Food of the Yorkshire Show

Food lovers click here - it's our guide to the very best stuff from the Yorkshire Show. From meats to pickles to cheeses and tipples, we tried the best on offer for our comprehensive round up.

Read on for our highlights from Harrogate's biggest annual food market; our absolute favourites are dotted throughout.

Is Thirsk the chilli capital of North Yorkshire? The One Stop Hot Shop may claim the crown - this Kirby Knowle temple to the Scoville scale has netted a Great Taste gold for its superb hot chilli dipping sauce (4); try the cracking mint and coriander chilli jelly (4) too.

Weetons, Harogate (some products) or order online.

Thorncroft Drinks is one of several high end cordial makers finding their way into supermarkets (alongside Belvoir and Bottle Green). This Surrey producer has a trump card, though, in its exceptional wild nettle cordial (3.25) - like elderflower with a leafier undertone.

Waitrose, Booths and Weetons (some products) or order online.


You can tell a lot about a food producer from its piccalilli, because so often this jar of thick, mustardy deliciousness is made too watery, too lumpy, too easy on the mustard or, in many cases, is simply overwhelmed by vinegar. Aunt Lena's Piccalilli (2.50) is the work of Raydale Preserves and it is nigh on perfect - sweet, sharp and moreish. One of a wealth of chutneys, jams, marmalades, curds and mustards made by the Yorkshire Dales business.

Fodder (some products) or order online.

Promising the kind of service and exclusivity the major chains can only dream of Corks Out was at the show to raise its profile - hoping to attract new custom to its online business, an adjunct to its five bricks and mortar stores down south. The proof is in the tasting - citrussy Los Gansos Sauvignon Blanc (6.94) hit with green fruit and a herby close, thoroughly refreshing; better still was the velvety Norte Chico Caremenere (5.99) was a smooth, sombre Chilean which slipped down with such an easy character that we are mulling over whether to buy a case.

"Pork pie" sounds nice. "Rare breed Gloucester Old Spot pork pie with onion marmalade and Lancashire cheese" sounds better. The work of Farmhouse Direct over at Brandsby near Easingwold, this pie (2 for a small one) tastes as good as it sounds. High meat content, succulent, no grit, and good balance from the marmalade.


Helmed by a Harrogate man (who fled the nest to set up shop in Durham but has just returned to town) the Curry Sauce Co makes much of the quality of its ingredients, but justifiably so. Jalfrezi is as good as we've tried off-the-shelf, and Malaysian Rendang - mild with satay flavours - is cracking (both 3.50).

Ramus seafoods or Fodder, Harrogate or order online.


With North Yorkshire covered by The One Stop Hot Shop, the Chilli Jam Man is hoping to claim West Yorkshire as his territory. He's got more than a fighting chance, as his smoked garlic and chipotle chilli jam (4) is an absolute belter: sweet and smoky with perfectly balanced heat. Garlic and ginger chilli jam (4) is a close second.

Sykes House Farm, Wetherby and Robinsons butchers, Knaresborough or order online.

There's a good chance you've already tried crisps from Sheffield's Yorkshire Crisp Co so you'll know they're easily a homegrown match for Tyrrells and they beat that slight catch-in-your-throat bitterness of Kettle Chips. The company was at the show selling its range and promoting new sweet chilli and lime flavour (1.95 for 100g drum) and, while those are tasty, they can't beat its superb Henderson's Yorkshire Sauce flavour - like Worcester Sauce Seabrook's, only grown up.

Available all over, including Fodder and Weetons, or order online.

Cryer and Stott supplies some absolutely cracking cheese and makes a few of its own. Selling a wide range at the show for 2.50 a chunk, we sampled the meltingly soft and Cheddary Fountains Gold, an interesting and mild Yorkshire Feta that was closer to Wensleydale than its Greek counterpart, and a gorgeous new blue cheese (whose name we criminally forgot to write down) made by the company itself. Worth seeking out, it is buttery and has that kind of super savoury twang which registers in your molars; a soft ache to the sharp punch of more aggressive blues.

The Cheeseboard, Harrogate (some products) or order online.

If Whitby did Bettys, the result would be Botham's. Plum bread (1.60) is excellent but a true showstopper - from a delectable range which gives Harrogate's finest a run for its money - is Yorkshire Brack (2.20). The moistest, most succulent tea bread you could hope to accompany your cuppa.

Fodder, Weetons and Waitrose (some products) or order online.

A punch of celery seed, caraway and fennel might not sound appetising, but Yorkshire Punch (6.75) contains 11 other herbs in its unique mix, and the result is complex, restorative and delicious. Best drunk warm.

Lewis and Cooper, Northallerton or order online.

Hebden Bridge brewery Little Valley notches up several awards and commendations each year for its organic beers. Hebden's Wheat (1.75) kicks Hoegaarden into a cocked hat but even better is ginger pale ale (1.90) which also boasts Fairtrade status.

Waitrose, Beer Ritz, Knaresborough (some products) or order online.

Lewis & Cooper needs no introduction. This Northallerton food store is more than just a gourmet supplier, though, as there's plenty to recommend amongst its own products. Its fruit cake (4.30 for 290g with glazed fruits) is worth writing home about, and its plum pudding with cognac (2.90 for 220g) is so good it netted a Great Taste gold.

Lewis & Cooper, Northallerton or order online.


Whether sprayed onto the beans or added to the cup, syrup is the conventional way to add flavour to coffees. Cherizena disagrees. It immerses small batches of beans in flavour, which infuses where syrup would coat; a marinade instead of a batter. Sticky gingerbread coffee (3 for 125g) demonstrates the difference - deep, balanced and warming. Unflavoured coffees (we tried the espresso blend) are stunning too.

Order online.

There were three tipples being touted by the Spencerfield Spirit Company. Sheep Dip whisky is grassy, subtle and smooth on the palate; Pig's Nose is soft and spicy; but our favourite was the new Edinburgh Gin. Great with tonic, and we road tested it in a forgotten favourite from the 20s and 30s, a gin buck: gin, ginger beer, a twist of lime and more ice than is strictly wise. The grandfather of the Moscow Mule, it's perfect for a sweltering summer night.

Order online

Real pedigree was on show at Anila's Sauces which have netted their namesake a clutch of Great Taste Awards. We were bowled over by the hot lime pickle (3.50) which was perhaps the finest we've ever tasted; chilli and ginger gave a hint of bite to delicious sweet mango chutney (3.50); and the curry sauces we tried - spicy mild cury sauce and goan green curry sauce (both 4) are absolutely stellar.

Soon to be in Fodder (hopefully) or order online.

Beautifully packaged, Mr Huda's Surma Secrets are pitched at bringing restaurant quality Indian food to the home cook. So, admittedly, are many other ranges, but there's something kind of beautiful about the way this one is put together. The universal curry paste (3) is very good, too, and we've never stirred anything into yoghurt which was quite as good as the mint and tamarind raitha paste (3.25).

Fodder, Harrogate or order online at>> FAVOURITE

A tale of two blues. The Shepherd's Purse has been doing some astoundingly good stuff with milk for decades, up Thirsk way, and its bestselling, and British Cheese Award-winning, Yorkshire Blue (12-14 per kilo) is superb, a homegrown Dolcelatte with better bite. Meanwhile, the Wensleydale Creamery's new Jervaulx Blue (around 11-12 per kilo) is creamy, sophisticated and moreish - winning it a three-star-gold Great Taste Award.

Waitrose, Booths, Morrisons.

Over at Malton's Raisthorpe Manor great things are being done with infused booze. Their raspberry gin is so good it scooped a top ten slot in our last round of fod favourites - and they came exceptionally close this time with the lovely new strawberry liqueur (15.95 for 35cl) which tempers its considerable kick by capturing much of the flavour of macerated fruit. Killer for cocktails, ever better neat.

Fodder, or order online.

Hidden on Westgate, Devill's of Ripon (no website) sells its wares at events and markets. The stuff's good, too - we devoured the Yorkshire curd tart and, at 2, it offered some of the best value at the show.

Ripon market and Knaresborough market.

Chilli was big news in the food hall, with a few different stalls offering their own take on this increasingly revered ingredient. Faced with the supermarket's typical selection - green, red, bird's eye if you're lucky - you'd wonder if there's room for them all. The Hot Stuff Chilli Company proves, it's an emphatic yes, because the many varieties of these fiery peppers offer a diversity to rival the tomato. And it's not just a linear heat scale; words like fruity, smoky and sweet are all part of the chilli lexicon. And Mr Hot Stuff, a few minutes of chatting revealed, certainly knows his stuff. So there is expertise packed into his Hot Scotch Sauce (4) - alongside the scotch bonnets and habaneros - which is excellent as ingredient or a condiment.

Order online. Seeking local stockists.


There's sloe gin and then there's sloe gin. Fortunately, SLOEmotion does wonders with the formula routinely murdered by Gordons. Based outside York, the company has branched out into sloe vodka and slow whisky (the latter winning Great Taste awards to match the ones it netted for its gin). New, though, is sloe brandy (15.95 for 35cl) which - and we mean this in a good way - is like the best cough syrup you've ever tasted. Smooth and complex, it practically hugs your throat.

Fodder or order online.

Not every cheesemaker at the show was selling a range. The Cornish Cheese Co kept things simple with its Cornish Blue (15 per kilo), the only cheese it makes. It's fantastic, too, creamy and mild and just soft enough to smush into a resilient hunk of posh bread.

Sainsbury's, Booths or order online.


Fans of the way Mr Kipling's apple pies collapse in your mouth like dry wallpaper paste would hate the Lime Tree Pantry. This bakery understands that there is something of the divine contained within the correct ratio of crumbly shortcrust and succulent filling. And though we loved Beef in Guinness (5.50) we practically melted after a bite of Raspberry and Apple (4.50), which was as close to perfection as a pie could be.

Order online.

Punch and swagger. Snowdonia Cheese has both in abundance, with a range of gorgeous cheeses which are more than happy to bite you back (all 3.50 for 200g). Pickle Power has potent mature cheddar and pickled onion; smart, savoury Green Thunder follows the formula but uses garlic and green herbs, and the result has something of the Provencal about it; and Red Devil gives Red Leicester real clout by adding crushed pepper and chilli. Little Black Bomber, though, is the one you'll be telling your grandkids about in the decades to come. It's extra mature cheddar and then some, a stingy and intensely pleasurable assault on your mouth which is so moreish it makes your cheeks itch. Hands down the best cheddar we've tasted in years.

Weetons, Reah's Delicatessan, Ripon, Deli on Duck Hill, Ripon (some products) or order online.


Good oil and vinegar is hard to find - many a supermarket litters its top shelf with high priced olives and balsamics, but finding one that's worth the cash is a lottery. The Gift of Oil boasts celeb chef plaudits to back up its delicious range. Highlights are the fruity, peppery Alentajan extra virgin from Portugal (8.85 for 250ml) and sweet, rich matured balsamic from Modena (13.25 for 250ml).

Order online; some products stocked in Fodder, Harrogate (the John Street one, not the Yorkshire Showground one).

We've covered Cupcakes by Charley before in the Harrogate Advertiser series, as the gourmet cupcake boutique in Harrogate's Montpellier Quarter is on the up and up. Flavours like Honeycomb Cupcake Crunch and Strawberyy Pavlova tell you why. Show visitors were lapping up the cupcakes but interest is building in her whoopie pies (2.50) which sponge afficionados are billing as the next big thing. Cupcake icing sandwiched between two light sponge discs; a cross between an Oreo and a cloud, or a flying saucer via Hansel and Gretel.

Cupcakes by Charley, Harrogate or contact online.


Raspberries are great. Treat them badly (freeze, freeze-dry or let them go squishy) and they still taste fantastic; but treat them well and they reward you tenfold. York Preserves treats them with reverence, stuffing a higher than average berry count into its double fruit raspberry jam (3.50). The result: Great Taste Award winning, fresh, vibrant and just as sweet as it needs to be.

Fodder, RHS Harlow Carr, the Cheeseboard (some products).

There was a bewildering amount on offer for liquorice lovers at the stall of Liquorice With a Twist. We fell head over heels for the fondant-filled stuff. You know the one we mean - like a bootlace but four times thicker, a fat, chewy candy rope with a squidgy bit in the middle. Some with liquorice on the outside, some just with candy, a huge range of cracing flavours include orange, vanilla, caramel and - best of all - watermelon. Try the 4 selection bag for starters.

Order online.


A show highlight, this. Yorkshire Rhubarb Chilli Jam (3) from Chutnee's Handmade, a new brand from Leeds-based Curry Cuisine. Using the forced rhubarb from Yorkshire's famous Rhubarb Triangle, it's a work of genius - either as an accompaniment to curry or neat, on toast.

Fodder and Booths (some products, but the rhubarb chilli jam's too new at the moment) or order online.

Much of what we eat is at the mercy of geography. So while some foods are storecupboard staples halfway across the world, much has yet to show itself on British shores. And more's the pity, because the gems offered by Taste the Carribean are the kind which could easily become essentials here too, given the right exposure. Garlic and lemon herb seasoning (4.75) is nothing short of scrumptious, rubbed into meat, added to stews and sauces or sprinkled as a condiment. We also tried - and very much liked - the cracking guavaberry and papaya BBQ sauce (4.75) and lip smacking habanero lime hot sauce (4).

Order online.

Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio and riesling - grapes which have conquered the British table, but a tiny selection of what's out there. Portugal's plonk was represented at the show with its own stall hoping to bill the nation as the California of Europe. Cracking growing conditions and ancient varieties of grape you won't find anywhere else make it well worth exploring. We tried two lovely whites - easy, airy, quenching Cerejeiras (6) and refreshing Filoco (10), delightfully tart with a charismatic finish rather like licking a pear skin.

Find stockists online. .