SHOPLO­CAL

The best of re­gional Bri­tish food. This week: New­mar­ket

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - Food&drink -

It is the usual story with the su­per­mar­kets. Among the many lines (and there can be thou­sands in a su­per­store), only one or two are specif­i­cally lo­cally-sourced. There is no lo­cally-caught fish, lit­tle meat (ex­cept sausages) and just a few sell lo­cally-grown veg­eta­bles. Asda, how­ever, sells cakes and “tray bakes” made by Wicked, Musk’s New­mar­ket sausages and Wicks Manor sausages from Mal­don, Es­sex. Asda also sells a good chilli sauce called Horned Fox. Tesco sells packed Powters sausages and Musk’s “Orig­i­nal” sausages loose from the meat counter. Sains­bury’s stores in Haver­hill, Cold­hams Lane and Bury St Ed­munds stock Powters sausages, Anya pota­toes grown by Richard Mann in Wood­bridge and Vi­valdi salad pota­toes from Swaffham. Mor­risons’ Cam­bourne store stocks lo­cally-grown onions and pota­toes. Wait­rose’s New­mar­ket store sells Stroll down the high street of this Suf­folk mar­ket town and the sight of many of its diminu­tive in­hab­i­tants should leave you in no doubt that New­mar­ket is home to English horse-rac­ing. But as­pir­ing jock­eys, who fol­low strict di­ets, don’t make a good food shop­ping town.

It is a mys­tery why such a so­cia­ble place has few, if any, de­cent places for eat­ing out. With many of the world’s wealth­i­est peo­ple visit­ing the town, and of­ten in cel­e­bra­tion mood, you’d think a smart restau­ra­teur might have opened a brasserie to suit all tastes. But in the ab­sence of even gas­trop­ubs, own­ers, train­ers and sheiks re­sort to down­ing chow mein in the Foun­tain restau­rant.

Yet good food can be found. The town has no green­gro­cer, deli or ar­ti­san baker, but it does have butcher’s shops and, in the sur­round­ing area, an out­stand­ing farm shop, a cheese sup­plier and a few in­ter­est­ing pro­duc­ers who will de­liver to your home.

Shop­ping for lo­cal food in su­per­mar­kets

some lo­cally-grown pro­duce plus Nor­folk Herbs, Musk’s and Powters sausages and Hob­son’s Choice beer. Bud­gens stores in So­ham and Milden­hall stock foods made by mem­bers of “Tastes of Anglia”; look out for th­ese prod­ucts.

There are farm­ers’ mar­kets in Laven­ham, Need­ham Mar­ket and Bec­cles once a month. See www. farm­ers­mar­kets.net for dates.

Where to shop for food in the town

Square Deals, 13b Welling­ton Street, New­mar­ket, Suf­folk (01638 560088) There has been a huge in­flux of im­mi­grants into New­mar­ket to keep the rac­ing in­dus­try go­ing and Richard Gruszecki has opened a shop with an eclec­tic range. With good fruit and veg­eta­bles, spices and sauces from In­dia, China, Thai­land, Lithua­nia, the Mid­dle East, the Philip­pines, Poland and Rus­sia, an en­tire new cook­ing op­por­tu­nity has opened up. Cooked meats, yo­gurts, smoked sausages, Pol­ish and Lithua­nian rye breads and dumplings are also avail­able. Musk’s (01638 662626, www.musks.com) Musks started mak­ing sausages in 1884 and sev­eral Royal War­rants later the com­pany is still thriv­ing. It used to be a butcher’s shop on the High Street, spe­cial­is­ing in sausages, but that has long gone. The sausages, which are sold at Ten­nant’s (see later list­ing), are now made just out­side New­mar­ket. They re­main su­perb, with lo­cal pork, nat­u­ral bread, just the right amount of pep­per and no preser­va­tives or ad­di­tives. You can also or­der on­line. Powters, Welling­ton Street, New­mar­ket, Suf­folk (01638 662418, www.powters.co.uk) Powters also stocks a “New­mar­ket Sausage” and be­gan mak­ing sausages around the same time as James Musk. A good, healthy ri­valry ex­ists be­tween the two New­mar­ket butch­ers. Aside from the sausages, Powters sells well-hung Aberdeen An­gus, Salt­marsh lamb and Glouces­ter Old Spot pork. The shop also stocks meat ac­cred­ited by the Rare Breeds Sur­vival Trust, the ex­cel­lent or­gan­i­sa­tion that has done so much to pro­tect Bri­tain’s meat breeds. In ad­di­tion, cooked meats, sausage rolls, ba­cons, hams and Suf­folk chick­ens from Bury St Ed­munds are avail­able. Eric Ten­nant, 11 The Rook­ery, New­mar­ket, Suf­folk (01638 661 530) “We are an old-fash­ioned, tra­di­tional butcher’s shop,” says Eric Ten­nant in his shop in the mid­dle of New­mar­ket. Ten­nant comes highly rec­om­mended by nu­mer­ous train­ers’ wives and New­mar­ket res­i­dents. All of his meat is sourced lo­cally in Suf­folk. He’s also the sole stock­ist of Musk’s sausages (see ear­lier) in the town, since Musk’s closed its shop.

Shop­ping for food around New­mar­ket

Hamish John­ston Cheese­mon­gers, (01728 621544) Hamish John­ston will be familiar to res­i­dents of Bat­tersea, south-west Lon­don, where it has a re­tail out­let. It also has a whole­sale out­fit ap­prox­i­mately 20 miles from New­mar­ket. “We’re very strong on farm­house and ar­ti­san cheeses, of­ten from tiny pro­duc­ers,” says coowner Mark New­man. The com­pany has a large list of Suf­folk cheeses, in­clud­ing Hawk­stone (which makes amaz­ing Cheshire-style cheeses), Buxlow Pagel and Suf­folk Gold. De­liv­ery is avail­able for larger or­ders. Mail or­der, 020 7738 0741. La Hogue Farm Shop, Chip­pen­ham, Ely, Cam­bridgeshire (01638 751128, www.la­hogue.co.uk) La Hogue is a reve­la­tion. This farm shop sells as much sea­sonal and lo­cal pro­duce as pos­si­ble and it is all su­perb qual­ity. Look out for Nor­folk cheeses, Suf­folk chick­ens and wild rabbits. There are also clas­sic frozen take­aways such as coq au vin and Ital­ian-style meat­balls. An ec­cen­tric wine shop be­hind the farm shop has reg­u­lar tast­ings of Euro­pean and lo­cal­lypro­duced English wines, which I found to be ter­rific value. Cor­ney & Bar­row, Belvoir House, High Street, New­mar­ket, Suf­folk (01638 600 000, www. cor­neyand­bar­row.com) It isn’t sur­pris­ing that New­mar­ket can keep a top-end wine mer­chant go­ing, es­pe­cially when it comes to the finest French reds and Cham­pagnes. Cor­ney & Bar­row’s staff are al­ways knowl­edge­able and beau­ti­fully trained. There are tast­ing rooms on the premises and the com­pany’s tra­di­tional approach makes wine-shop­ping an ut­ter plea­sure. The River Farm Smok­ery, Wil­bra­ham Road, Bot­tisham Cam­bridgeshire (01223 812577) The River Farm Smok­ery is a hid­den gem about 15 min­utes’ drive from New­mar­ket. It is also the only wet­fish shop be­tween Cam­bridge and the coast. The smok­ery’s three kilns are used to smoke ev­ery­thing from had­dock to ham; salt, olives and cheese. Spe­cial­ity pas­tas and sauces are also sold there and the wet-fish shop stocks line caught mack­erel and sus­tain­able species of fish.

Cook­ing with lo­cally-sourced food in New­mar­ket

To make the most of Musk’s and Poyters’ sausages, brush them with dou­ble cream and bake them for 30-45 min­utes. The cream makes the out­side of the sausages sticky and brown. Serve them with a mash made from pota­toes and herbs from La Hogue farm shop.

Had­dock from the River Farm Smok­ery can be packed into a shal­low oven­proof dish with slices of Hawke­stone “white Cheshire” cheese, a chopped clove of gar­lic and thinly-shred­ded, blanched spring greens. Dot with but­ter, cover with foil and bake.

For a richer dish, serve with a poached egg.

Link with tra­di­tion: Suf­folk butcher Grant Powter with his own line of sausages and the fam­ily shop (left)

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