We’re lucky in Norfolk – we can assemble the perfect festive spread without leaving the county
Create an ideal Christmas dinner from Norfolk ingredients
One of the joys of Norfolk is its cornucopia of delicious, locallyproduced food, from its great farming heritage to the more recent explosion of cottageindustry award-winning artisan foods. Initiatives such as the redoubtable Norfolk Food and Drink, the annual EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards, and the many food and drink fairs have worked to create local foods as one of our identifying and successful faces, adding to our tourism and boosting the entrepreneurial economy.
Norfolk is stuffed full of the most glorious restaurants, pubs and hotels, most proudly offering world-class seasonal, locallyproduced cuisine all year round.
Buying locally-produced food supports local farmers, producers and creates local jobs; it reduces food miles, and in a post-Brexit world, relying more on our own seasonal produce, which hasn’t had to be transported thousands of miles gobbling up untold gallons of fuel, will surely be the way to go. Consumers are increasingly wanting to know the provenance and ethical standards of the food and drink they are buying, how and where it was produced, transported and packaged.
More people are returning to old-fashioned ways; growing their own vegetables and raising their own chickens, for example. Allotments now have long waiting lists. Initiatives such as Norwich Farm Share are a great way to grow your own organic food, learn from others, have fun and get some exercise.
Local organic vegetable box delivery schemes are increasingly popular with those who don’t have time to grow their own but don’t mind paying a little extra for healthy food which hasn’t had to travel from the other side of the world.
As we turn our attention to the annual Christmas lunch it’s really not difficult to create a whole meal using delicious Norfolk produce. It might be a bit more expensive, but it will be worth it!
For a traditional Christmas turkey you would be hardpressed to beat a rare-breed Norfolk Black from Peele’s, with its fine-grained, gamey flavour. Or perhaps an even more traditional goose from Morton’s Farm. You could add a platter of dried meats and salamis, including delicious Holkham Estate venison, from Norfolk Charcuterie, with some crunchy tart Montys’ piccalilli from Essence Foods or a beetroot and juniper Candi’s chutney.
Buxton potatoes roasted in a Yare Valley oil are a must. And mustard of course! We are all sad Colman’s is leaving Norwich but the newly-launched Norwich Mustard sounds very exciting and you can even invest in this co-operative.
Of course we are spoiled for cheeses – how about the well-known Binham Blue or a creamy soft cheese with Norfolk Lavender from Norton’s Dairy or a tart goat’s cheese from Fielding Cottage?
Busy modern life makes it difficult to be organised enough to make your own Christmas pudding weeks in advance but why bother when the pudd’Eng company in the Bure Valley will supply you with a delicious home-made one? I love ice cream with my Christmas pudding and Ronaldo’s has been making luxury ice cream with local ingredients for years.
For something to accompany it how about a 2013 vintage reserve sparkling English wine from the famous Winbirri Vineyard in Surlingham? Or Golden Christmas Spice from the Iceni Brewery near Thetford Forest?
Of course this has only been a very small amuse-bouche of all the wonderful local products out there so, as it’s Christmas, go on – treat yourself.
ABOVE:Create the perfect festive feast from Norfolk producers