The region has always had a strong tradition in the food that is produced in the area. The reason for this high quality is due the region having some of the finest availability of local ingredients. Rich soils on flat land have made the area the largest arable producing region in the country and the huge coastline gives East Anglia an endless supply of fish.
The intensively farmed area also produces vast supplies of dairy products, fruit and vegetables, and there is very little that a chef requires that cannot be found in the area. As well as there being large areas of commercially farmed land, there are still many parts of the region that remain in their natural state. This is where the local game can be found.
Many restaurants in the region take advantage of the natural environment and their menus reflect the produce that is sourced locally. Many of them use local farmers, fishermen and butchers to supply them with their meats and vegetables. There are also many chefs who will forage the environment to find plants that can be used in their recipes.
Foraging for ingredients is becoming more popular among today’s chefs, and those in East Anglia often use the rocky shores to collect produce such as rock samphire. This is similar to asparagus but is found in salty marshland and gives a salty flavor to many of the local recipes.
The same shorelines are also home to vast quantities of crustaceans that are used in local dishes. The region is famed for the crabs that are fished at Cromer and the mussels that are brought ashore at Morston. Local Restaurants take advantage of this produce with different recipes being created to cook the ingredients.
The Cromer crab is actually smaller than other British crabs and is packed with nutrition and a high content of white meat. The favored way to eat it is as simple as possible, simply served with lemon, black pepper and brown bread.
There are many restaurants that boast menus that celebrates the region’s local produce. Benedicts in Norwich has a menu that includes local crab, pigeon Lamb and beef. All is prepared by the master chef Richard Bainbridge who was the 2015 winner of the BBC’s Great British Menu competition.
Some of the region’s pubs have menus that produce food of the highest quality. The Crown Inn at East Rudham serves a range of seasonal ingredients, sourced from local farmers and fishermen. Local cheeses are included with beetroots, kales and pigeon, all combined to produce the dishes.
The region is not famed for its pork produce, yet still there are many suppliers such as The Fruit Pig Company near Kings Lynn. Their produce can be tasted in the town at the Market Bistro, where the pork is served alongside locally grown vegetables. The restaurant even uses Norfolk Cordial to supply its non-alcoholic drinks.
Tourists to East Anglia will never struggle to find a decent meal. If all is lost, they can even head to one of the many coastal resorts to find a fish and chip shop that sell locally caught haddock, plaice and cod. The region is a great destination to people who love their food.