Best of the Harvest: Norfolk Edition
When you think of Norfolk, one of the first thoughts has got to be it’s agricultural industry. Farming families have graced these flat fields for generations and have been responsible for some of the highest quality crops and produce.
Here at Morton’s Traditional Taste, we are proud of our Norfolk roots and recognise the remarkable contribution our farmers have had to the Country. Here are some of our favourite picks from the Norfolk Harvest:
Everyone knows you can’t beat Norfolk asparagus. It’s not uncommon to drive down winding country roads to be sandwiched between rows of asparagus. It’s packed full of little goodies, such as antioxidants and nutrients, which make it a great staple for any diet, alongside being an absolutely delicious addition to almost any dinner. East Anglian soil is thought to be the perfect growing conditions for the veg, so we’d always recommend trying it when you’re in the area.
Also known as sea asparagus, Norfolk salt marshes are ideal for it’s growth. Usually best in May, it’s often served steamed with butter, alongside other traditional seaside accompaniments.
Norfolk has an abundance of wheat and grain breweries. Being a farming county, it’s hardly surprising that we have diversified the way in which we use our produce! Norfolk actually has the most microbreweries of any county, which is great for independent producers!
Norfolk Black Turkey
Well we couldn’t not mention this, could we?! One of the oldest known turkey species (and to some, the most delicious too!), the Norfolk black thrive on flat Norfolk fields. Norfolk Bronze turkeys were actually bred from the Blacks too – the great taste must run in the family!
Not only are we historical leaders in the poultry industry, but also in the game industry! Pheasants are rife throughout our little corner of England and it’s not uncommon for them to share the county roads with you, so watch out! The birds love the forests and high grass.
In the spring, Norfolk turns yellow. While many of it is rape seed, used for oil, a lot of it is also mustard. Home of Colman’s Mustard, the factory began production in the 19th Century and still operates from Carrow Road, Norwich today!
Norfolk is actually the largest grower of mint in the UK. Like mustard seeds, a lot is actually taken to the Colman’s factory for mint sauce production. In the 1970’s, hundred’s of varieties were tried and tested to find the best mint leaves for sauce production. The winner was found tucked away in a back garden in Brundall!
Sugar beet is responsible for almost half of all sugar production in the UK. Cantley of Norfolk was the first sugar beet factory in the UK and it opened it’s doors in 1912. The farming of sugar beet actually indirectly stems from Norfolk too. When Norfolk hero Napoleon blocked ships transporting sugar to France, they created an alternative to soothe their cravings – and so the industry was born!
As we move closer to Christmas, here at Morton’s, we can’t wait to use some of these incredible crops in our dishes alongside our locally famous turkey!