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Sunday, 24 November 2013

A fantastic Food and Gift Fair at the Lincolnshire Showground.



I would have made a short film of the stalls and their owners at the Lincolnshire Food and Gift Fair at the Lincolnshire Showground yesterday, except that the place was packed with visitors all excited about the local food and drink goodies on offer to try and to buy. I love events like this where the exhibitors are so genuinely enthusiastic about their products on sale. This brief  film was made shortly after my visit to the show and a return to the beautiful city of Lincoln.

I arrived at lunchtime, just in time to hear the end of some delightful choral singing by the All For One Choir and find my way around the two main halls via the aromatic linking hall full of folk enjoying an oven baked pizza, a treat from the smoky barbeque or one of the delights for sale at Nottingham's own JTBeedham's stand. I had a chance to speak for a few minutes with my friend Johnny Pusztai and to take a few pictures of his team before the inevitable queue built up at his stand. The long hot sausage cob with onions was super!



Their were around 150 stands at the show so finding time to speak to everyone was pretty much impossible but I did manage to sample a little wine at Abbey Vineyards and say a quick 'hello' to my acting friend Natalia at their busy stand. Later on I heard all about an enterprising new beer brewery and tasted two light beers (American hops) at Greg's Brewery and met the very enthusiastic owner and former chef, Greg. I preferred beer A as it was a nice balance of fruit and hops. It reminded me of many a continental beer along the lines of the popular Dutch beers/lagers.


Looking around I was naturally attracted to the meat based stands such as Mountains Boston Sausage - Purveyors of Fine Foods and  as Tom Barker Bowles from The Mail on Sunday once said - they do make a damn good breakfast sausage. Check out the company's website at www.bostonsausage.co.uk.


Not only do they do fine sausages but they are celebrated for their gluten free products, Scotch beef, English pork, English lamb and English poultry and their delicious bacon and prize winning gammon. Additionally you can shop in store and online for cooked meats and pies, BBQ packs, hampers and selection boxes and a gourmet range is also available. All their products are delivered fresh and the delivery is temperature controlled. It was a pleasure to briefly meet two of the friendly staff on their stand yesterday and the sausage roll I purchased was yummy.

Modens [gold ward winning] Lincolnshire Plum Bread was selling like - well like - juicy plum bread ought to sell. The queue at the stand was two deep! These Lincolnshire folk certainly know a good food thing when they try it and buy it! The original recipe for the plum bread was developed in 1936 in the beautiful rural Lincolnshire town of Spilsby. Modens, www.modens.co.uk, say that the recipe has changed very little since 1936 and it is a very popular Lincolnshire delicacy, delicious with a spread of pure butter and your favourite cheese.


Cote Hill Farm www.cotehill.com  tempted the visitors with their sumptuous display of soft cheeses including Cote Hill Yellow - a mild cheese with a subtle twang, Cote Hill Red - a firm Alpine style cheese with a nutty taste and matured in a semi permeable membrane. The punters were keen to sample their new cheese the Cote Hill Reserve - a washed rind cheese, described by Cote Hill as elegant and complex with a depth of flavour. The cheese is washed in a local beer by Tom Woods. Finally there was the Cote Hill Blue. Even reading the promo leaflet  quote by Tom Bowles of the Mail On Sunday about this cheese had my mouth watering - this blue cheese has a beautiful creaminess the sort that envelops the entire mouth in a sumptuous embrace that gently subsides to leave a slightly bitter kick and a buttery sweetness that lingers for minutes to come.



Uncle Henry's Heart of Good Food were doing a good trade and I picked up one of their leaflets for their Christmas Meats and Produce all of which seemed very good value and great quality. Uncle Henry's are based at Grayingham Grange Farm at Grayingham near Gainsborough. See the website www.unclehenrys.co.uk or visit them on Facebook. For those who follow Twitter they have a presence at @unclehenryslinc.

Woodlands Farm Organic Home Delivery are definitely worth a look in as they offer free delivery within Lincolnshire, Rutland, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire and more importantly, were the winners of the Green Business Award in the RSPB Stepping Up For Nature Awards. See their site at www.woodlandsfarm.co.uk. One of the guys on the stand ( friendly marketing chap Karl McGrory) told me that Woodlands produce is farmed organically and bio dynamically working with nature to produce wholesome, nutritious food in a method which cares for the natural world. Karl has recently joined Woodlands and is passionate about local food. He is a keen grower and a former chef in a Michelin starred restaurant and a dedicated Woodlands customer. They are based at Kirton in Lincolnshire.




                                                         Rose Cottage pies to die for!!!


Ancaster Butchers of Ancaster, Grantham had a lovely tempting stand and they are a small, {Gold Award Winning} family butchers that source 90% of their meat within a radius of fifteen miles from their shop. I learnt that their wholesaler, I.G. Topps buys all of his meat from the field, not from the market which means less travelling stress  for the animals. Their beef is slaughtered at twenty to twenty two months old and the bread is either a French Limousin Cross or Lincoln Red. After slaughter I G Topps will hang the meat for two weeks before Ancaster Butchers can have it in the shop and all the beef that they buy can be traced back to the field using the beef traceability method. The lamb they use is a   Suffolk breed and the breed of pig is Large Whites. For further detail see their website at www.ancasterbutchers.co.uk.

As you might expect from a foodie county with links (or is that lincs?) to the east coast there was evidence of the current fishing industry among the exhibitors including Chapmans Fishcakes who offer a great variety, tradition and modern in the world of fishcakes and fish based products including smoked haddock and bacon fishcakes and Thai style fishcakes to the traditional fish and parsley. They utilise all the best that Grimsby can offer in fresh fish and shellfish and use Piper Maris potatoes in the fishcake mix. From its heyday as a fishing port Grimsby has now reinvented itself as the food capital of Europe.


I spent a good few hours enjoying this fabulous promotion of the finest Lincolnshire can offer in food and gifts and I would certainly recommend a visit next year. All of the exhibitors can be found at this LINK and thank you to the promoters for inviting me along this year on the back of the food and drink event at Clumber Park earlier this year. Especial thanks to the lovely couple, Josie and Robin for driving a stranger (me) back to Lincoln. It would have been a long long walk! I hope that you both have a fabulous Christmas and that the show was a great success for you all at the Lincolnshire Show ground! Lincolnshire certainly knows and excels in its food and drink!

Phil Lowe


                                                                  Lincoln Cathedral.


1 comment:

Christopher Frost said...

Well with all those tastings, you won't need to do any cooking tonight!

Glad you had a good time in Lincoln. A great little town