Hot on the heels of The X Factor comes a brand new ITV talent show from Simon Cowell, but this time the focus is on all things culinary. Food Glorious Food, a quest to find the best traditional regional dishes in the UK, is sure to whet the appetites of intrepid gastro-travellers, and fortunately the British Isles are home to a variety of delicious curiosities for all tastes. Here are just a few of our little-known edible treasures from around the country…
One of the stranger Welsh delicacies is ‘laverbread’ – surprisingly made from seaweed, as opposed to bread. Laver grows flat on rocks and is abundant off Wales’ southwest coast. It’s typically eaten as a side-dish to accompany lamb or fried bacon and has become a favorite high-end London delis – though you’ll really need to visit Wales to find the genuine article.
Why not experience ‘the real thing’ and stay in the historic Berry Wood Barn on your Welsh break? Located in the stunning Black Mountains, with room for up to 10 guests, and the town of Abergavenny is just a 15-minute drive away, it’s the perfect base for sampling traditional fare at local pubs and restaurants. Don’t miss the annual Abergavenny Food Festival (taking place on 21-22 September this year) for delicious regional treats.
East Anglia is home to a great many tasty dishes (including herrings with hot English mustard – Colman’s have their headquarters in Norwich), but one of the rarest these days is traditional ‘jugged hare’. This method of cooking a rabbit or hare whole – in an earthenware pot with a sauce containing red wine and the animal’s blood – may sound suspicious, but it’s a real treat for lovers of British favourites like black pudding and haggis.
‘Cullen skink’ may not be the most promising of names, but this rich, comforting soup made from smoked haddock, onions, potatoes and milk is truly special. Originating from the town of Cullen, in Moray, on the northeast coast of Scotland, it’s well worth the trip north of the border in order to try true Scottish skink, hopefully made with Finnan Haddie smoked haddock.
If you like to be close to the sea, you can rent a family-sized beach-front house here at Oliver’s Travels, or pick from a wealth of wonderful large cottages if you’re keen to take a whole team of foodie friends.