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Lincolnshire’s Rural Cuisine

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Lincolnshire’s Rural Cuisine

Lincolnshire, one of England’s largest counties, lacks the affluence of some of the country’s main industrial heartlands, and the tourism industries of Devon, Cornwall, and Norfolk, but it is one of our most typically English regions, with a great culinary legacy.

Lincolnshire stretches from the North Sea coast to the Wash, from the Humber estuary to the Wash. Lincoln Edge, a limestone ridge in the west of the county where the city of Lincoln is located, and the Wolds, a region of chalk hills, are the two primary upland areas in the county. The Lincoln Marshes, which stretch all the way to the Fens, have famously been the site of land reclamation and draining since the Roman era.

The region’s dry upland slopes provided good habitation grounds in prehistoric times, and the county had a healthy population long before the Romans arrived, including a prehistoric salt industry on the shore of the territory.  When the Romans invaded England, they constructed extensively in the area, including Ermine Street, which is famous as one of England’s main traditional roads. The road followed the line of Lincoln Edge and connected to another Roman roadway, Fosse Way, in the vital strategic county capital of Lincoln.

Following the Romans’ withdrawal, Lincolnshire remained a significant territory. The realm of Lindsey was founded by the Anglo-Saxons, and there was afterwards a major Danish influence. The Danes effectively created two of the county’s contemporary boroughs, Lincoln and Stamford, as well as other villages, and left their mark on the area in many ways.

During the Middle Ages, Lincolnshire’s numerous abbeys, cathedrals, and monasteries underlined the county’s prosperity, which was derived from both the lucrative trade in wool and the expansion of agriculture. It was this agricultural heritage, expanded by the ongoing drainage of the fens, that enabled Lincolnshire to prosper despite being located outside the main transport network during the transformative years of the Industrial Revolution.

At that time, the county focused on its agricultural and processing industries and that proved to be a successful strategy. Indeed, to this date, Lincolnshire remains one of England’s leading agricultural areas. The county produces as much as a fifth of England’s sugar beet, more than 10% of its potato crop and almost a third of our most popular field vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, peas, broccoli, kale and onions.

Modern Lincolnshire is known for its fresh vegetables, farmers’ markets, food festivals, and farm stores, and the county’s rich and varied culinary traditions have resulted in some delectable and memorable food products. Here are some of the popular foods most closely associated with the county. ere Here i

The Lincolnshire Sausage

The Lincolnshire sausage, arguably the most renowned food product to come out of Lincoln, is a distinctive local delicacy cooked with the herb sage, which gives it a more delicate and aromatic flavour than many other regional English sausages.

Lincolnshire Sausages are great for breakfast or a sausage sandwich, but their substantial meat content also works well in casseroles and bolognaise sauces. Lincolnshire sausages are more flavourful than regular sausages and are best cooked in an oven rather than fried in a pan.

Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese

Another local speciality is the Lincolnshire Poacher, an unusual cheese made by a single cheesemaker near Alford. It’s a firm cheese that resembles a normal West Country Cheddar in texture and flavour, but with additional sweetness and overtones of nuts and fruits.

Poacher is now available in mature and smoked varieties, and it is still a popular choice for dinner tables around the county. In the county seat of Lincoln, there is even a specialised cheese society shop and café that serves a variety of Lincolnshire Poacher cuisine

Yellowbelly Cheese

Yellowbelly is one of Lincolnshire’s most distinctive food products and it has many similarities to the famed Edam made in the Netherlands. In this case, however, the usual red Edam wax covering is substituted with a bright yellow. This mild cheese has a delicate tang, and the ageing process within the yellow wax results in a delicious and subtle flavour that is widely popular. 

Stuffed Chine

This is an eye-catching dish that is created from the cured neck chine cut of pork that has been stuffed with parsley and other herbs. Herbs including lettuce leaves, nettles, marjoram, thyme, sage, and blackcurrant leaves have all been used to fill the meat and the precise combination varies.

After stuffing,  the dish is boiled or steamed before being served cold. The recipe produces alternate stripes of pork and bright green parsley when cut by hand, providing a memorable and attractive spectacle when served at dinner. 

Making this meal is a true labour of love, as it can take up to five weeks to produce. Rare breed pigs, like Gloucester Old Spot and British Lop, have traditionally been used to make this meal as their shape and fat composition makes them ideal.

Haslet

Haslet is a type of pork meatloaf originally cooked using stale white bread and ground pork, as well as sage, salt, and black pepper. It has long been a Lincolnshire specialty, made by hand slapping the batter until the air is eliminated, then shaping the finished product into ovals and baking till the exterior has caramelised. Designed to be eaten cold and sliced, it’s also delicious as part of an omelette or a sandwich, and it’s a great addition to a picnic when served cold with salad and pickles.

Plumbread

Plum bread is a traditional breakfast or teatime dish from Lincolnshire. Although it is technically a bread, it incorporates dried fruit or raisins, and some variations of the recipe exclude yeast, making it closer to a cake. This delicacy may be found at coffee shops and tea rooms all around the county, and it can also be purchased in shops and farmers markets. It’s traditionally served sliced into thick slices with butter and a slab of Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese on top, but it also goes well with jams and chutneys, and it’s a great addition to a bread pudding.

Lincolnshire Samphire

The salt marshes bordering The Wash have long been harvested for this brilliant green sea vegetable, commonly known as ‘Poor Man’s Asparagus’. It has a crisp texture and a marine flavour and is something of a delicacy, which is best prepared by cooking for a few minutes over boiling water and then serving with melted butter.

Grantham Gingerbread Biscuits

The town of Grantham is famous for its delicious gingerbread biscuits, which have been around since the 1740s. In that decade, William Egglestone maintained a coaching house in the town, which served as a rest and meal stop for travellers.

According to legend, Egglestone was making hard biscuits one day when the ingredients got jumbled up. As a consequence, he produced an unusual biscuit that was so popular that he kept making them. Grantham gingerbread has a peculiar light colour and texture, producing a buttery rusk with a hollow centre, somewhat like honeycomb, and a delectable flavour.

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