Best of Lancashire: Favourite foods to celebrate Lancashire Day

Fans of county cuisine reveal their top county culinary choices to celebrate Lancashire Day.

By Fiona Finch
Saturday, 27th November 2021, 4:55 am
Edwin Booth advocates a taste of Lancashire
Edwin Booth advocates a taste of Lancashire

When we asked what local food would be best to celebrate Lancashire Day the answers were as varied as the county.

It is no surprise because Lancashire is a foodie destination with many award winning restaurants, cafes and pubs and an abundance of local produce.

Lancashire cheese, hot pot, black puddings, Goosnargh and Eccles cakes are a given on any Taste of Lancashire menu. But there are some new arrivals to consider this year from Pendle Peat Pie to beetroot and parsnip risotto.

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Kay Johnson of Preston Larder prepares a Lancashire hotpot

Sandra Silk of the Bowland AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural beauty) team had no hesitation in picking her top dish which also has a special conservation message.

She said: "Pendle Peat Pie. Spicy potatoes, dahl and spinach layered up in a pastry tart or pie crust. Fantastic flavours getting across an important message in a fun way. And very tasty!"

The pie was developed by artist Kerry Morrison, of Briefield based arts organisation In- Situ, and chef Andrew Dean, as part of the AONB Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership project .

Sandra said: "The thinking behind it was to get across the key message of why peatlands are so important ... t's using the medium of food to get the message across. The idea is the layers of the pie are (representing) restoring peatland."

Pendle Peat Pie served with mushy peas

She cotninued: "The idea is the lentil is the peat, the potatoes which are chip shaped are the coir logs holding the peat together while it is being restored. The spinach layer is the vegetation that gets planted to hold the whole thing together...It's a Lancashire dish with a more Asian influence with the curried dahl. It brings the communitites together."

While the message has great contemporary relevance as peat restoration is deemed essential to help lock carbon in and prevent flooding It is also a flavour filled dish appealing to all communities.

The pie was recently served to some of the delegates attending the COP 26 climate change conference.

Another essential on the culinary feast table for Sandra would be the black peas (parched peas) and parkin, which she remembers fondly from her youth in Oldham .She said: "I can't leave out black peas and parkin. ... always staples at Halloween family get togethers when I was growing up."

In her current role as a project officer in Bowland she appreciates too the number of outstanding local suppliers of Lancashire cheese.

For Kay Johnson of Preston Larder the answer for a perfect meal to have at home on Lancashire Day is one featuring county grown vegetables and having an unusual starter. She said: "I think a parched pea hummus with sourdough bread would definitely be one dish (to include). I would have to have a beetroot and parsnip risotto. Both are grown in Lancashire and this is the season for them. For me beetroot is Lancashire. I love it. It's absolutely delicious. "

For pudding Kay's thoughts again turn to what is in season. She said: "We're getting to the end of the apple season - whatever apples are around. What I really like is a crumble made with oatmeal and especially with grated ginger in the crumble."

Any cheeseboard to finish a meal would have to include her current favourite Dewlay's Garstang Blue. For a tipple Preston's Larder Cafe has been stocking a choice drink from Chorley microbrewery Withnell's of Chorley.

As for the traditional favourite, Kay said: "I think I'll be making some hotpot for the Larder cafe."

It goes to the current High Sheriff of Lancashire Edwin Booth, Chairman of the north west based Booths food and drink grocery chain, to sum up the tastes of the county. He said : “Lancashire is truly one of the greatest food counties of the North, from glorious seafood from Morecambe Bay, to comforting butter pies, creamy Lancashire cheese, hotpot and black pudding."

He continued: "We all have our favourite foods from the county and Lancashire Day is a time to celebrate the diverse and varied culinary landscapes of our county. Food unites and binds us, sharing meals brings cultures and traditions together to celebrate a sense of this place we are lucky to call home."

So whether it is Pilling potatoes or Ormskirk, Morecambe Bay shrimps or cockles, salt marsh lamb or beef from the lush pasturelands of Lancashire, salad from the west of the county or a sweet dessert it is clear there is an abundance of local produce to enjoy at home on this Lancashire Day.

* For information on Bowland AONB's peat restoration work see www.forestofbowland.com

* For more on Lancashire's award winning cheeses see here and here For news of Kay Johnson of Preston Larder collecting her MBE see here* The Lancashire Post is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to Lancashire news and information online, you can subscribe here.