Thursday, 21 February 2013

Cornwall - Britain's New Food Capital?

A culinary renaissance is currently taking place in Cornwall. Good news for all those foodies out there, and great news for visitors who are these days gaining even more for their money in the food stakes.

The region's vast quantity of farms, countryside and entrepreneurial folk have enabled a large amount of varied cuisine to be grown, produced and eaten throughout the country. Focusing on high quality, low quantity and expertly crafted food, the Cornish food economy has gone well beyond the cliche of Rick Stein's Padstow.

According to The Guardian, several factors over the years have contributed to Cornwall's increase in food production. EU funding has bolstered the economy; creating jobs, the infrastructure and the ability for people from outside Cornwall to 'set up shop' using techniques and ingredients unknown in the area many years ago. It is no longer a seasonal destination, as restaurants now often stay open all year round and offer interesting menus full of season cooking. The distance from the rest of the country remains an issue, but with the advent of higher sustainability and growing techniques, much less has to now be bought in from elsewhere.

Press attention also helps. With Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and small beer craft company the Harbour Brewery Company getting nationwide attention - there is a certain element of class to Cornish cooking. The Camel Valley is even renowned worldwide for high quality, luxury sparkling wine, and the trend continues to grow.

The fact is these food and drink companies are being successful in not only marketing their food, but marketing Cornwall as a destination. The luxuriousness and quality of their food is reflected in people's attitudes towards the region. It will always continue to be a struggle, but the future looks bright for South West chefs.

For more information, click on Cornwall for Foodies, which I posted a little while ago.