Saturday, 3 September 2011

Celebrating Lincolnshire Cuisine


One thing I have learned whilst working for Lincolnshire in Focus - the Lincolnshire lifestyle magazine - is that this county has a tremendous history in agriculture, one of which we can be proud, and we still have a brilliantly high standard of cuisine here today. 

In our September's Issue, which we named 'The Food Festival Edition', I wrote a feature about all of the upcoming food festivals this harvest time, so I thought I would share it with you on here (or click the links above to view the whole magazine online!) 

So here it is....

Lincolnshire in Focus - September 2011
Celebrating our County's Cuisine

From its rich agricultural heritage to today’s favourites of Lincolnshire Sausage, Poacher Cheese, Belvoir Fruit Cordials, homemade fudge and Lincolnshire Red Beef, the quality of our county’s food is unrivalled.

Lincolnshire has always been an agricultural region; farming was the main trade here for centuries and today, the county is Britain’s largest producer of potatoes, wheat, poultry and cereal according to the 2006 DEFRA census.  One region in particular which is quickly establishing itself as a budding food area is South Holland.

Based in the south east of the county, this region encompasses the towns of Spalding, Holbeach, Long Sutton and Crowland. It was first established in 1974 after the Spalding Urban District, East Elloe Rural District and Spalding Rural District merged together under the Local Government Act 1972. It is part of the extremely fertile area called The Fens, which, thanks to its low-lying and damp land which is rich in nutrients, makes it ideal for agriculture.

As well as growing crops, South Holland is home to a number of food-related companies, making it a developing hotspot for the industry. In 2010, the first-ever South Holland Food Festival was held; a fair which highlighted Lincolnshire’s fine foods. It attracted over 11,000 people to the area, including 7,000 people to the fair itself, and thanks to popular demand, another festival was held this year on 13th and 14th August at Ayscoughfee Hall Gardens, Spalding. Local chef, Rachel Green, made an appearance, and there was cookery demonstrations, helpful tips, food stalls and live music that kept visitors of all ages entertained.

Lincolnshire in Focus -
September 2011
During the first week of October, South Holland hosts the annual Spalding Pumpkin Festival, just in time for Hallowe’en celebrations. The vegetable is known for being ‘Jack-O-Lanterns’ at the spooky time of year, but this festival aims to showcase its culinary side as well as its decorative properties. Visitors will be treated to live music, fancy dress, children’s rides, competitions, markets, fireworks and, of course, a pumpkin lit parade. This was first established in as a single-day festival in 2000 and developed into a week-long event in 2009, and is sure to be cultivating popularity for years to come.

Of course, there are other food events taking place around the county this harvest time, including the BIG Tastes of Lincolnshire Sausage Festival; Spalding is believed to be one of the homes of the Lincolnshire sausage. The event boasts cooking demonstrations - for adults and children to make cooking fun – food stalls from local companies and entertainment. The Lincolnshire sausage is famous for its chunky texture, thanks to the pork being roughly ground, and its sage flavouring, and every year a festival is held to celebrate this fine export, attracting approximately 10,000 visitors. This year, the event takes place at Lincoln Castle and in Castle Square on 29th October from 10.00am until 4.00pm.

Lincolnshire in Focus -
September 2011
Adapting to an organic lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular, and this September Organic Month, which is organised by the Soil Association, will be highlighting the very best in organic food, drinks, textiles and beauty products, as well as offering advice and putting on many events around the country. Perhaps you could visit an organic farm, take an organic holiday, dine organic or host your own organic dinner party whilst raising money for charity at the same time; for more information, visit www.soilassociation.org

British Food Fortnight 2011 website
And last, but definitely not least, is British Food Fortnight. This nationwide event celebrates everything foodie and aims to bring the benefits of eating British produce to the public’s attention. This year, Lincolnshire is the home of the event’s ‘Face of British Food Fortnight’, Sally Jackson of the award-winning Pink Pig Farm, based in Holme near Scunthorpe, and we can boast being, at the time of printing, leaders in the ‘Britain’s Favourite Food Spot’ poll; the closing date is 11th September, so make sure you get your votes in at www.lovebritishfood.co.uk. This year’s event takes place from 17th September to 2nd October so make sure you visit their website for more information.

There are plenty of events and festivals taking place across South Holland and the rest of the county this harvest time which are bound to tickle your taste buds. Lincolnshire can be proud of its heritage in food and farming, and this legacy is sure to continue for years to come. 


Lindsay Cowie, Features Writer, Lincolnshire in Focus

NB! At the time of writing this blog, Lincolnshire has slipped from 1st to 2nd place in the 'Britain's Favourite Food Spot' poll! Lincolnshire really does have so much to offer when it comes to food so please click RIGHT HERE to vote for Lincs! The county really does deserve this title so get your votes in before 11th September! 

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