeds and York and wide open spaces. Home to the Yorkshire Dales National Park it offers endless opportunities for walking, cycling and working up an appetite for its amazing regional cuisine.

The region’s outstanding countryside and fertile soil produces an array of fresh produce. Unforced, tasty asparagus is available from the middle of April or the beginning of May and the first outstanding, tender stems from the crop are anticipated with great relish. Locals claim this is the best asparagus in the world and certainly the taste is far superior to out of season forced crops.

Visiting from overseas, you may be unaware of the famous ‘rhubarb triangle’ in Yorkshire. A nine square mile area where rhubarb, a vegetable, whose long, pink fleshy stems are cooked and usually sweetened is forced to provide early growth. The rhubarb ‘forcing sheds’ have rhubarb growing in total darkness and it is said that visitors can actually hear the rhubarb growing. Without doubt, a visit would be a very interesting proposition for a dedicated foodie. Yorkshire chefs, use rhubarb in a myriad of ways, both sweet and savoury and it is even used as a flavouring for artisan gins.

Rhubarb

Sheep graze on the lush Yorkshire moors and dales and help to maintain the landscape. The meat can be sourced locally. Preference is for hogget, which comes from year old lamb and is said to provide a more mature taste than spring lamb.

But Yorkshire is not just about cities and rolling moors and dales. It has a coastline and from these areas come delights such as crab and lobster. Live Yorkshire lobster is in great demand throughout Europe, but you can find it locally if you visit the fishing ports. Smoked fish and meats feature in local restaurants, sourced from the flourishing smokehouses of the area. You can expect to find smoked haddock, trout, salmon and meats such as duck, venison and chicken.

If cheese is your particular interest, then Yorkshire is definitely the place for you. With over 80 types made from cows, sheep and goats milk, these artisan varieties provide infinite possibilities. From the famous Wenslydale through to a Yorkshire Brie, via a really decent Yorkshire Cheddar.

A Sweet Yorkshire Treat

Many delightful sweet treats await the food enthusiast in Yorkshire. The first we will mention does provide a debatable point about if it is a sweet or savoury dish. However, Yorkshire Pudding can be either. Which in our opinion makes it a dish well worth learning how to make.

Yorkshire Pudding in its savoury form is produced from a batter, comprising flour eggs, milk and traditionally beef dripping. To achieve the light, puffed appearance requires a very hot pan and instruction from one of our local cooks is recommended to avoid disappointing results. (link to Yorkshire cooks page). The savoury dish can be served as a starter or, as is probably more popular in the UK generally, as an accompaniment to a roast dinner of beef, with a delicious rich gravy. Yorkshire Puddings can be filled with other foods or they can be served ‘au naturale’. Sweet Yorkshire Puddings are served for dessert (pudding) and chefs have become increasingly creative in their ideas for utilising them.

Afternoon tea in Yorkshire features delicious, robust bakes. In all likelihood originating from the farmhouses in the Dales and the kitchens of the hardworking folk in the towns in days gone by.

Yorkshire Parkin is a tray bake style cake which features oatmeal, black treacle and ginger. It is said to date back to the industrial revolution and has been traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night for many years.

How about a Yorkshire Curd Tart? Made with curd cheese, accept no substitute, these also feature ground allspice, raisins or currants and rose water. They have a similarity to baked cheesecake. Curd cheese is not readily available, but it is relatively easy to make your own and definitely worth the effort.

What to Drink in Yorkshire

With all this delectable food available in the region, what are the traditional drinks present themselves? There are a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks produced throughout Yorkshire. Wines, beers, ciders and gins abound and even artisan coffees and liqueurs.

We hope we have given you a taste of the scrumptious delights of Yorkshire food and drink and maybe fired your interest for visiting the region and taking in a cooking experience. Just the thing to make your dinner parties back home that little bit different and interesting.

Experiences in Yorkshire