Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Could you eat nothing but Somerset produce for two weeks? We put it to the test...

PUBLISHED: 10:30 20 April 2017

Food from Sarah Eats Somerset.

Food from Sarah Eats Somerset.

Archant

One of the best things about living in Somerset is its food. The county is famous for cheese and cider, and we take for granted how simple it is to buy local produce on our doorstep. But how easy is it to eat and drink exclusively Somerset produce for a fortnight? Reporter Sarah Robinson put it to the test...

‘It will be really easy,’ I thought, as I placed an order for a vegetable box, meat and condiments from Somerset Local Food Direct. The website works in the same way as shopping online at a national supermarket, except you know exactly where your food will come from.

I allowed myself salt (from Cornwall) and pepper (the box did not say where it came from), but everything else I would eat and drink must be produced and made in Somerset, right down to the rapeseed oil from Frome and flour from Wells.

It was only while placing my order that I fully appreciated the challenge ahead. I am used to cooking pasta a few times a week, and use spices and soy sauce most days; I would have to completely change how I cooked.

Pasta was off the cards unless I made it from scratch. And tomatoes were not in season, so I could not even make a tomato sauce.

But I did have flour, eggs and milk, plenty of vegetables, meat and some herbs in my garden.

I started the challenge on a Sunday, and there was no way I was going without a roast. I could not use gravy granules, so I bought some bones from the butcher’s on Big Lamp Corner and made a stock in the slow cooker.

I felt real pride looking at my first meal and knowing I could name exactly where every ingredient came from.

We are lucky we have Puxton Park on our doorstep too, and I stocked up on meat there, where I was told 99 per cent of its meat comes from the farm. I even managed to get some chocolate from The Food Den, in West Street.

Roger White, who set up Somerset Local Food Direct, said the benefits of eating locally include having less packaging and knowing the food has not travelled very far, therefore helping the environment. I certainly had less plastic to throw away than normal.

I admit I faltered a bit towards the end. After a visit to the pub and two pints (Thatchers from Sandford and Butcombe from Wrington) I caved and ordered a curry. I also ran out of milk.

But milk and curry excluded, I managed a fortnight. I made a pizza from scratch for the first time, and ate seasonal vegetables I had never tried before, such as Jerusalem artichokes.

Would I do it again? Mostly. I will always prefer to buy my meat and vegetables from independent shops in Weston’s town centre above a supermarket. I will definitely buy more seasonal vegetable boxes.

But I did struggle to buy fish. And, as it turned out, I really did miss curry.

* Here are 10 of the best places to sample the best of Somerset’s food and drink.

Other News Stories

24 minutes ago

A Banwell man has flown to the Caribbean to help in the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Read more
12:00

Plans to build more than 20 houses near the ‘most dangerous junction in North Somerset’ have been approved.

Read more
16:00

Plans to build a 75-bedroom hotel in Highbridge could be given the green light next week.

Read more
55 minutes ago

A new support group has been set up to support people in Weston affected by blood cancer.

Read more

Children painted large canvases and had them put on display as part of a Worle nursery’s 10th anniversary.

Read more
13:00

Villagers will be able to learn more about Congresbury’s past at a history weekend this weekend.

Read more

A beach clean will take place in Weston-super-Mare next week, and people are invited to play their part in clearing up the rubbish.

Read more
09:28

One lucky EuroMillions ticket-holder from North Somerset is sitting on an unclaimed £1million prize.

Read more
08:15

A young guitar star from Congresbury has defied his tender age to raise hundreds of pounds for charity and make a little girl’s dream come true.

Read more
08:00

More than £17,000 has been raised at a village’s annual ale festival.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder