Many ingredients have gone in to the making of the outstanding beauty of the Lake District and Cumbria. The Lake District National Park is an attractive laid out table displaying a co-ordination of beautiful place settings and interesting colours and shapes. Here, the visitor will soon discover combinations of food flavours unique to the region and prepared in the traditional way to be eaten and enjoyed in the idyllic settings of picture postcard country inns, rustic pubs, restaurants, cafes and tearooms.
Several of the regions specialities are already well known. Top of the list is probably the Cumberland Sausage closely followed by Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread and the energy giving Kendal Mint Cake.
Locally brewed ales have won several major awards and must be included in the list of products prepared from authentic classic recipes to form an important part of the Lake District and Cumbria tasting experience.
In March 2011, Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Status was granted to the name “Traditional Cumberland Sausage”. For vendors to display the PGI mark, the sausage must be produced, processed and prepared in Cumbria and have a meat content of at least 80%. Also, the meat must be chopped and not minced, be without colouring or preservative, and be of a flavour predominantly of pepper. The sausage can be found on most menus of eating places and at butchers throughout the region and are especially tasty items to be included for a summer evening BBQ.
Sarah Nelson Grasmere Gingerbread
The famous gingerbread is baked and sold from the original small cottage standing next to St Oswalds Church in the picturesque Lakeland village of Grasmere.
For more about Sarah’s humble beginnings and the development of the gingerbread, go to www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk
Kendal Mint Cake
The Kendal Mint Cake was originally developed in 1869 by Joseph Wiper who began manufacturing it in a small factory in the Cumbrian market town of Kendal. Containing energy producing properties, fell walkers please note, Kendal Mint Cake has been included, most notably, in the survival kits and supplies of the 1953 Everest Expedition, the Imperial Trans Arctic Expedition and the Around the World Trip by Motorcycle in 2004 by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman.
Lake District & Cumbrian Meat
Together with Cumberland Sausage, the most popular meat is that of the Herdwick Sheep served as either mutton or lamb.
Cumberland Tatie Pie
An energy restoring meal after a day's outdoor activities in the Lake District & Cumbria’s National Park. The main ingredients are a stew of lean lamb or cubed mutton shoulder, potatoes and black pudding.
Herdwick Lamb Cobbler
This is another of the region’s hearty satisfying meals much loved by the Cumbrian fell farmers.
Cumberland Rum Butter
A traditional recipe of lightly spiced butter with a dash of dark rum. It is usually served together with Christmas Pudding and mince pies. Traditionally, the butter together with oatcakes or scones was given to friends who called at the house to see a new baby. They, in turn, would leave a silver money coin and then, on the day of the christening, and when the butter bowl was empty, the coins were placed in it. The sticky bowl, with the coins sticking to it thus symbolised a future in which the child would never be in want. Easy to make and swift to prepare.
Damsons are a member of the plum family. In the Lake District & Cumbria they are grown mainly in and around the Lyth Valleys to the south of Kendal. During April, either early or late depending on the weather, the damson orchards are a mass of white blossom, a sight which attracts a large number of visitors. The fruit ripens in September and can be bought from local shops and roadside stalls.
Made from damsons blended with London Gin.
Cumberland Rum Nicky
This is a date, rum and ginger flan.
A fruit based sauce generally used on non-white meats and includes ingredients of red currants or cranberries, port or wine, mustard, pepper, rind of lemon, orange, ginger and vinegar. Serve cold and try with a meal of Glazed Ham.
Pickles & Chutneys
Award winning range of locally handmade chutney’s, pickles, relish & sauces, mustards, salsa jam & jelly, marmalade, preserves, pastes, butters, honey and vinegars.
A lunchtime baguette filled with locally made cheese and chutney together with a bowl of homemade soup, a Ploughman's Lunch or an after dinner cheese plate of local produce provides more great tastes of the Lake District & Cumbria landscapes. Here are just some of what is on offer.
Allerdale Goats Cheese - A pure white award winning soft full fat unpasteurised goats milk cheese which is allowed to mature for as long as five months.
Kendal Crumbly Cheese - This is a very popular tangy crumbly cheese either organic or vegetarian. Good with Ploughman's lunch or baguette.
Kendal Creamery Cheese - As the name suggests this is a very creamy mild cheese.
Eden Valley Organic Brie - A white mould ripened organic brie using Cumbrian organic milk.
Lingmell Cheese -This cheese shares it's name with the steep slopes of Lingmell Fell in upper Wasdale valley where it is produced in a small dairy from unpasteurised ewes milk.
Lake District Special Reserve Cheddar Cheese - Has a deep rich flavour and slightly brittle. Made from cows milk. Unpasteurised or vegetarian.
Black Dub Blue Cheese - Made in Appleby. A creamy blue veined cheese, unpasteurised or vegetarian.
Cumberland Farmhouse Cheese - A strong flavoured hard cheese made from cows milk. This is a real taste of the rugged Lake District fells and goes well with a glass of wine.
Cumberland Smoked Cheese - A strong flavoured oak smoked cows milk cheese.
For further information about these specialities and more, visit the following sites:
www.landofmilkandbunny.com - The Lake District Cheese Company
www.churchmousecheeses.com - Churchmouse Cheeses
www.lythdamsons.org.uk - Westmorland Damson Association
www.hawksheadbrewery.co.uk - Hawkshead Brewery
www.cumbrianlegendaryales.com - Cumbrian Legendary Ales
www.cumberlandsausage.co.uk - Huddlestons Butchers, Exclusive Cumbrian Products by Mail Order
www.wasdalefellmeats.co.uk - Wasdale Fell Meats
www.plumgarths.co.uk - Plumgarths Farm Shop
email@example.com - Lakes Speciality Foods
www.hawksheadrelish.com - The Hawkshead Relish Company