Of course, the food that initially comes to mind when one thinks of Yorkshire is the good old Yorkshire pudding. This proud county export goes back centuries and remains much loved. The seemingly simple recipe of eggs, flour and milk is obsessed over into making the perfect pud. There are lots of establishments claiming theirs as the best, and there’s no harm in checking them all out! But for starters, we’ll say to try The Yorkshire Wrap Company, who create Yorkshire pudding wraps filled with Yorkshire farmed produce, and Whitelock’s, Leeds’ oldest pub, offering a traditional warm Yorkshire welcome to go with a satisfying Sunday roast.
Whilst we’re talking about the pub, there are few places finer at producing beers than here. The county has dozens of breweries making countless ales, new and old. The likes of Northern Monk and Brew York have succeeded in a relatively short time in taking their cool brands and great drinks out of Leeds and York respectively and into worldwide mouths. Others run micro operations out of garages, or brew from their own bar, some newcomers experiment with flavour combinations, or older stalwarts deliver traditional core ranges. A remarkably high percentage of them are fantastic.
Historically, the Yorkshire brewer that became a household name is that of Joshua Tetley. Having set up in 1822, bitter was brewed on its iconic Leeds site until closure in 2011. Tetley’s decision to move away left a sour taste in Yorkshire mouths, and now many abstain from drinking the stuff which locals claim leaves an equally unpleasant flavour since mass producing elsewhere. Thankfully, other big brewers remain true to their roots, with Sam Smiths operating from its Tadcaster home and owning an array of bargain boozers such as The Angel Inn. With them and the myriad of micros, Yorkshire’s brewing scene now is far healthier than when Joshua left it.
The booze and grub of Yorkshire is notoriously hearty and can be surprisingly refined too. Aptly named York Gin and Leeds Gin are mixing up stunning varieties of the elegant botanical favourite, whilst restaurants such as Skosh, Roots and Home in those cities are elevating local ingredients to high level dishes. Sweets too are mixing the comforting with the fancy, at the likes of Bondgate Bakery in Otley, where top drawer Yorkshire parkin and Yorkshire curd tarts go down a treat.