Supermarket announces top recipes in bid to save traditional Northern food

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Booths has announced the finalists for its first Slow Food Recipe Competition which is designed to protect traditional Northern recipes from becoming extinct.

Nine amateur cooks from Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire will serve up their best-loved family recipes in the final at Northcote Restaurant at Ewood Park, Blackburn Rovers Football Club on Friday, February 11th.

Judges including Times food critic Charles Campion, Booths chairman Edwin Booth, chef Nigel Haworth and Catherine Gazzoli, chief executive of Slow Food UK are looking for dishes that combine local flavours, memories and traditions.

The recipes they will sample include Old Peculiar Casserole in a Yorkshire Pudding from 76-year-old Peter Bentley from Leeds. There’s a Plum Jumbly Tart from Ilkley and from Huddersfield comes Kath’s Special Cherry Cake. Lancashire entrants include Louise Baker’s Farmers Sausage Meat Hotpot from Blackpool and Alice Tighe’s Barley Lamb Broth from Lytham. Sixty-five-year-old Christine Harrison from Chorley is hoping her favourite Blackberry Cake will sweeten up the judges and Sarah Stover from Fleetwood has made the final thanks to her Honey Tea Bread. From Ulverston in Cumbria comes Helen Morris’s Pepperpot Pie and Windermere’s Lisa Ashworth serves up Grandma Jennie’s Gingerbread.

The prize for the winning recipe is a family three-course meal prepared and cooked for eight people, plus £500. Two runners up prizes of £250 and £100 will also be given.

The best dishes will feature on recipe cards in stores and appear on the Booths website.

Booths marketing manager Sarah Burns says: “We’re thrilled with the response we’ve had to this competition - people have delved deep into their family cookbooks to share some amazing recipes that combine family history, local tradition and local produce.

“Many of the dishes are treasured culinary secrets that date back generations and have only been saved in people’s memories. We want to champion these beloved family dishes and protect them for many more generations to come.”

Each of the contestants will bring in their own dish to the final for the judges to taste. Each entry will be given 15 minutes for the finalist to talk about the history of the dish and then for the judges to taste it.

Slow Food UK’s Catherine Gazzoli says: “Many of these recipes don’t exist in cookbooks – they come from great great grandmas or grandpas who have been cooking these dishes for years.

“Slow Food is all about families coming together around the dinner table to take time to talk, eat and enjoy life. These recipes encapsulate all that is good about Slow Food – delicious, local family dishes prepared with love.”

A total of 70 recipes were entered in the contest.

Many of the recipes originate from the 1930s and 1940s when ingredients were stretched to make them go further. They also use cheaper cuts of meat which are coming back into fashion.

Slow Food UK and Booths announced a partnership which sees them working together to promote the quality, provenance, seasonality and regionality of food. This competition is one of the first of many initiatives the partnership has embarked on to encourage people to think about what they are eating and take time to treasure family meals.