If there’s one thing that stands out about modern British food culture, it is the incredible diversity of the food on offer. Living in central Manchester, it is getting increasingly difficult to think of a cuisine that isn't readily available for me to enjoy. Even in gastronomic powerhouses such as Italy and Spain, if you fancy a cuisine that hails a different part of the world you will probably find yourself with slim pickings (please take this point with a pinch of salt - I actually had the best Chinese food I have ever eaten in Milan’s Chinatown).
Being so thoroughly spoilt for choice has its downsides. The UK has its own food history and traditions that some argue are on the wane. Have you ever tried a traditional Northern Irish Vegetable Roll, Oxfordshire Carrot Pudding or Somerset Cider Cake? The supermarket giants, who dominate our groceries market, simply are not concerned with seeking out forgotten treasures. And if they did, most of the magic would probably be lost in the process of mass production.
If you are interested in discovering some of the best food the UK has to offer, then British Food Fortnight, which takes place every year from the 20th September, could be the perfect opportunity. This annual celebration has been running since 2002, and consistently works towards improving the market for British food. Eating British is important for a multitude of reasons, some of the most important being environmental and economic. This year's theme is ‘Bring home the Harvest’ and will be a celebration of all things autumn.
There are so many ways to get involved, here are a few ideas:
Go along to one of the many food events that are being held around the country. For details of what's going on near you, go to the Love British Food website.
Grow your own? What could be better than reaping a harvest of home grown fruit and veg? How about having the freedom to choose a variety that you won't find in the supermarkets or even your local greengrocers? Encourage your loved ones to get involved as well by sending them one of our British grown fruit trees, and make it a family affair!
Make a special effort to buy British in your weekly trip to the supermarket, or support some of the fantastic smaller producers across the country by seeking out something local that you've never tried.
Cook a traditional British recipe you've never tried before. If you need a bit of inspiration, make sure you check back in next week as I have created a special recipe just for you.
Just one last thing! Its competition time here at Tree2mydoor. We have a lovely Dwarf Quince tree to give away to some lucky person - all you need to do is choose the perfect name for the tree. If you would like to win this harvest treat, make sure you head to the Tree2mydoor Facebook page for more information and to enter #nameatree.
Enjoy your fortnight!
Tree2my door x