Imagine succulent pork on a bed of roast potatoes, with a pile of generously buttered veg on the side. Or maybe a rich, satisfying country pie, with a beautifully thick gravy and huge chunks of steak. Or even (if your taste-buds aren’t tingling enough already) a scrumptious rhubarb crumble, with just the right amount of tangy fruit. All British dishes to be more than proud of, wouldn’t you say?
Harvest is the perfect time of year to celebrate all the food we have right here on our doorstep, and the delicious meals we craft from these ingredients. This is one of the most important times of the year for farmers: a culmination of a year’s work and investment.
Traditionally, harvest festivals happened every year at the beginning of autumn. They were a time of great celebration, with the horse carrying the last cart load homeward decorated with colourful ribbons and garlands of flowers, followed by a sumptuous harvest feast to give thanks for the bounty of the year.
The last sheaf to be gathered was often carried in procession into shelter, in a tradition called ‘harvest home’. This is still celebrated in many villages throughout the West Country. In Cornwall, the ‘crying of the neck’ involves one of the reapers cutting the last handful of standing corn, then lifting the bunch high above his head and call out a chant which the crowds around respond to. (Love British Food, 2014)
The festivals may have become less of a staple of the calendar year, with fewer traditional practices taking place. But this time of year remains the ideal point to celebrate the fact that eating British is affordable, tasty and something to be proud of.
At Eurest, we provide meals from seasonal, local produce, using some of the nation’s best-loved recipes. That’s because we know that having a sense of tradition and provenance is crucial to food that is delicious and well received. So, forget that British sense of modesty and join us in celebrating the fantastic food this nation has to offer this harvest time.
Source: Love British Food. (2014). Tradition and Folklore. Available: http://www.lovebritishfood.co.uk/teacher-zone/harvest-lottery-for-schools-2013/tradition-and-folklore/. Last accessed 20 Oct 2014.