Once you start digging there are some seriously exciting foodie specialities being produced in the UK – check out our faves
The world’s finest caviar is largely associated with far-flung countries like Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan…but now it’s our turn! A businessman in Exmoor has become the UK’s first ever producer of caviar, and it’s getting rave reviews from experts.
It may conjure up images of colourful spice markets and Middle-Eastern souks, but saffron was once a flourishing industry in the UK. During the Middle Ages England was the world’s biggest grower of this pricey spice, and the area around Saffron Walden was at the heart of it. Production faltered over the years due to cheaper imports, but saffron has been back in Essex since 2004 and is flourishing!
Buy it at englishsaffron.co.uk
Did you know?
One thread of saffron can colour 10,00 times its own volume!
This peppery, bright green plant is a staple of Japanese cuisine, but surprisingly has been growing really well in Dorset since 2014 – the first time this has been successfully done in the whole of Europe! Most of us will have only seen it as a paste or powder, so it’s pretty exciting to be able to buy the fresh variety (which is even a speciality in Japan) from a home-grown company. Buy it at thewasabicompany.co.uk
It doesn’t get more French than snails smothered in herby garlic butter, and as us Brits start to embrace this Gallic speciality, more and more snail farms are popping up. There are now dedicated escargot farms located in Aylesbury, Dorset, Kent and even the Isle of Barra – great for chefs and food lovers looking to keep things local. Buy it at hrh-escargots.co.uk
This trendy ingredient is indigenous to the Andean region of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia, growing well in the region due to the high altitude, but clever British producers are now growing it commercially here too. Essex farmer Peter Fairs was an early adopter of quinoa in 1985, when demand was low, and over the years has developed a variety that grows perfectly in British weather. Buy it at hodmedods.co.uk