Foody facts and figures
- Ten local chefs were challenged in the Autumn of 2005 to create some exciting and taste exploding Welsh Breakfasts. They had to create them for vegetarians, those requiring low fat options, those who needed an action packed activity breakfast and those wanting the full monty traditional Welsh Breakfast. These recipes were converted into a handy folder of recipes for tourism providers, some of whom are now offering their guests a Black Mountains Breakfast.
- Where to get a Black Mountain Breakfast in the Brecon Beacons National Park
- Porcini mushrooms grow better in the Brecon Beacons than in Italy, according to fungi-fanatic Daniel Butler.
- At 1097m, The Ptarmigan Restaurant is the highest restaurant in the UK. But you don't have to be a mountaineer - just take the CairnGorm Mountain Funicular Railway
- Mountain spring water gets transformed into award-winning ale at the Cairngorm Brewery
- No one knows how the curly Cumberland sausage got its distinctive shape. But the closely gaurded recipes have been passed down for generations, and butchers today still make their Cumberlands the same way they did over 100 years ago. One butcher moved from Keswick to New York and took his Cumberland sausage recipe with him to his delicatessen!
- Kendal mint cake was an accident. A confectioner making normal mints found his mixture had gone cloudy. He poured it out and Kendal mint cake was born, its been giving an energy boost to walkers in the Lake District ever since. It even made it to the summit of Everest in 1953!
- 1,800 colonies of bees visit Northumberland National Park every summer. At the end of July beekeepers from Chain Bridge Honey Farm near Berwick-upon-Tweed load the hives onto 4-wheel drives and take them up to the Heather moors. The bees produce a staggering 50 tonnes of honey in a good season.
- Maggie Maxwell at Doddington Dairy made an award-winning debut this year, picking up three gold and one silver medal at the world famous Nantwich International Cheese Show for their first entries, including the Sainsbury Trophy for the best new dairy product to be launched commercially in the UK in the past year
- Illicit whiskey stills and daring smugglers used to hide in the remote upper Coquet Valley, plying a trade on both sides of the border. These high hills have now inspired Black Rory Malt Whisky.
- Get a dose of history and a basketful of local food in one visit, with a visit to the Herding Hill Farm Shop that overlooks Hadrian's Wall.
North York Moors
- 25,000 Christmas cakes are baked every year to Elizabeth Botham's original recipe and sent all over the world.
- Yorkshire Moors beer was created in 2002 to celebrate 50 years of the North York Moors National Park. Its been a tasty hit that is still selling today.
- Botton village is home to around 300 people, about half of whom are adults with learning disabilities and other special needs. The village runs five farms, a fruit garden, a creamery and a bakery, which all supply award-winning organic food and drink to the village store.
- Businesses that help care for the environment are now marked out with the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark (EQM). Farms that manage land for wildlife and preserve traditional features like dry stone walls and hay meadows gain the EQM, as do food outlets and accommodation that use their produce. Visitors can pick up a guide to Green Businesses in the Peak District from the Bakewell visitor centre.
- A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) farm is great for chocolate-lovers as well as wildlife. Cocoadance use local cream, butter, milk and eggs to make award-winning handmade chocolates. See for yourself on the farm open day, 2 August.
- Gwaun Valley Longhorn beef burgers come courtesy of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Ranger Richard Vaughan whose family breeds the only commercial Longhorn herd in North Pembrokeshire. The tasty treats can be barbecued in charcoal that is produced and sold locally by staff at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Cilrhedyn Woodland Centre.
- You can wrap yourself in a little bit of Pembrokeshire with a Preseli blanket. Made from the wool of sheep grazing on the Preseli hills the blankets are spun at the Welsh National Wool Museum and the project ensures the farmers get a fair price for their wool.
- There are 16 vineyards in the South Downs National Park. The soil and weather patterns on the south-facing slopes of the chalk downland make it ideal country for grape produciton and wine production.
- The South Downs is home to the 'super food' watercress. The 'Watercress Line' (the Mid Hants heritage railway) was built to transport the peppery salad leaves from Winchester to London - and there is now even an annual watercress fesitval held in Alresford in its honour.
- Harveys Brewery in Lewes has been brewing beer since 1730. It distributes within a 50-mile radius of the brewery to keep carbon dioxide emissions down and still uses water drawn from a well in the National Park as part of the brewing process.
- The Hungry Monk Inn in Jevington (sadly now closed down) in the eastern part of the Park is the place where Banoffie Pie was invented in 1972! It's based on the American dessert Blum's Coffee Toffee Pie. You can find the original Banoffie Pie recipe here.
- 'Bringing the drinkings' is the traditional morning and tea-time break during the busy haytime harvest in the Yorkshire Dales. One farm helper remembers "I certainly often took the drinks out to the field workers in an enamelled can with spout and carrying handle. I think it might have been cocoa in the mornings ( mid morning ) with scones and gingerbread. The drink would be hot leaving the house but sometimes there was a good 10 minutes walk so it would not be so hot on arrival in the field!"
- Wallace and Gromit's favourite cheese, a nice bit of Wensleydale, only comes from the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes. Using local milk and traditional recipes, their cheese has now found worldwide fame!
- The Limestone Country Project aims to restore plant and wildlife diversity on 1,500 hectares of limestone pavement. The project has provided grants to 17 farmers to create upland cattle herds, established project herds on two National Nature Reserves and researched the impact of grazing on these precious habitats and farm business. Some of the farmers who have introduced traditional cattle breeds now sell their produce through Limestone Country Beef Limited and local box schemes, its also available at Town End Farm Shop and Colin Robinson Butchers.