Why local is bestVanessa Scott of Strattons Hotel and CoCoes Cafe Deli, Swaffham and a Norfolk Food & Drink Festival patron gives us the benefits of eating Norfolk produce while you're here...
Norfolk boasts an amazing countryside featuring coastline, rivers, heathland, forestry and geologically varied soils supporting diverse produce such as world class asparagus suited to the light sandy soils of the south west and blueberries which need an ericaceous soil characteristic of the Norfolk Brecks.
It has traditionally traded both to the local and metropolitan markets and has a rich agricultural industry recognised nationally and internationally with an impressive historical legacy.
The great agricultural pioneers of the eighteenth century, Coke of Holkham and 'Turnip' Townsend of Raynham led the country with their pioneering methods using crop rotation, improving husbandry and land quality benefiting both landowner and tenants.
Today Norfolk hotels and restaurants celebrate this food offering and in doing so help create a rich and delicious unique visitor experience.
Using local produce not only reduces food miles and packaging, maintains local food varieties but also recognises the contribution that food production can make to the countryside, re-connecting us to our surroundings so we can better understand the impact that the vital necessities of food and drink can make to the countryside we see around us.
Look forward to game and foraged foods, crayfish, rare breed pork, blueberries and poultry from the Brecks; samphire, mussels, seabass, cod and the famous Cromer crab from the coast. From the farmlands a wide variety of vegetable crops and Norfolk grain is second to none, its malting barley prized by the American boutique beer brewers for its superior quality and the reason Norfolk can boast a whisky distillery!
Seasonal vegetables, fruits, award-winning local cheesemakers and dairies, beer makers and local specialist producers, butchers, game dealers provide the ingredients for a real Norfolk food experience.
Benefits of local food and drink:
- It's often fresher and usually more tasty having longer to ripen
- Helps connect buyers with producers and seasonality
- Reduces food miles
- Reduces packaging
- Supports the local economy
- Conserves traditional and often rare varieties and breeds
- Reduces global impacts of storage and food imbalances in developing countries where many crops are grown
- Can improve crop production methods and animal well-being
- It can be great fun to buy, pick, use and enjoy!
- Knowledge, use and preference ensure sustainability of food production on our doorstep
Discover our must-eat Norfolk foods.
Read more about Vanessa and husband Les's favourite Norfolk things.
Vanessa is a patron of the Norfolk Food & Drink Festival.