Suffolk Show 2013: Food producers showcase their culinary delights

Suffolk Show 2013 Day one
Local exhibitors inside the Food Hall
Simon Morrison and Brian Lucas of

Suffolk Show 2013 Day one Local exhibitors inside the Food Hall Simon Morrison and Brian Lucas of Cheese and Pie Man of Dedham - Credit: Archant

East Anglian food retailers and stalls are hoping for a bumper Suffolk Show despite the poor weather – and are keen to emphasise their local flavours.

In Eat Street and the main food hall, sponsored by Suffolk brewing giants Greene King and Adnams respectively, traders were enjoying a growth of interest in produce from the area.

Apples were a key flavour in Eat Street with both Boxford-based Copella and Aspall Cyder stalls enjoying a busy couple of days.

Hugh Williams from Copella said: “Our local heritage is vital. People like to know where the apples come from and where the product is made.

“There’s also the question of food miles which is increasingly important today.”

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At the Elveden Farms stall there was a similar story. And recent food scares have clearly given a new boost to locally-sourced meat and game.

Scott Taylor said: “Despite the recession we have seen our business expand. There is clearly much more interest in where the food comes from.

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“Customers feel it is important to know that the deer was stalked on the estate and that the beef is from Dexter cattle on the estate.

“There is the issue of food miles – but also after the recent controversies people like to know what is in their food and exactly where it has come from.”

Nathan Sloane from Aspall Cyder said the connection with its customers was very important.

“We’ve introduced our new product, Harry Sparrow, which is named after one of our cider makers who worked for us for many years.

“We had some people who said he had been a relation of theirs – it’s always good to get a connection like that,” he said.

At the main food hall, stalls selling all types of local food were busy from first thing in the morning – selling to those who wanted a quick snack on the go and those who wanted to take something special home at the end of the day.

Emma Hibbert from main sponsors Adnams said it was not just the short distance the food had travelled that was important – the link with communities was also a factor in the success of Suffolk businesses.

She said: “Over the last few years there really has been a revolution in food with people taking a much greater interest in its production.

“So far as we are concerned, the link with Suffolk and the region generally is very important to us.

“All our beer is made from Suffolk barley, malted in the area, but we are now preparing a special beer to mark Benjamin Britten’s centenary.

“That will be an all-Suffolk creation using Suffolk hops as well – Suffolk is not a great hop-growing area but we have sourced them from the county.”

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