Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

The first show of these cheery green stalks with their flowery purple heads is the sign that summer is on its way, and the stubborn root vegetables that have been squatting in the vegetable drawer all winter will soon be replaced with an array of brightly coloured and richly flavoured British produce.

Purple sprouting broccoli reaches a peak around mid April – it’s available from March but the stems can be a little woody and may require some rather fiddly peeling.  By April, they’re tender all the way down to the end, and require delicate treatment and careful cooking, followed by eating with much gusto and slurping. Continue reading

Autumn Pork Pie – Handmade and Local

Pork Pie, Cheddar and Chutney

Many people recoil in terror at the site of a pork pie, but come back and sit down, there’s nothing to be afraid of.  In fact, if you’ve been put off by the greasy supermarket and petrol station excuses for pork pies, it’s really time you tried them again from a decent local supplier.  Yes, the best ones are supposedly made in Melton Mowbray (the PDO and PGI says so), but you’ll benefit from the freshness of a locally made pie much more if you don’t live in Leicestershire and the supermarket is your only other option.

The pie above was made by Bude Meat Supply (not the most romantic of names, I grant you), and is huddling between Denhay Farm mature cheddar and Ma’s Apple & Date chutney (not commercially available, but my mother makes so much of the stuff she’d probably send you a jar if you asked). Cue closed eyes and dreamy murmuring sounds.

So, give them another chance this autumn – crisp pastry yielding to rich pork that sits perfectly with chutney, cheese and a pickled onion if you’re feeling adventurous – it’s a food that represents traditional British cuisine at its best.

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