From Too Many Chefs -

July 30, 2008
Top Ten Food Related Things I Look Forward to Enjoying in Sussex

1) Manx kippers. I'm hoping to buy a lot more food locally once we are living in rural England but as a treat (and it is a fantastic treat) we will occasionally be ordering a box of smoked fish from the Isle of Man.

2) Local beer.

3) Local organic meat and vegetables.

4) Pubs. Gastropubs. Independently-owned-pubs-with-local-ales. Pubs with outdoor play areas where you can keep an eye on the kids while you enjoy a warm, flat beer. (Okay, the latter is going to take some getting used to - I might have to stick to cold cider initially.)

5) Great Cheddar and Stilton.

6) The Borough Market (which I have not yet visited, by the way).

7) Cheap beanz.

8) Clotted cream, cottage cheese and cream cheese.

9) The space to grow my own vegetables.

10) Sausages and bacon.

What have I missed? Those of you who love England and its much maligned cuisine: what do you love about eating in England?

Posted by Meg in Sussex at July 30, 2008 7:59 AM

Cheese: we have more than just Cheddar and Stilton, amazing though they are. Blue Shropshire may find favour with Stilton fans. Lincolnshire Poacher is rather nice, too. The people who make it have a stall at the East Midlands regional market in Nottingham every month.

I'll reinforce the local meat and vegetables. Although the majority of the population eat mediocre produce from the supermarket, if you look around a little you can get some really good stuff. In season, we have some rather nice game, too. The climate is pretty good for a wide variety of vegetables to grow - my Dad's been growing vast quantities of potatoes, leeks, onions, carrots, peas and beetroot for decades and I'm starting to follow in his footsteps.

The winter weather is ideal for experimenting with stews and soups. We also have a good climate for growing many vegetables.

And of course, fish and chips. Get to know a good fish and chip shop either near you or, better yet, by the coast where the fish can be extra fresh and, hopefully, sustainably caught.

Posted by MaW on July 30, 2008 at 5:54 AM

Ooh, I forgot about fish and chips! Thanks for that - will have to try to find some in Brighton when we visit!

Posted by meg in Paris on July 30, 2008 at 6:04 AM

What about steak and kidney pie (or pudding)? Being in Sussex, you ought to try some of the local white wine...

Posted by Frog Queen on July 30, 2008 at 7:17 AM

When we go I adore the wood pigeon, venison, broad beans, Scottish smoked salmon, oatcakes, butties from m&s, elderflower cordial, jersey potatoes, marie rose sauce, the sausages, sticky toffee pudding (when made in house and well), dover sole.

Posted by jo on July 30, 2008 at 7:18 AM

chowders! seafood chowders served in the pubs when it's rainy outside...

Posted by theCook on July 30, 2008 at 8:02 AM

mmmm... clotted cream

Posted by paul on July 30, 2008 at 8:19 AM

Ahhh, English food. What I miss the most is a good pint of beer in a pub with pack of salt and vinegar crisps. I miss a good cornish pasty too, and ohh jacket potatoes... and Gosh, I would die for some treacle tart and custard!

Posted by Tellou on July 30, 2008 at 10:24 AM

All the things you mentioned.

Puddings, with custard.

The incredibly cosmopolitan food available in the cities - you get great food from around the world, often at prices that make "european" restaurants look terribly expensive.

Black pudding (I like boudin noir too, but this is very different!).

Easy availability of good tea, and suitable biscuits.

ps: you don't have to drink warm ales, you can still get cold lager with bubbles in!

Posted by Rick Booth on July 30, 2008 at 4:54 PM

After reading your post and the comments, all I want to say is: Take me with you please!!!!

Posted by Dumdad on July 31, 2008 at 3:44 AM

How funny that I should come across your blog just as you're getting ready to move to my neck of the woods!

I live in Brighton, and trust me, there's loads of great food to be had in the south of England. Peas and asparagus, parsnips and aubergines, Jersey Royal potatoes, plump tomatoes, fat mackerel, tender Sussex lamb, lots of local cheeses (though you won't have a problem finding raclette cheese as well), strawberries and cream, apple crumble, and some of the best sparkling wine outside of Champagne.

Also: Borough Market is heaven - a very crowded middle-class heaven, but heaven nonetheless. :-)

Posted by Jessica on August 1, 2008 at 5:05 PM

The cheese! Also cream teas with scones, clotted cream and jam, steak and kidney pies, the strawberries, the tomatoes, English apples, asparagus, plums, lamb, beef, sausages, all the game. I could go on and on...

Posted by Helen on August 2, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Hi Meg,

I've lost all your email address (again). Can you email me as I've got some snaps to forward to you.

Posted by Dumdad on August 4, 2008 at 1:07 PM

Definitely Devon cream, scones, lamb shepherd's pie, and what about the wonderful Ploughman's Lunch plate. And some good wholemeal bread. Nothing like it. Oh, and Pimm's Cup. I buy it here in the U.S., but it's never as good as there! Looking forward to your new posts!

Posted by Carolyn T on August 9, 2008 at 11:02 PM

Walkers Crisps!!! Prawn Cocktail Flavor!!!! I was recently in Epcot in Disneyworld and in the England "country" they had Cheese and Onion flavor!! I floated with joy as I crunched their yummy goodness!!

Posted by Michelle on August 27, 2008 at 5:56 PM

Ohhh so jealous! Especially for the cheddar and stilton. And bacon. Yummmm.

Posted by Sues on August 31, 2008 at 8:51 AM

Farm shops! They have these frozen pastries now. You just thaw them in the fridge and heat them up in the morning. I know, that's sorta not the purpose of farm shops, but they're still good!

Posted by KathyF on September 7, 2008 at 2:12 PM

Hey, I live in Brighton as well and I can tell you for sure that Bardsley's off the London Road do the best fish and chips in town! Do try your chips with a side of curry sauce. MMMmmm...curry sauce.

The Brighton Food Festival will be on during September so pick a weekend to come down and get your grub on! Make sure you seek out lunch/brunch at the Real Eating Company; their deli has loads of lovely cheese from Neal's Yard Dairy. Feel free to email me if you need any further recommendations! (There are far more crappy places to eat than decent ones)

Posted by amanda on September 9, 2008 at 9:36 AM