Kent, in all it’s foodie glory….
Lately, with the horse meat “scandal” and the death of our high streets, I’ve been keen to embrace Kent, and it’s food, wholeheartedly. A recent obsession with Twitter has seen me follow more and more local independent food producers and has made me rethink my spending and eating habits quite dramatically. Now, just as much as anyone I know that eating locally sourced food can be a little more expensive (only sometimes mind) and doesn’t always scream convenience. But with a little bit of time and thought it’s worthwhile making small changes and eating locally.
Not only will you be able to puff your chest out in pride when your non-kentish guests come to stay, you’ll also get a warm feeling knowing that little by little you are helping all those lovely local farms, and producers keep on doing what they do. Preserving local land, local animals, and more than that, eating food that tastes bloody amazing.
For all you Kentish folk here are some of my favorites. For those further afield why not have a look and see what’s in your local area? Even swapping one ingredient to a local version, can make all the difference, if you take the time to look you may even find it tastes better and cost you less!
Stuffed and Spoilt Hamper Company
This Great company puts together local food from all over Kent and makes these luxury hampers to give as gifts to your loved ones. From nut hampers, chili hampers, coffee one and even soap ones there something for everyone. I think they look so professional and well done. It’s nice to see local Kent food showcased in such a great way, and it’s clear to see the love and attention that goes into these. The website says:
Traditionally-produced, hand-made or artisan products, sourced from the best local and British suppliers and manufacturers, are worlds apart from what is available in supermarkets.
Stuffed and Spoilt has visited wonderful producers, suppliers, farm-shops, delis and farmers markets: carefully sourcing the best items mainly from Kent and a few other British counties.
A perfect present for the foodie in your life
Next up is one of my favorite places to eat on a cold Sunday, and that’s the 160 acres of Brogdale farm nr Faversham
Home of the National Fruit collection (apples, pears, plums, cherries, cobnuts, strawberries and quinces) you can have a wonder around the orchards, buy some local meat from its large butchers, grab some fruit and veg from the farm shop and even help yourself to gifts, local ciders, and local soaps in its gift shop.
More importantly it has a fantastic cafe. Originally we came here unaware of the cafe and just for a wonder but now eat here quite often when we fancy a run out in the car.
Paul goes for the wild mushrooms with quails eggs on toast and mine is a toss-up between homemade cheese and potato pie and a wedge of cake (or both). They also do a damn good roast and the staff (family run I believe are amazingly friendly). The farm often hosts events here like beer and cider festivals and Macmillan coffee mornings. They also have their own pigs and miniature railway. We’ve yet to see it in full summertime sun, something I really can’t wait for
If you don’t fancy just eating here you can always join one of their courses, I quite fancy the Foraging Walk myself!
A lovely place with a real sense of quality and care, with enough fruit to keep you going all year!
Horse Burgers? No Chance here: My local butcher J.C Rook & Sons is one of the best
As a kid my Saturday treat was a hot dog, burger puff, or sausage roll from Rooks, I used to think this was just another butchers, but as I grew up I realized that this was something a bit different. With shops all over North Kent its easy to think this might be a chain of rip of meat stores. But no, only the finest Kent ingredients, local farms and a que out of the door at Christmas time (now how often do you see that outside of the supermarket)
Even better they now have their own website, meat hampers and delivery all around the UK. They even help out local charities and schools. I’m not sure there is anything better.
I could go on and on with this post, My local area really does have so much to offer. In the future I’m hoping to make a comprehensive guide to all of these great businesses why not add me on Twitter and see who I’m following for more inspiration. Go out and find food from your local area and see if it can surprise you!
Some other great local producers you should take a look at:
@Jacksveg (Veg box scheme in the Whitstable, Faversham & Canterbury area)
@KentishOils (Kentish bottled Oils)
@ProducedinKent (dedicated to promoting local food, drink, products and services in Kent)
@KentishBaconJam (Bacon Flavored jam..crazily good)
@vodka_lady (Local flavored vodka and spirits producer)
@Rachels_pantry (local cake producer specializing in Gluten free)
@whitpickco (the Whitstable pickle company)
@rookandsons (Quality Kent Butchers, and do amazing sausage rolls!)
@macknade (Fresh food shop with local veg, meat, cheese and loads of other beautiful stuff)
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