Worcestershire is one of the smallest counties in England, but has many claims to fame, not least as the birthplace of Worcestershire sauce. Despite this famous piquant accolade, little has been written about the broader narrative of the county's rich culinary heritage. This book will explore centuries of a variety of food production, revealing a cultural identity steeped in food and drink consumption.
Worcestershire has a vast and varied tradition of growing, manufacturing and trading in food and drink, from Pershore plums and other fruit and vegetables (notably asparagus), to cider and Malvern spring water, cheese, meat and poultry, and in times of conflict and economic uncertainty, the agriculturally rich landscapes of Worcestershire have frequently played an integral role in food production for the whole country. The towns and villages of Worcestershire have produced a wealth of specialist fare over the centuries and the county is home to many fascinating customs and traditions relating to this, such as planting kidney beans as soon as the elm leaves grow to their biggest size and Kidderminster blessing cakes distributed on New Year's Day.
Worcestershire also has a long history of attracting food and food-related industries. Some have disappeared, like the great fruit and vegetable canning business Smedley's of Evesham, but other household names live on in the county, not least local legendary sauce company Lea & Perrins. In this book author Emma Kay explores Worcestershire's successful link with food and drink manufacture both from the past and from a contemporary perspective.
The book will appeal to all those who are interested in the history of Worcestershire as well as those interested in Britain's regional food and drink heritage.