Time was when food wasn’t Britain’s
strong point; those of a certain age will remember when eating out in a
pub meant choice between a tired cheese roll and a packet of crisps, and restaurant fare was either microwaved
scampi or chicken kiev served and consumed in a cathedral-like hush. Happily, times have changed, and you’d
have to have been taking an extended holiday on Mars not to have noticed the change, not only in Britain’s eating
habits but also the quality of produce that we get
to experience. And it’s not just about celebrity chefs and more food programmes
on the telly. There’s a pride in British produce now that has become
infectious; indeed in tune with the passion for all things
local, the UK regions all regularly try to outdo each other for the prize of
the best produce, restaurants, and of course food festivals – something
else which is on the increase in the UK.
To recognize this, we’re giving away lots of copies of Taste Britain (Punk £16.99), a book that celebrates the best of Britain’s Food Renaissance. It's a great read, covers every region of the UK, and is packed full of lovely colour photographs. In return we want you to tell us about your favourite foodie haunt, whether it's a shop, a restaurant or foraging expedition, or just to comment on some of the places we recommend on the site. If we like what you write, we’ll send you a free copy of the book.
We’ll be covering lots more foodie stuff in the run-up to Christmas, but in the meantime here’s a selection of our favourite local food heroes to get the ideas flowing and your tastebuds buzzing…
Tucked away behind the main square in Orford, Suffolk, this old family smokery smokes anything and everything, with delicious results.
We all love a farm shop, and this is one of our favourites, way down in the Isle of Wight and selling the best the island and the waters around have to offer.
Down in the wilds of the New Forest, Brigitte Tee has been foraging and supplying London's top restaurants with wild mushrooms for years; but you can sample her wares too.
Any deli that claims to make the best pork pies in England must have something about it, and this place really does, with great sausages, bacon and, yes, award-winning pork pies.
Really any shop that sells nothing but cheese does it for us, but this place only sells cheese from the British Isles and we reckon that makes it even more special.