The Food and Drink of Yorkshire – Part 2

With Yorkshire being at the centre of many different food products in the country it is hardly surprising that it also has some of the nation’s top restaurants. The Black Swan at Helmsley in North Yorkshire was voted in 2015 as the nation’s top restaurant by Trip Advisor. The Michelin stared restaurant is owned by the Banks family who have been running the establishment since 2006 but have lived in the area for generations.

The Yorke Arms in its splendid surroundings

Having come from a farming background head chef Tommy Banks has skilfully sourced local produce to build the menu that sees him as the youngest holder of a Michelin star in the UK. The Yorke Arms is in an 18th century coaching house and shooting lodge in Ramsgille-in-Nidderdale. Its head chef is Frances Atkins with the restaurant being awarded a Michelin Star in 2003. Wild game such as pheasant and venison are served as well as cod from the North Sea. All of the dishes originate from locally sourced produce and its location deep in the heart of the Nidderdale Valley adds to its mystique and charm. To eat well in the county, it does not have to be an expensive experience and with the sea on its doorstep Yorkshire folk love their fish and chip shops. In 2014 the Quayside Fish and Chip shop in Whitby won the title of best independently owned fish and chip shop in the UK.

Owned by the Fusco family the fish and chips are cooked in beef dripping and the batter originates from a special family recipe. The family have been running the shop since 1963 and is part of the everyday life of Whitby. With the county becoming increasingly multi-cultural it is hardly surprising that this reflected with its cuisine. Bradford is home to large numbers who have originated from the Asian continent and in particular South India. Bradford has won the title “Curry Capital of Britain” for six years in a row. Eateries range from cafes to restaurants whilst educational establishments like Bradford College, have embraced the city’s passion by introducing departments such as the International Food Academy.

The award-winning fish and chips at the Quayside, Whitby

As well as food being popular in Yorkshire so is drink and in particular beer. The county prides itself on the quality of the breweries that are located within its boundaries. Leeds Brewery brews four permanent cask beers. There also a selection of kegged beers and bottled products and the company has a capacity of 140,000 pints per week.

The popularity of brewing is reflected by the fact that there over one hundred breweries in the county. One of the most popular beers currently is Timothy Taylors which has been brewing at Knowle Spring, Keighley since 1863. Its best-known pint is Landlord which has won the Champion Beer of Britain award on four occasions and is reputedly Madonna’s favourite beer. The beer is available in many pubs nationwide and also in a number of supermarkets. The climate of the region does not encourage the production of wine although there are one or two vineyards emerging. However, the drink that has recently grown in popularity in the county recently has been gin both in production and consumption.

Slingsby gin is produced by Spirit of Harrogate. It uses the aquifer water of Harrogate plus local ingredients such as the juniper berry to satisfy the growing thirst for gin in the country. Some of its ingredients are supplied by the tea makers Taylors of Harrogate and this is interesting as tea and coffee manufacturers have a rich history in Yorkshire.

Taylors have been making Yorkshire tea since 1886 and Tetley tea started producing in Huddersfield in 1837. Huddersfield is also the site for Coopers Coffee which produces coffee for the UK. Yorkshire’s production of food and drinks has been able to adapt as the nation’s tastes have evolved over time.