The 8 foods unique to Berkshire

The 8 foods unique to Berkshire
Splitscreen image of Berkshire foods

Every region in the UK has its own special foods.

From Cornish pasties to jellied eels, pie and mash and Lancashire hotpot, cooks throughout history have devised delicious dishes which showcase what their area is all about.

And Berkshire is no different. 

Some of the country’s finest chefs operate in the county, and the Fat Duck in Maidenhead is considered to be one of he most innovative eateries in the world.

Here, we take a look at some of the culinary creations coming out the county both in the modern day and years gone by.

Cocks’s Reading Sauce

A poster for Cocks's Reading Sauce
A poster for Cocks’s Reading Sauce

This was a Victorian delicacy.

Made by a Reading fishmonger at a factory in Duke Street in 1802, the famous sauce was in town until the company closed down its office in Reading, Berkshire in 1970.

LISTEN: Real Reading Podcast discusses Cocks’s Sauce

The sauce includes shallots, walnut pickle, anchovies and cayenne pepper.

It features in Jules Verne’s book “Around the World in 80 days” when the intrepid Phileas Fogg has it with his breakfast.

Windsor Pudding

Either a dish created in the town of Windsor, or to do with the Royal Family, who live in Windsor.

The pudding is breadcrumbs and suet with dried fruit, chopped apple, dried fruit, lemon and nutmeg and then steamed.

Wigmore Cheese

Shelves of cheese in refrigerated room
Cheese at Village Maid Cheese in Riseley, near Reading (Image: Village Maid Cheese)

The creamy, crumbly artisan cheese is produced in the village of Riseley, on the outskirts of Reading.

It has won many awards at the British Cheese Awards and goes very well with a glass or two Cabernet Merlot – apparently.

Wigmore is a “unique white rinded semi-soft ewe’s milk cheese”. 

Village Maid Cheese is the producer.  The company started in 1986 in a garden outbuilding in Spencers Wood and has grown from that one of the country’s most highly regarded artisan cheese makers.

Berkshire Faggots

Faggots are, or have been, a dish enjoyed all around the country.

Berkshire’s version is pork cut off seasoned with chopped onions, sage, pepper and salt, formed into rough balls and baked or stewed.

Eton Mess

Bowl of Eton Mess
Eton Mess (Image: Daily Mirror)

Eton Mess is a traditional dessert consisting of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream.

It is believed the recipe originated at the country’s most famous independent school, Eton College.

It was served in the school’s tuck shop and was originally a mix of fruit and cream. Meringue was added later.

It is still served at the annual cricket match between Eton and Harrow.

Berkshire Bacon Pudding

Also known as Berkshire Bacon Rolly Polly, this is essentially bacon and onions wrapped in suet pastry and then steamed in a cloth.

It’s similar to the “clangers” found around the country.

Barkham Blue cheese

Wedge of cheese on plate by grapes
Two Hoots Cheese’s Barkham Blue won best blue cheese at the Great British Cheese Awards

Maintaining the cheesy theme, there is another award winning cheese maker in Berkshire.  The company is Two Hoots cheese.

Its most famous project is arguably its award-winning Barkham Blue.

Founded in the early 2000s, the company is based in the quiet village of Barkham, just outside Wokingham.

Cheese making started as a hobby and then grew into a business.

The company’s cheeses have since won numerous awards, including the best blue cheese in Britain.

The Poor Knights of Windsor

This is a grandly named pudding, largely made of bread.

Bread, milk, butter, lard, sugar and jam are mixed together and then fried in more lard and butter.

It’s best with jam, and then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.

Perhaps not one for the post Christmas dieters out there.

News from Berkshire Live

Written by Editor

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