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Thousands get a taste of Suffolk at the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

Visitors enjoying a presentation

Visitors enjoying a presentation

Thousands of hungry visitors flocked to the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival this weekend, eager to sample some of the delicious treats on offer.

Dad Andrew shows Lilia, 10yrs, how to press seeds to make Rape oilDad Andrew shows Lilia, 10yrs, how to press seeds to make Rape oil

The 12th annual event, at Snape Maltings, kickstarts a fortnight of fringe events around the seaside town.

More than 100 food and drink producers from Suffolk set up stalls at the festival alongside cookery demonstrations on two stages from local and international chefs.

All manner fine food was on offer - from cheese, bread, hams and meats to honey, ice cream and cakes, with plenty of entertainment to keep the whole family smiling including live music and .

Lady Cranbrook, the festival’s president, said the event showcased some of the best produce in the county.

Children learning to make pizza under the watchful eye of Vicki ParryChildren learning to make pizza under the watchful eye of Vicki Parry

“It’s a flagship for local food but also a flagship for Suffolk,” she said.

“The festival has undoubtedly put Suffolk on the map for food.”

Lady Cranbrook said event’s like the weekend’s festivals were a great way of letting people know about the great food on offer in the county.

She said: “There is an enormous future in local food and the more that events like the Aldeburgh Food Festival can do to heighten people’s awareness of local food and what a pleasure it is to eat and drink the better.”

Oils of many sorts produced by Casa L'OliOils of many sorts produced by Casa L'Oli

As well as showcasing local food and drink, the festival also celebrated world cuisine, hosting a number of international chefs including Tim Siadata, Cyrus Todiwala, Thuy Pham, Lope Ariyo and Jordan Bourke.

New to this year’s festival were the Adnams Drinks Experience - including taste tasting, talks and demonstrations - and the Wild Suffolk area which explored the relationship between what we serve on the dinner table and the land where it comes from.

The food and drink industry plays a vital role in Suffolk’s economy, with an estimated £3.2bn value to Norfolk and Suffolk according to the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

The East of England contributes 11% of the country’s agricultural output with around 80,000 people employed in the industry.

Rosie,6yrs, and Alex,5yrs enjoyed riding on the toy tractors.Rosie,6yrs, and Alex,5yrs enjoyed riding on the toy tractors.

A report following 2016’s event estimated the food and drink festival added around £1.6million to the county’s economy with more than two thirds of visitors making a special trip to Suffolk to attend.

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