The best Yorkshire holidays are those that involve tucking into Yorkshire’s finest produce. And from Yorkshire puddings to local game and the must-try Yorkshire curd tart, here are 9 of the top traditional Yorkshire food dishes you should eat – and sometimes drink – while you’re here.
Yorkshire curd tart
Sugar, lemon zest, melted butter, eggs and curd cheese are the basic ingredients of a Yorkshire curd tart. You’ll find many variations of this traditional recipe – some locals add rosewater, some add fruit, while almost everyone adds a pinch of nutmeg. However you like yours, make sure you enjoy it from Betty’s, Yorkshire’s esteemed teashop (arguably the best tarts in the country) or a traditional Yorkshire tearoom in the North York Moors.
You can’t write a list of traditional Yorkshire food items and not include the humble pudding. It might comprise of a very simple recipe but they take their Yorkshire puddings very seriously in Yorkshire, and this pud can take on some surprisingly varied forms. Some restaurants (such as The Black Bull in Pickering) go against the traditional round shape and opt for a dense loaf tin version, while others serve it in giant form, with an entire roast dinner inside it.
For something really different, try a Yorkshire pudding wrap from the Yorkshire Roast Co. in York – it might veer away from the traditional, but you can’t knock them for their ingenuity.
Game is a big thing within the Yorkshire food scene and the hunting season typically starts in August, so this is a good time to enjoy Yorkshire’s game at its best. For some of the finest game in Yorkshire, try the charming Chopping Block in York for everything from game pie to guinea fowl, the Michelin-starred Star Inn in Harome for game risotto and partridge and Samuel’s restaurant on the Swinton Estate for local venison.
If someone tells you to eat a fat rascal in Yorkshire, they’re not trying to insult you, they’re referring to one of the best afternoon tea treats you’ll find. Very similar to a rock cake, these fruity delights are best served fresh with plenty of butter, and they’ll instantly cheer up your day – partly because they’re so delicious and partly because they come decorated with a glacé cherry and almond smile.
Now we know this isn’t Yorkshire food, but it goes without saying, if you’re going to order a Fat Rascal or Yorkshire Curd Tart, you need to wash it down with a good old cup of Yorkshire Tea. Like many Brits, Yorkshire folk drink tea on every occasion, but many stay loyal to this local brand, first established in the town of Harrogate in 1886. Of course, the actual tea doesn’t originate from Yorkshire – it was a specific blend created by expert blenders Taylors of Harrogate, to suit the local water supply. Today, it is enjoyed country wide.
People in Yorkshire are passionate about their rhubarb. Forced rhubarb in particular (which has been grown in Yorkshire since 1877). And if you’ve ever heard of the ‘rhubarb triangle,’ you may know it’s an area in Yorkshire between Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield where rhubarb is grown in what are known as ‘forcing sheds’. It’s typically harvested soon after the new year and one of the best ways to enjoy it is within a traditional rhubarb crumble. Or if you fancy a tipple, try a rhubarb-infused gin or the local Yorkshire rhubarb liqueur.
Crab and lobster
One of the things that Bridlington, in East Yorkshire, is known for is seafood. And the crab and lobster fisheries here are some of Yorkshire’s best. Head to this seaside town and you’ll find some great places to enjoy the freshest catch of the day. Try crab cocktail at The North Star Hotel, dressed crab at Rags, or pop into one of the many fisheries and try cooking it yourself.
Black Sheep Beer
If you’re looking to quench your thirst with a Yorkshire tipple, try the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham where you can take a brewery tour and sample some of the best traditional bitters and stouts in Yorkshire.
In fact, there are dozens of really good Yorkshire breweries you should look out for. Try the brewery in Malton (a town also known for its great food festival), for some whimsically named pale ales and traditional bitters. Meanwhile Ilkley Brewery produced a whole range of craft beer – everything from American pale ales to Yorkshire bitter and IPA.
There are hundreds of types of cheeses produced in Yorkshire, but the most famous is probably the creamy and crumbly variety known as Wensleydale, which featured in the famed Wallace & Gromit animation.
It’s named after the eponymous area in the Yorkshire Dales where it is produced, and you can actually visit the creamery to learn all about the cheese-making process. Try it with crackers, in a sandwich, or as the locals do, with a piece of fruit cake. Delicious.
Now we know we cheated a little bit here and included not one, but two drinks in a traditional Yorkshire food blog but we couldn’t help ourselves. Plus, you need something good to wash the dishes down with! Have we got your tastebuds tingling? Now, when you visit Yorkshire you can go armed with this handy little list of Yorkshire foodstuffs and you’ll be good to go…