English food

5 amazing British ingredients and how to eat them

To celebrate British Food Fortnight we're singing the praises of Bramley apples, smoked salmon and more...

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5 amazing British ingredients and how to eat them

The last week in September marks the start of British Food Fortnight, which is the biggest annual and national celebration of British food and drink.

To celebrate the special fortnight (which gets underway on September 23) we've rounded up five of our favourite products which have come straight from our home grown British larder and listed some innovative ways to cook with them.

Bramley cooking apples

Legend has it that the first Bramley tree grew from pips planted by a young girl, Mary Ann Brailsford, in her garden in Southwell, Nottinghamshire in 1809. Nowadays Bramley Apples are grown in the south east, east Midlands and Northern Ireland. 

"They have a light and fluffy texture once cooked, meaning they break down easily and are perfect for sauces and crumbles," Food Writer Cate Dixon tells us. But it's not just apple crumbles the humble Bramley works its magic in. 

Try this: 

  • Treat yourself to a new take on the loveable bacon buttie by adding some cooked Bramley apples into your sandwich. 
  • Stuff your Bramley with chopped dates, figs and dried cranberries for a hearty, sweet and tasty autumnal pudding served with custard.
  • Deep fry the apple peel and top your soup with it for a crispy, sweet and alternative topping. 

 

Growers selection carrots

British carrots are now available all year round but this wasn't always the case. In years gone by the tasty veg was considered 'positively exotic' as it was thought that the carrot first came from Afghanistan sometime around the 7th Century AD, when they were originally purple. Who'd have thought!

Carrots can be used in savoury dishes like a hearty stew, a warming soup, a delicious dip and also make a tasty side to any Sunday roast. Cate thinks they're also pretty good in sweet dishes. She says, "Carrot cake is probably the best known sweet dish but it is also hugely popular in India in halva recipes or grated into cookie dough to give extra moisture."

Try this: 

  • Going meat-free? Try our pulled carrot burger. The veg has been spiralised and then coated in delicious homemade barbecue sauce. 
  • Carrots also make great rostis. We've combined ours with potatoes for a tasty side dish. 

  • The versatile veg also works wonders in smoothies. Pair it with ginger, add in some apples and blitz in your carrots. 

 

 

RApeseed oil

This home-grown oil, which is one of only two oils grown and bottled in the UK, originates from the rape flower which is characterised by the fields of yellow dotted across the UK in the late spring. Cate says, "It is often cold pressed to give a high-quality oil that, thanks to its neutral flavour, can be used in every aspect of cooking." 

You can use it in dressings, as well as in baking, frying and any other form of cooking.

 

Smoked salmon 

Our Extra Special Rich & Intense Smoked Salmon is sourced from farms in the crisp waters off Sheltand. After filleting, the salmon is cured with a perfect balance of sea salt and demerara sugar and then it's hung in traditional brick kilns and smoked over peat and cherrywood chips for 24 hours, before allowing it to mature for the perfect amount of time to develop its distinctive, smoky flavour.

Try this: 

  • For a more indulgent afternoon tea, fill your scones with a sliver of smoked salmon and a dollop of crème fraîche.
  • Add this wonderful ingredient into an eggy muffin mixture which you could have for breakfast or a snack. 
  • Salmon is the perfect ingredient to top your canapés with like these dill and lemon bites.
  • If you've got any leftovers, throw it into a carbonara pasta instead of bacon.

British beer

British beer has had somewhat of a resurgence over the past couple of years with our love for local craft ales growing. Around 50 new and different varieties hit our shelves this May including many English ales, refreshing pilsners and hoppy and session IPAs. 

But beers aren't just for drinking. 

Try this:

  • Ever heard of beertails? They're the new cocktail craze with amazing concoctions made from beer. Tomato juice, lime juice, a drop of Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco topped with beer make for a delicious take on the Bloody Mary!
  • You could also use the wonderful tipple in your batter, the next time you're making fish and chips

Feeling inspired to try some more of our great British produce? Make sure you stock up on everything you need at Asda or pop into your local store