East Midlands Food

East Midlands Food Blog

Free tickets to Radio 4 food show…

The BBC 4 food programme Kitchen Cabinet will be recorded in Melton Mowbray on Tuesday 7 February at the Cattle Market at 7 pm. It is hosted by food critic Jay Rayner, and the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of a panel. Free tickets are available by emailing bbcradiofoodrecording@somethinelse.com.


Food, drink and networking at the University of Leicester…

From the University of Leicester Newsblog:

‘Some of the UK’s well-known firms will be represented at a trade show at the end of August which aims to boost exports in the food and drink sector. The Indo-British Trade Council’s UK-India Food and Drink Conference will take place at the University of Leicester between 30 August and 1 September 2011. The conference is as a result of the recent pact formed with the Leicestershire Asian Business Association (LABA) in July. Led by Professor Kevin Schürer, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, the pact marks a major step forward in our strategy to work more closely with business, industry and the professions.

‘The event is being supported by large firms such as Tesco, Asda, Walkers Crisps, Samworth Brothers of Melton, Cofresh of Leicester, Loughborough University, Birmingham Airport and UK Trade and Investment. An estimated 150 businesses will attend, approximately 40 of which will be from India, with the intention to attract buyers for Indian and British products from each of those countries and in general increase exports.

‘The aim of the three-day event is to bring together industry professionals, buyers, regulators and leading experts to disseminate some of the latest perspectives and opportunities in the food and drink industries. It will provide firms with advice about innovation, sourcing ingredients, cost, the delivery of goods, distribution channels, meeting quality standards and dealing with legislation. It will also give small and medium-sized enterprises an opportunity to forge alliances with buyers and companies from the UK-India trade  partnerships. Presentations by leading experts, workshops and networking opportunities are scheduled for the three days, including a workshop on Food and Drink Packaging led by Professor Paul Monks from our Department of Chemistry’. 

More details at http://www2.le.ac.uk/news/blog/2011-archive/august/food-drink-and-networking-at-the-university-of-leicester.


Plant cultures…

Here’s another interesting and unusual project relating to food in which Leicester City Museums Service is a partner. Plant Cultures is collecting information, images and stories exploring the different uses of plants used in South Aia and their influence on British culture. Some examples include tea, cardamom, garlic, black pepper, mango, turmeric and betelnut. The project website has a section on stories contributed by people who grow, eat or are just interested in plants from South Asia, along with a picture gallery spanning 400 years of images, and a range of activities for schools. You can also find out from the website where different plants can be seen growing in the UK, or find instructions for growing them yourself. The website is at www.plantcultures.org.uk.


Milling, malting and brewing…

Talking about grain and beer  - as I did briefly in my previous blog - there are a lot of windmills in the East Midlands open to the public, several of them still working and producing stoneground flours for sale. As the Autumn/Winter 2010 newsletter of the Northamptonshire Record Office notes, however, the working conditions of millers and their employees could be both unpleasant and hazardous. It includes this extract from the Northampton Mercury on 10 March 1883 reporting a serious accident:

‘Mr. William Valentine, in the employ of Mr. J.F. Stops, was in the act of placing a strap on a large flywheel, when his clothes became entangles in the machinery, and he was taken round with the spindle several times and eventually thrown with great violence to the floor. A man named Cockerill, of Whittlebury, was in the mill at the time, but could not stop the machinery. Valentine was picked up in an unconscious state, and it was found that his face and left side were cut very much’.

There are several leaflets available – like the one illustrated here – with information about windmills in the East Midlands and further afield. Grain is also an  essential ingredient of beer, so if you happen to be in Newark at some point why not pick up a copy of the Newark Malting and Brewing Trail leaflet and take a look at some of the sites associated with this important part of the local economy. The trail covers 2.2 km and takes around an hour and 15 minutes at an easy pace. You can also download the trail from http://www.newarkcivictrust.org.uk/downloads/MaltingBrewingTrail.pdf.


About this Sponsor

A research project that looked at various aspects of food in the East Midlands, linking them with museum displays and objects in the region, and making the results available to as many people as possible in different formats.