Yorkshire's Independent Restaurant Guide

Forgotten Foods

Squidbeak is naturally suspicious of freebies, especially from supermarket chains so take what follows with as much sea salt as you want. Last week I received a food parcel containing potted shrimps, Grimsby Smoked Haddock and Manx Kippers, all of them according to Slow Food UK, in danger of being forgotten or lost altogether.

The parcel came from Booths Supermarkets who have teamed up with Slow Food  to put foods from their ‘Ark of Taste’ – distinctive local foods, traditionally made – on their shelves.

Having tested them all, I can confirm the obvious that they are well worth saving.  Tiny little Morecambe Bay shrimps, dredged by net and tractor from Morcambe Bay by Les Salisbury of Furness Fish and Game, before being cooked and peeled and ‘potted’ in butter, made a wonderful melting snack spread on hot toast.

Grimsby Smoked Haddock was equally good. Subtly smoked, it has PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status and is produced by Jaines & Son in a Grade II listed smokehouse on Grimsby’s old fish quay. It needed only seconds poaching in water to become moist and translucent. And ended up in a fabulous kedgeree.

Finally to Manx Kippers. With Whitby kippers on our doorstep it seems heresy to champion anyone else’s, so I cooked them side by side for a totally unscientific blind tasting.  I have to report the Manx came out best for juiciness and gentle salting and made a terrific kipper pate.

So respect to Slow Food UK for flagging up these small producers and to Booths for supporting them and a touch of green envy of the lucky people of Ilkley, Ripon and Settle who have a Booth’s in their town.

Think about joining Slow Food UK, they have two active groups in Yorkshire in the north and west of the county and organise regular dinners, tastings and events.