Cumbria is a county in northwest England, offering an exciting glimpse into its culinary heritage. Cumbrian classics and creative variations on local dishes are served in the Lake District's popular pubs and restaurants.
Cumbria boasts a rich array of locally sourced ingredients, such as Herdwick lamb and Morecambe Bay prawns, creating a delicious tapestry of flavors that reflect the charm of the Lake District and the villages of Cumbria.
From Cumberland sausages to Grasmere gingerbread, these… Traditional Cumbrian foods Bring a delightful taste of the region's history and natural bounty to the table.
Have you tried the food and drink in the Lake District? Let's discover the best of Cambrian cuisine from a local.
Traditional Cambrian food that you must try
Grasmere gingerbread It is a delicious sweet and spicy cake sourced from the village of Grasmere in Lake area. The small shop is located next to St Oswald's Church, but the tempting aroma of fresh baked goods can be smelled from afar.
Grasmere Gingerbread was first created by Sarah Nelson in the 1800s traditional Cumbrian recipe It has remained a closely guarded secret ever since. The cake is made with a mixture of flour, butter, sugar and ginger, then baked until crisp and golden. It has a unique crunchy and chewy texture, and its spicy ginger flavor is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Grasmere Gingerbread is now sold in the village Grasmere They are shipped all over the world, making them a true Cumbrian delicacy.
Sticky toffee pudding
Sticky toffee pudding It is my favorite dessert ever. It is a moist sponge cake made with dates and rich toffee sauce. Sticky toffee pudding is usually served hot and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream (I prefer both), allowing the flavors of the sauce to blend. I'm drooling as I write about this sweet and gooey goodness!
While the sticky toffee pudding is a favourite Cumbrian sweets It is found on the menus of many British restaurants and cafes, and is believed to have originated in Cumbria although the exact origins of the pudding are somewhat disputed.
The story goes that Sticky Toffee Pudding was invented by Francis Coulson and his partner Brian Sack at the Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel in the 1970s. However, this decadent dessert has become synonymous with the town of Cartmel, which claims to be the home of sticky candy.
After trying several brands, nothing beats Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding. It remains a truly delicious traditional Cumbrian food that is hard to resist!
Kendall Mint Cake
Kendall Mint Cake It is a very sweet, mint-flavored candy that was first made in Kendall in the late 1800s by a local confectioner named Joseph Weber. Originally intended as a power source for climbers and hikers, it became popular with explorers, including Sir Edmund Hillary and his team, who took it with them on their successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953.
Kendal Mint Cake is a sweet, crumbly dessert made with sugar, glucose syrup, and mint flavour. I was born in Kendall, so, by rights, I should love it. My palette leans more towards savory so this dessert is not my bag!
Cumberland Rum Nikki
Cumberland Rum Nikki is a short dough pastry filled with dried fruits and dates soaked in rum and spices. It dates back to the era of the 'triangular trade' when the port of Whitehaven in Cumbria was part of the sailing route taken by British slave traders.
The ships carried spices, ginger, tobacco, sugar and rum from the Caribbean, then English cloth was transported to West Africa, and unfortunately slaves were transported from there to North America.
Cumberland Rum Nicky is believed to have been a popular dish among farmers and local families in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, this cherished traditional dessert is still in Cumbrian cuisine, best served with a little rum and ginger butter for pure luxury!
Cumberland sausage It is a traditional pork sausage known for its distinctive rolled shape and unique flavor that comes from a blend of herbs and spices.
Sausages are made from coarsely ground pork, usually from the shoulder or belly, and are usually stuffed into natural casings. It is then air dried for several days to allow the flavors to develop before being cooked.
Cumberland sausages are often served as… Cumbria breakfast Or used in traditional dishes such as frog in the hole or as a filling for grilled meats. I love the Cumberland sausage as always British bangers and mash Dish with delicious onion gravy.
Herdwick sheep They are a hardy native breed Lake area It is part of Cumbria's heritage. They are believed to have been introduced by Scandinavian-Irish settlers in the 10th and 11th centuries, and their name is derived from the Old Norse word “herdvyck”, meaning sheep pasture.
Beatrix Potter has joined the ranks of respected breeders of these Cambrian sheep After she fell in love with the Lake District and used the proceeds from her books to buy Hill Top Farm in the nearby village of Sawrey. Beatrix, ever the pioneer, became the party's first female president Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association.
Herdwick sheep can graze on grass and heather in the rugged terrain of the Lake District, giving their meat a distinctive earthy flavour.
a Herdwick chopped They are aged for 1-2 years which gives a combination of tender lamb and rich flavour, and the dry aging period enhances the taste and texture. Herdwick lamb, pork and lamb are popular ingredients for many Cumbrian dishes – A must try on your trip to the Lake District!
Morecambe Bay prawns
Morecambe Bay prawns They are caught in the shallow waters of Morecambe Bay during low tide. While Morecambe is located on the Lancashire coast, Morecambe Bay is an estuary that runs from the south-west coast of Cumbria to Fleetwood in Lancashire.
Shrimp fishing dates back to the 18th century and is part of the local heritage. Brown shrimp are traditionally caught by horse and cart pulling nets through sand and mud. Today, the number of fishing vessels is decreasing, putting the industry at risk.
The delicate, sweet flavor of Morecambe Bay prawns intensifies during the cooking process. The prawns are picked by hand and boiled briefly before skilled hands undertake the difficult task of peeling them from their shells.
As a girl who grew up in Morecambe, I get excited when I know dinner is prawns. Fry them in butter with a sprinkle of chili pepper and serve them on toasted dough, delicious!
Traditionally, they are sold as potted shrimp that are prepared in butter and a mixture of spices by the fishermen's wives when the catch arrives home. These prized dishes are well sought after locally and in Michelin restaurants in London.
Leith Valley Damsons
Damsons in the Leith Valley It is a popular fruit that thrives in the picturesque Leith Valley on the south-eastern edge of the Lake District. This area is known for its stunning orchards, where damson trees thrive in a unique microclimate.
The tradition of growing and harvesting damsons in the Leith Valley goes back centuries, and the fruit remains a cherished local speciality.
Damsons are small, dark purple peaches that have a tart, tangy flavor. They are prized for their versatility in culinary applications, including jams, jellies, pies and even liqueurs such as damson gin.
Damson jam was a staple in our house growing up. I have childhood memories of my father bringing damson jam home from his walks in the Lake District, and my mother making a big pan of damson jam from scratch.
Cumbrian Craft Beers
Craft beer has found a thriving home in the scenic Lake District of Cumbria. With its stunning landscape and rich beer heritage, the region has become a center for innovative, high-quality craft beer production.
Brewery trends have changed over the centuries from being produced by monks to small private breweries, followed by the emergence of larger breweries until nationalization in 1916 under the State Management Plan. Today, the trend for small craft breweries couldn't be stronger!
the History of breweries in Cumbria It dates back to 1623 with Wigton Old Brewery, and while many of the ancient sites are now landmarks such as the Arts Brewery in Kendal, Keswick Brewery Housed on the site of The Old Brewery Co which dates back to 1889.
Local breweries in the Lake District They are known for their dedication to traditional brewing methods using… Local source Ingredients and inspiration from the natural surroundings. The plateaus and landmarks have influenced the names of many people Craft beer in the Lake District Such as Old Man Ale from Coniston Brewing Co, and Aira Force IPA from Brack N Brew in Watermill And Buttermere Beauty Lager from Cumbrian Ales!
From pale-forward beers to rich lagers and uniquely experimental drinks, the Cumbria's craft beer scene Offers a variety of flavors and styles to please all beer lovers.
Cumbria is home to a thriving craft gin scene Cumbria genes Gaining recognition for their exceptional quality and distinctive flavours. The county's abundant natural resources and botanicals provide great inspiration for local distilleries putting a modern twist on gin's heritage.
Cumbrian wine often features locally sourced ingredients such as juniper, cranberries and other aromatic botanicals, resulting in unique and attractive flavours. From traditional dry gins to more adventurous and experimental offerings, Cumbrian gins showcase the creativity and expertise of the region's distilleries.
There are two award winners continuous Distilleries in the Lake District that you might want to visit;
Lakes Distillery committed to Sustainability As well as craftsmanship. They use British ingredients and Lake District water to make their award-winning whisky, gin and vodka. Located near Lake Bassenthwaite where alpacas roam the grounds, it offers tastings, distillery tours and seasonal bistro dining.
Shed 1 distillery Focused on quality and innovation, the company responsibly produces a range of artisan gins classically distilled at The Old Calf Shed in Ulverston. Experience the small distillery with tours, afternoon tea and coffee, or even make the book your wedding day setting. Shed One Distillery has won an award Sustainability Award For being a net zero and climate positive company.
Whether enjoyed in a classic gin and tonic or as part of innovative, contemporary-style cocktails, Cumbrian gin offers a delightful taste of the county's artisanal spirit and the beauty of its natural surroundings.
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