Thursday, 20 November 2008

England North and South

The key question: do you serve the Yorkshire Pudding as a separate course before the beef or with it?

Please state which county you live in or from which county you derive your culinary style.

More conventional divisions of England place the border between the Humber or Wash and Severn or the real Watford Gap where proper custard on puddings ends. I reckon that North Staffordshire is the southouthernmost county with pudding apartheid but I welcome all comments.

How wonderful and versatile is the humble batter mix - from YP to pancakes to toad-in-the-hole - surely three recipes that can hold their own internationally. And, digressing slightly, what about the Staffordshire oatcake, that perfect accompaniment to a cooked breakfast or the thinking person's wrap when filled with bacon and chaze, duck* - honestly, that overhyped Mexican tortilla rubbish or those dreadfully grey, hard and dour Scotch oatcakes are no comparison.

*duck is the standard term of endearment in the Potteries or Five Towns (why did Arnold Bennett omit Fenton?) or Stoke-on-Trent. Chaze is the local pronunciation of cheese just as watter is water.Many would say the the best tasting oatcakes are from Hanley but the shop owners are apparently Port Vale fans** so I can't give them 10/10 :-).

** Didn't I just write about my dislike of football in the previous post? Well, call me contradictory but I support Stoke City in a let's hope they stay up in the Premier Division, I'm glad when they win sense but never in the actually watching football sense of proper supporters.
And so Port Vale are always second to Stoke City except when they are playing someone else (and as there's a couple of leagues in between them, that's most of the time now). Well, at least Port Vale aren't Manchester United....

13 comments:

James Higham said...

West Riding. We had it before.

William Gruff said...

Don't knock the hard oatcake: It's as English as Yorkshire pudding and was traditional throughout the north until the latter part of the nineteenth century; it's only associated with Sc*tland because it survived there, due to their poor economy and unproductive agriculture - which is why Scotch 'cuisine' seems to use little other than oats, fat and salt. The English invention of Railways and heavy English investment north of the border gave the Jocks a chance to eat a decent meal. Sadly they've stuck to oats, salt and fat.

In Derbyshire Staffordshire oatcakes are called Derbyshire oatcakes and Lancashire oatcakes are available locally but wherever they're from they are unbelievably delicious and ridiculously cheap (well under half the price of tortillas), and, as you observe, just the thing at breakfast time or with bacon and cheese.

Yum, yum.

William Gruff said...

PS: I'm from North Kent so expect my pudding with the beef and roast potatoes.

Gallimaufry said...

I stand corrected regarding the hard oatcake - I am surprised that it survives in Scotland because it isn't 95% sugar, although eating it with jam and marmalade is "a serving suggestion".
And why do I believe Gruff? Well read this blog, preferably after a meal as it's a brilliant appetiser:
http://meatnstout.blogspot.com/

haddock said...

I have never eaten a 'wrap' or tortilla; in England is it unreasonable to want English food ?... I was out and about in Bradford the other day ( -On-Avon that is, not the new Bradford up north ) I could buy wraps, subs, tortillas and all manner of fancy food; all this in a small English town out in the sticks of wiltshire.... what I fancied was a doorstep sandwich of fresh crusty bread, Wiltshire butter and ham, with a touch of mustard and a maybe pickled onion or four.
I went without.

Gallimaufry said...

Agreed. The British supplier has convinced the British consumer that new, spicy and different is better than traditional and good tasting. I think it's because lower quality and cheaper ingredients can be camouflaged with fancy flavours and colours to maintain or increase profits. Just think of the skills that are needed to make good bread, butcher and prepare quality meat etc.
But Yorkshire Pudding before or with the beef?

haddock said...

I have been doing some family history research, to my shame I find I am 127/128th Wiltshire ancestry and 1/128 Yorkshire !
I don't eat Yorkshire pudding before during or after roast beef.
Proper puddings are served with cream, custard jam, or all three..... not meat unless the pudding encloses steak and kidney.

Gallimaufry said...

Don't eat Yorkshire Pudding?!!
And what about black pudding (of which the queen is the Bury Pudding)?

haddock said...

nowadays a Yorkshire pudding is a bit like the yorkshireman itself ...full of puff and hot air. I liked school yorkshire pud back in the fifties.... solid lumps of filling goodness not the lightweight modern version.

CherryPie said...

My Dad and I are from Lancashire. But everyone in the family before that is from Yorkshire.

Dad ate them before, but everyone else ate them with. We also had them after with butter and sugar on, or maybe syrup!!!

Gallimaufry said...

CherryPie: To quote Gruff yum yum. It would appear that the distinction between sweet and savoury is a relatively recent thing, eg, mince pies without any mince but it's interesting how apple sauce and pork have never been separated.
haddock: You're lucky to have gone to a school with any culinary ability. My alma mater's kitchen was apparently staffed by ex-Gulag trusties who were under the impression they were making cement. We were amazed by the butchery skills that allowed every piece of gristle and fat to be trimmed off meat and put in the grey stew.

William Gruff said...

' ... read this blog, preferably after a meal as it's a brilliant appetiser:
http://meatnstout.blogspot.com/ '

I clicked on the link and was surprised to find ...

That blog is in hibernation (so I'd forgotten the URL) as my persistent chronic financial crisis prevents me from sampling the delicacies I wish to write about but you are very kind. The end of my own particular credit crunch is some time off yet although I do intend to keep the blog up.

One of my brothers had a girlfriend who lived in Hull and he was very surprised to be served Yorkshire Pudding after his lunch, with jam on it.

Gallimaufry said...

So that's someone from Hull, Cherry Pie's Yorkshire/Lancashire family and some relations of mine from Manchester who ate Yorkshire Pudding with jam (as well as before the beef like my Potteries branch). Just goes to show that Northerners and Midlanders have a highly sophisticated palate.