Cumbria and the Lake District are famous for many things; the stunning scenery, Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth and bagging Wainwrights, but it is also home to some local culinary delights. From award-winning restaurants, locally brewed beers, Lakeland lamb and other foods which have been keeping us well-fed since the 19th century.
Here are our top 5 tastiest local treats
In 2011 the trusty ‘traditional’ Cumberland Sausage was given Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, meaning that it can’t be produced anywhere outside of our region and still retain this ‘trade marked’ name.
The Cumberland Sausage is long compared to a normal sausage and is sold rolled up in a coil. Produced using only the best cuts of pork the meat is chopped rather than minced to give it a chunkier texture with a variety of spices and herbs added for seasoning. If you like a hearty, satisfying sausage then this one is definitely for you!
If you have never tried Grasmere Gingerbread then you are in for a treat, it’s nothing like the traditional gingerbread cake that you might be used to. It has a very distinctive and powerful ginger flavour packed into a shortbread type consistency. Amazingly it has been made in the same tiny building in Grasmere, once the village school, since the 1850’s and to exactly the same recipe created by Sarah Nelson in 1815. Thankfully you can now buy Grasmere Gingerbread online but we are only a short drive away if you need an excuse to visit, the warm and comforting aroma within their shop is well worth experiencing.
Kendal Mint Cake
Possibly one of the most famous foods to come out of the Lake District, production and consumption of this super sweet peppermint flavoured confectionery is still going strong from its home in Kendal. Famously Sir Edmund Hilary and Sirdar Tensing ate mint cake while they admired the view below from Everest.
According to history books mint cake was created by accident when a Kendal confectioner took his eye off the pan he was supposed to be making glacier mints in, resulting in a cloudier liquid which gives us the yummy mint cake we know and love today.
Who doesn’t like a drop of Damson Gin sat relaxing after a hard day in the hills? The Lyth and Winster Valleys, in-between Kendal and Windermere (not far from us) are famed for their Westmorland Damson orchards. A member of the plum family, damsons are grown in other parts of the country, but the unique flavour of the smaller Westmorland Damson is said to be the best there is and is used in both Damson Gin and Damson Jam.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Synonymous with Cartmel, a small village in the South Lakes area of Cumbria, Cartmel Village Shop proudly claim to be the ‘home of sticky toffee’. A family owned company they have been making Sticky Toffee Pudding to their traditional and secret recipe for the last 25 years.
It is unclear exactly where this pudding was first discovered, but the more favoured story is that it was first served as a dessert at the exclusive Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel, on the shores of Ullswater, Cumbria, in 1960. We have been loving this amazing steamed, sponge cake ever since. Filled with finely chopped dates or prunes, drenched in a toffee sauce and often served with lashings of vanilla custard or ice-cream, what’s not to like?
Yet another great excuse to come and visit us in the lovely Lake District, you definitely won’t go hungry!