10 Suffolk foodie delights to rival the ‘Birmingham Balti’

The Birmingham Balti is set to be protected by the EU.

The Birmingham Balti is set to be protected by the EU.

The city of Birmingham is set to win its battle of the balti by being officially recognised as the home of the much-loved dish, but what about Suffolk’s culinary delights?

The Newmarket Sausage Association has been granted PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status un

The Newmarket Sausage Association has been granted PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status under the EU Protected Food Name scheme. Pictured is owner of Musks Newmarket Sausage Chris Sheen (left) with son Ed Sheen.

The balti is soon to be added to the EU Protected Food Name scheme which highlights and protects foods and stops them from being copied, meaning the humble Brummie curry will soon rank alongside Champagne, Parmesan Cheese and Cornish pasties.

Suffolk’s only entry on the list is the Newmarket Sausage, which was awarded the designation in 2012 and must have a meat content of at least 70 per cent and be made of shoulder or belly meat.

While none of the below are likely to be added to the protected list, there is a wealth of food and drink on offer in the county just waiting to be discovered.

Suffolk Mud Cider and Horseradish Mustard by Essfoods of Rendlesham

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Aiming for a superior taste, Suffolk Mud is bringing a contemporary edge to the art of condiment making, a fine arable tradition in East Anglia. A Great Taste Award winner, this excellent accompaniment to pork is a spiky blend of three local flavours; great cider, earthy horseradish and wholegrain mustard.

Stokes Suffolk Pickle by Essfoods of Rendlesham

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Just right for a local sandwich of crusty bloomer, good cheese and golden dairy butter, this sticky, tangy, fruity relish hits the spot, rich with molasses, pickled vegetables and deep spices. Combining the best of old and new, the contemporary packaging and stylish branding match this reworked retro style savoury preserve.

Simon Clay of the Suffolk Larder at Friston.

Simon Clay of the Suffolk Larder at Friston. - Credit: Archant

Pure Suffolk Honey by Suffolk Larder, Friston

A perfect showcase for the most natural foodstuff we produce, artist Simon Clay bottles local mellifluous finest into his limited edition hand-painted flagons, the perfect addition to a well laid breakfast table and any slice of toasted Suffolk trencher.

Gunners Daughter Ale by Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds

An independent freehouse-brasserie-B&B in the centre of Suffolk’s cathedral town, Old Cannon is perhaps the only brew pub in the county where you can see the brewing whilst you sit there supping the results. Gunners Daughter is made with East Anglian malted barley, their special house yeast and carefully chosen hops to give its distinctive character, a balance of strength (at 5.5% abv) and complexity, so good it goes in their chutney and sausages too.

Brown Bread Dairy Ice by Criterion ices

The Suffolk luxury ice cream maker is keeping this quirky recipe alive. From their Manor Farm Creamery at Thurston, Criterions parent companies first churned nearly a century ago in 1920 and proudly call their products fresh cream dairy ice to emphasise the natural ingredients, in this case it is caramelised brown breadcrumbs scattered through their regular vanilla, infused with a touch of rum.

Rick Sheepshanks from Essfoods chatting to customers

Rick Sheepshanks from Essfoods chatting to customers

Powters Pork and Ale sausages

Along with the patented Newmarket banger, Greene King’s premium Abbot Ale is the excellent flavouring in this savoury mix alongside prime Suffolk pork cuts, proper rusk, fresh spices and real skins. Four generations of Powters have run the well-known Newmarket butchers and sausagemakers over some 125 years and the trademark rich peppery flavour of their fine ‘bangers’ have earnt them a loyal following.

St Peters Suffolk Gold beer

Using their own borehole water next to the Elizabethan Hall at the centre of the brewery, as well as locally malted barley and fine English hops, St Peters has become and iconic brand around the world, not just for their signature oval bottles but also their fine and interesting brews. Not just appropriate because of its supreme quality, Suffolk Gold’s name is inspired by the local First Gold hops infused within to give its distinctive long-lasting hoppy freshness as well as a full malt body.

Smoked Eel from Pinneys of Orford

A two-star Gold Great Taste Award, Pinneys smoked eel is a delicious conundrum. Some mysterious alchemy in the smokehouse over smouldering oak logs takes what is generally considered rather mundane raw fish and transforms it into one of the finest foodstuffs imaginable, up there with the finest smoked salmon as an hors d’oeuvre to start a dinner party. Fortunately it is very rich as its high price reflects the rarity of eel stocks in our local rivers.

Suffolk Gold beer

Suffolk Gold beer - Credit: Archant

Black Suffolk Ham by Emmetts of Peasenhall

A Rick Stein food hero, Mark Thomas sources all the pork for his famed hams from four local Suffolk farms. His closely guarded secret recipe includes Old Growler stout, treacle and molasses. In total, it takes more than 10 weeks to cure, sweet pickle and smoke these gilded piggy jewels. Lavender smoked, vintage velvet port cured and cider pickled are amongst other indulgent variations seasonally available.

Smoked Shipcord Cheese by Rodwell Farm Dairy

A fairly recent addition to the East Anglian cheese scene, the Richards family started making farmyard cheeses in late 2006, and their unpasteurised hard cheeses, the close textured Shipcord and crumbly Hawkston get great flavour from the verdant river meadow pasture as well as their names. The longer-matured Shipcord is also oak smoked for an even longer taste for cheese-lovers.

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