Whats Good About The County You Are From?

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hookit

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Yorkshire of course is the best county and I do not think anyone can disagree we have every thing here. Good beer and Good food.
The dales are breath taking, Whitby is where the first Dracula Story was written. York has a good race course and a fantastic walled city with a Cathedral and Marching Roman soldiers.
We have fishing that many from other counties come to enjoy because they have no real fishing. Bradford top curry land, Leeds great market town and Rhinos, Wakefield the Chantry Bridge.

From Great British Kitchens web site

Yorkshire was so big that it was divided into three Ridings, the word 'Riding' meaning 'a third'. In 1974 some pieces were chopped off with local government re-organisation and although some parts are back together again it is still not the massive historic County it once was. I have to be careful what I say about Yorkshire folk as, although a southerner myself, my in-laws all came from there. It is definitely regarded as God's own County, but being so big and with such a wide diversity of terrain there is a great variety of food and tradition. There are moors, dales, lush valleys, coastline, industrial cities such as Leeds and Bradford, historic places like York, villages and small market towns. The monasteries such as Fountains Abbey and Riveaux thrived there in rich, sheltered valleys before the reformation, when the woollen industry was at its peak. The North Sea provided an abundance of fish and many might say that Yorkshire's greatest contribution to traditional British food is fish and chips. The verdant dairy pastures supported cows that provided milk for Wensleydale cheese and for the industrial cities, making necessary the production of cheap, wholesome food.

Let's look at the Moors and Dales first. Anyone who has read any of the works of the Bronte sisters will know of the wild, bleak countryside to be found around Howarth, where they lived in their father's parsonage. It is sheep country and mutton was often substituted in what would traditionally be a beef dish, for example sausages, stews and pies. Sheep's milk was once made into cheese. Pigs were also raised and bacon was sometimes added to mutton dishes. Suet pastry was frequently used to make a cover for a casseroled dish, ideal for eating on a cold winter's day. Sides of cured bacon were suspended from the kitchen rafters and left to dry for up to three months. The large farmhouse range with its open fire meant that cauldrons and kettles were suspended over the hearth, whilst a flat bakestone beside the fire could be used for oatcakes and variations on drop scones and crumpets. Oats were grown all over the north and high areas of Britain but the oatcakes were made in a special way in the Yorkshire Dales. They are sometimes known as 'haver (or havver) bread', or as 'clapbread', and were originally made from fermented oatmeal and milk. It was long, hard work to prepare them and took the best part of the day. Therefore a large quantity would be made at one time, some rolled very thin to be cooked on the bakestone, others made into larger, thicker cakes. The thin, floppy ones, about the size of a dinner plate were draped over wooden racks, known as 'flakes' which were hung from the rafters over the kitchen fire. Such a scene is described in Wuthering Heights. The farmhouse fire also heated a brick oven that was used for baking bread, cakes and pastries. Today's oatcakes may be quite small and are sometimes made from very coarse oatmeal.

Pigs were raised all over Yorkshire and every part of the carcass found its way into the region's cookery. The dough cake is a variation on the Wiltshire Lardy Cake and uses lard although it is not rolled and folded in the same way. Of course pork pies must also get a mention, the nicest are home-made if you care to try - hot water crust pastry is not really all that difficult to make. York hams are famous all over the world. They have been made for hundreds of years and tradition has it that the builders of York Minster originally smoked them over oak shavings left, a nice thought even if it is only a story. However they have a very good flavour and, coming from very big pigs, they are large and long in appearance and traditionally eaten at Christmas. They are dry salted, smoked, then hung in an airy place to dry out. An old recipe advises "When dry it may be packed in a close chest with dry oak sawdust. If very large, the hams will not be in perfection in less than three months time."

Another dish associated with the winter months is Yorkshire Parkin, which is like a heavier, darker gingerbread made with oatmeal and black treacle. Again the dish developed because of the plentiful supply of oats and the farmhouse oven was ideal for baking Parkin once it had cooled slightly after the bread had been made. There are many variations on the recipe and it is traditionally eaten around the bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night (5th November).

Milk was plentiful in the lowlands and one way of using it was Yorkshire Curd Tart, a sort of early cheesecake that can be made small or large, although many bought these days are a mere shadow of their former selves. Of course one of the main uses for milk was the famous Wensleydale cheese, still made by traditional methods at the factory in Hawes. The story is that the original recipe was brought over by monks after the Norman Conquest and was produced in Yorkshire's monasteries, especially by the Cistercians at Jervaulx Abbey. At first ewe's milk was used which apparently tasted like a French Roquefort, but later the white variety was made using cow's milk. After the dissolution of the monasteries Yorkshire farmers' wives carried on cheesemaking. Nowadays Wensleydale is usually white in colour, small in size and with a flaky texture. It is traditionally eaten with apple pie and there is an old rhyme that goes:

An apple pie without cheese
Is like a kiss without a squeeze.

Among wild fruit and vegetables mention should be made of bilberries, which grow locally. They are sometimes called blaeberrries or blueberries and are found on the moors throughout the late summer. Picking them is a backbreaking job because they grow on little bushes close to the ground, often covered with heather, and have to be picked individually. However all the hard work is worth it because they make excellent pies, sometimes mixed with apples, and are also good in crumbles, for filling pancakes or just on their own with sugar and cream. Bilberry pies were once traditionally served at funeral teas in the area. Another 'freebie' is bistort, or Polygonum Bistorta, to give it its proper name. It is sometimes also called Passion Dock or Easter Ledges and is found growing on hilly pastures in the Yorkshire Dales. It is used to make dock pudding, a mixture of boiled leaves and oatmeal or barley, combined with beaten egg, and either eaten hot, or cooled, sliced and then cooked in bacon fat. There are many variations on the recipe and even an annual Dock Pudding World Championship!

The moors are also home to some of the finest game in the country, including grouse, partridge, pheasant, hare and deer, so dishes such as jugged hare, game pies, pates and sausages abound.

Many of us have a sweet tooth but people in the north of England seem to be particularly partial to sugary things. Perhaps it has something to do with providing extra calories to keep out the cold. Whatever the reason there are an extraordinary number of very fine teashops throughout Yorkshire where you can have delicious toasted buttered teacakes (like large flat fruit buns), or cakes, with your morning coffee or luscious cream cakes with afternoon tea. Although brandy snaps are found all over the country the East Riding claims to have invented them. They can be filled with whipped cream, although I prefer them as they come, and can be stored for several days in an airtight container. They go well with ice cream and light mousse-like dishes as well as being suitable for afternoon tea.

Rich fruit cakes appear in all shapes and guises including the delightfully named Old Peculiar Cake mixed with Theakston's Old Peculiar Ale. Sometimes they are named after their place of origin, such as Ilkley, Ripon and Batley, or they may be descriptive of their suggested powers such as 'climb a mountain cake'. All kinds of fruit loaves have their part to play and, if you are staying in Yorkshire, then just before bedtime you are likely to be offered a cup of tea or other hot drink with still more cake or biscuits to see you safely through the night! You may well also be offered high tea as an evening meal. This consists of a cooked main course followed by bread and butter, cake and tea. (See my article on Taking Tea). And still talking about sweet things we must mention Harrogate Toffee and of course Pontefract Cakes, not cakes at all but small flat disks of liquorice - delicious, but don't eat too many at a time as liquorice can be rather laxative!

Of course I could not write about Yorkshire without mentioning Fish and Chips. Although they are found nationwide they are particularly good in this County and are traditionally cooked in beef dripping instead of oil, dreadful for the arteries but they give a superb flavour. A good fish fryer will argue that if the fat is at the right temperature the batter sets immediately, sealing the fish (haddock is a favourite in this County), and preventing the fat from soaking in. If it is well drained after cooking it should not (in theory) contain large amounts of fat. Batter recipes are usually carefully guarded secrets even if the fryers say they are not. Fish and chips are often served with 'mushy peas'. The most famous shop and restaurant of them all is Harry Ramsden's of Guisley, near Bradford although competitions sometimes produce champions who are part of much smaller businesses. See my article on fish and chips for more information.

Have I saved the best till last? Many people will think so and would argue that it is the County's best-known dish. I am, of course referring to Yorkshire Pudding. Made from a batter of plain flour, eggs and milk, or milk and water, it was originally cooked beneath the meat so that it absorbed all the juices and dripping in the days when meat was suspended from a jack in front of an open fire. Nowadays it is cooked with the meat inside the oven. Although in the rest of the country we associate it with roast beef, in Yorkshire it is served with all kinds of roast meat and is frequently eaten as a first course before the roast is served. This is a crafty wheeze to take the edge off the appetite before the more expensive meat is brought to table. Traditionally it should be made as one large pudding but nowadays you may find small ones baked in patty tins, sometimes called 'popovers'. They tend to be crisper with less soft centre than the large ones, but if well risen they present a very good hole in the centre to hold gravy.

In pubs and restaurants you may find huge Yorkshire puddings the size of a dinner plate and risen to a height of five or six inches then filled with such things as beef stew, savoury mince or sausages and gravy. Cooks argue about whether the batter should be left to stand after making or be used straight away. One thing is certain the fat in the tin should be smoking hot before the batter is poured in. Yorkshire people will claim that they are the only ones who know how to make Yorkshire pudding properly. Mine aren't bad, especially when I am making them quickly just for the family, but please will someone tell me why they are never as good when we have guests and I want them to be at their best?

These are the historic dishes Yorkshire has produced, but places with large immigrant communities like the Asians in Bradford are providing a whole new range of exciting foods, which are set to become part of the face and fare of the County.
 

fishlass

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If you LOOK on the same website, it gives details for all counties.
Do you want everyone to cut and paste, as you have?
Seems rather pointless.
 

mouse77

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Staffordshire has to be the best county..

We have everything above (except one), but we have better fishing.



One thing we dont have is an "Hookit"....i rest my case m'lord[:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
 

midge99

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There is only one GODS country, beware of cheep imitations from wannabees[:p]
 

hookit

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Not at all Fishlass, it was just to set the scene I was hoping others would tell us about their county and what they like about it. But alass I was expecting far to much. Even maybe what local food they enjoy ect.
 

mickthechippy

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KENT
Englands bulwark, the garden county,
anybody who wants to conquer England has to get through us first, even willie the conq bypassed us and landed in sussex, went round kicked all the rest of the countrys arse and then asked us nicely,
thats why we have the motto INVICTA=unconquered

we produce the finest native fruit, apples, pears etc
the tastiest vegetables you ever eat

got the buisiest port in the land,
the weald for walking along with some of the finest cliff/shore walks

The stour and the Medway, top river venues, the Eastern channel and the thames estuary for sea fishing and a multitude of lakes both natural and commercial

I could go on and on but there is no argument, this is the original Garden of eden and the gods Know it [;)][:D][:D]
 

nico12

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Spot on fishlass...

Quality response.

This is down there with ' what bread?' & ' your favourite fabric'

cant believe im wasting font on this...
 

Godber

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KENT
Englands bulwark, the garden county,
anybody who wants to conquer England has to get through us first, even willie the conq bypassed us and landed in sussex, went round kicked all the rest of the countrys arse and then asked us nicely,
thats why we have the motto INVICTA=unconquered

we produce the finest native fruit, apples, pears etc
the tastiest vegetables you ever eat

got the buisiest port in the land,
the weald for walking along with some of the finest cliff/shore walks

The stour and the Medway, top river venues, the Eastern channel and the thames estuary for sea fishing and a multitude of lakes both natural and commercial

I could go on and on but there is no argument, this is the original Garden of eden and the gods Know it

Unfortunately Mick you have also got RAF Manston, not quite the @rsehole of Britain but if you climbed up the drill tower you can see it quite clearly[;)]
 
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Sparhawk

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Originally posted by fishlass

If you LOOK on the same website, it gives details for all counties.
Do you want everyone to cut and paste, as you have?
Seems rather pointless.

I just LOVE fridays [:D][:D][:D]
 

mickthechippy

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Now you wouldnt be talking of all the Ilse of thanet, would you Godber?
we dont count that bit!
 

pondlife

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Not sure about Yorkshire Hookit.... I have been there, and more than once.... My wifes family are originally from the Guisely / Leeds area....

There seems to be more folk from 'oop north living down here in Sussex by the Sea than in Yorkshire so if it's so good .... Why?????? [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
 

hookit

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pondlife
Yeh Right of course there are.

I am not interested in knocking where people are from simply why you enjoy or do not enjoy where you live and why?

Bloody hell this is not rocket science.
 
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zhorian

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I've lived in .. worcestershire, staffordshire, south glamorgan, herefordshire, kent, sussex and cambridgeshire .... I liked 'em all for one reason or another ... but with arthritis and advancing age cambridgeshire and the fens suits me fine ... particularly for the fishing ....
 
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well here goes.....wales is wonderfull as we have the gower peninsula,snowdonia national park,cockles and laverbread,the Royal Welsh show....and the millenium stadium which was built with a sliding roof so on a sunny day the roof is opened so god can watch his boys playing rugby[:D][:D][:D][:D][:D].


folicle.
(waiting for the fall out)
 
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