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10 amazing British ingredients (and why you should buy British)
Customers are drawn to products with good provenance and traceability because they’re local and guarantee origin and quality. Diners like to support nearby farmers, brewers and distillers knowing that what they choose will be fresher and more sustainable.
Food miles, the carbon footprint and fresh seasonal eating are factors increasingly influencing customers who want to feel good about their dining experience.
So join us on a tour of Britain’s best ingredients and brands (and get some great facts to share with customers)…
“50% of diners would be prepared to pay more for food with British provenance”
With the highest global welfare standards, every cut of beef from Aberdeen Angus to South Devon can be traced by the British cattle passport system. Good breeding and heritage are everything, but so is the distance from farm to plate – for you and our farmers.
The humble pea is popping up in salads, risottos and even hummus. It’s versatile, healthy and a seasonal star that us Brits are almost self-sufficient in, with 160,000 tonnes grown each year by 700 growers up the east coast, from Essex to Dundee.
Love it or hate it, chefs can’t ignore the vitamin-rich, vegan spread that’s a British-made seasoning star. It brings umami taste and savoury depth to your dishes. Great in butters, doughs, stocks and sauces, it’s fast earning a starring role in both plant-based and traditional dishes.
Try these delicious Marmite Churros – they’d make a fantastic street food or bar snack.
Craft beer is big business, whether it’s lager, India Pale Ale or even stout. Of 2,274 breweries in Britain in 2018, nearly 2,000 were microbreweries like Lake District-based Hawkshead. Proud of its roots, like a favourite football team, the small brewer’s following is tribal and loyal.
You’ll see lamb available all year round but if you want to support British farmers, go with our UK season which starts in May. It’s not just delicious but has good eco-credentials too, which you can share with customers.
“Lamb is arguably the most ecological and nutritionally superior meat we eat with sheep relying solely on grass, often unsuitable for other purposes, for sustenance.”
6. English mustard
Think mustard and around 72% of British diners think Colman’s, and trust its provenance. The Norwich firm has been reviving roasts and sandwiches since 1814 with local ingredients that are fresher, more flavoursome and put British farmers on the map…and the menu.
Try a spoonful in gravy or cheese scones for a tasty kick.
Quintessentially British, a gin and tonic, ice and slice is one of the most simple and seductive ways to see in summer. Distillers pioneering new flavours are springing up alongside traditional artisans such as Whitley Neill and Blackwoods on the Shetlands, where sweet and floral botanicals are hand-picked on the islands. Watch out for Berkshire Botanical too, here’s a fruity cocktail with their rhubarb and raspberry gin.
It may be something you don’t pay much attention to in your outlet as we often take water for granted. However, the differences between water varieties can be quite pronounced. Our favourite is Britain’s oldest spring water company, Harrogate Spring, which was first bottled in 1740. It’s rich in minerals and its neutral pH makes it the perfect pairing with food. As the number one water brand in Out of Home, it’s a must for spring!
The naturally sweet apples from thousands of orchards around Britain have ensured we are the largest producer of cider in Europe. One of the iconic brands in the UK is Bulmers, founded in Herefordshire in 1887. All its ciders are made from 100% British apples and contain no artificial flavourings, colours or sweeteners. It’s a great one to stock for vegan customers, too. Lots of ciders use animal products in the clarification process, but Bulmers is vegan-friendly.
Scotland has long been considered the home of the finest whisky, a sophisticated and perfect end to a great meal. But Belfast-based Samuel Gelston’s Irish Whiskey has been creating premium cask finishes and rare aged single malts since 1830. Try its new blended whiskey with Appletiser for a long, refreshing serve.