5 of the best – reinvented Cornish classics
Reinvented Cornish classics:
Here in Cornwall we have some food traditions worth shouting about, and with iconic foods like clotted cream and pasties more popular than ever, business is booming. But look a little further and you'll also come across some intriguingly original takes on the county's traditional foods. Here's five timeless classics, reinvented:
Cornish clotted cream
There are few things more satisfying than a good Cornish cream tea, it's undeniable. A dollop of clotted cream is quite content plopped on top of some fruity jam on a fresh, fluffy scone – but it's a great companion for loads of other foods too. Stirred into creamy pasta sauces, it can add a whole new velvety dimension, and it brings an extra bit of luxury to puddings and tarts. Apparently a little clotted cream tastes great in scrambled eggs too. To get the ideas flowing, take a look at the tempting recipes on Trewithen Dairy's website, or check out Rodda's 101 Uses and Excuses; you won't be able to resist.
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As far as we know, the Cornish are the only culture in the world to traditionally use saffron in sweet baking, which makes the county's golden-sweet saffron cakes and buns all the more special. As popular now as ever before, they make the perfect teatime treat, but are also an excellent ingredient for other sweet dishes. Head chef at the Falmouth Packet Inn, Matthew Rowe, turns Simply Cornish's saffron cake into a delightfully naughty bread and butter pudding – moist and full of spice, it uses oranges and a little Cointreau to balance the flavour of the saffron. Delicious! You could also try soaking slices of saffron cake in some beaten egg and frying, for the ultimate indulgent eggy bread.
The Cornish Pasty
Few will disagree that a genuine Cornish pasty is the real deal and nowadays, if it doesn't follow the rules, it simply isn't a Cornish pasty. However, there is a whole plethora of other pasties thought up by creative bakers for those who love something a bit different in their crimped pastry crust every now and then. If you like to spice things up a little, Rowe's are the only bakers in the county using Reggae Reggae sauce in their pasties, while Cornish Premier Pasties make a 'full English' variety, and Proper Cornish are great for that vegetarian go-to, the cheese and onion. Each bakery has their own speciality, and each Cornishman or woman undoubtedly has their favourite.
www.cornishpremierpasties.co.uk; www.rowesbakers.co.uk; www.propercornish.co.uk
To be sitting, toes in the sand, on an idyllic Cornish beach with a scoop or two of clotted cream ice cream in hand is possibly as good as it gets. Now how about swapping the clotted cream flavour for caramel and sea salt, Cornish saffron, or even Cornish blue cheese and pear? With over ninety flavours, the ice cream makers at Treleavens keep pushing the boundaries and are always coming up with something new. Their range of sorbets is equally mouthwatering, with several boozy favourites and an Earl Grey flavour that's made with tea leaves grown on Cornwall's Tregothnan Estate. Have a look at the full range on their website. www.treleavens.co.uk
Small boxes of fairings were traditionally given by Cornish lads to their sweethearts at Whitsuntide fairs as a sign of affection. Today, the bakers at Furniss are still the only people in the world allowed to use the Original Cornish Fairings trade mark, for biscuits baked to their closely-guarded 125-year-old recipe, but they're busy creating a whole host of other treats too. For extra-decadent moments, their More range hits the spot – more than half of each luxurious biscuit is pure chocolate – while the new Gingers range of biscuits are an intriguing alternative to the classic fairing, in blossom honey, dark chocolate, spiced lemon and original ginger flavours. www.furniss-foods.co.uk