FEATURE: Resorting to tradition


Living solely from local food did present some challenges in the kitchen. Essentially, you are reduced to eating what would have been a very traditional diet and to deal with this I went back to a lot of older, traditional ingredients and recipes.

I rediscovered the joys of beef dripping as a part-replacement for butter. The breakfast of boiled eggs with toasted dripping soldiers on the first morning was the tastiest breakfast I’ve had all year.

Cooking with natural suet provides great flavour and texture, for both savoury and sweet. A steamed suet venison pudding is a thing of culinary beauty – and that old school dinner favourite, the jam roly poly pudding, was a real trip down memory lane.

The ‘health police’ frightened us off animal fats back in the 1980s, but there is much recent evidence to suggest they are not the enemy we were led to believe. There’s also no getting away from the fact that they taste better. Have you had roast potatoes done in real lard recently? Go on, have some and remind yourself what you’ve been missing.

Eating a more locally produced diet also means you are living more seasonally. Your food is fresher, tastier and healthier. And when food is in season, it is more abundant and, as a result, cheaper.

Fresher, tastier, healthier, cheaper – the benefits just keep stacking up. There are lots of great foods we get from the rest of the world, but so much of our diet could be made better by asking the three simple words: Is it local?