10 Must Eat Norfolk Foods
Published date: August 2020
When you visit somewhere new it’s always great to try out their local delicacies, produce that is sourced from the region and their twist on traditional recipes. Norfolk has a wealth of fine restaurants, cafes and pubs around the county selling local fayre and many markets, shops, delicatessens and artisans selling food local to Norfolk.
Sample fabulous Norfolk food from the world-famous Cromer crab, Brancaster mussels, and Norfolk turkey to Mrs Temples’ Binham Blue cheese, Norfolk shortcake and locally produced gin. There are far too many to list them all, so here are 10 of the best Norfolk foods to try when visiting the region.
Full of flavour and sweeter than other crabs, the Cromer Crab is probably Norfolk’s most famous food item and can be found on menus around the world. Its unique flavour and tender flesh make the humble crab a Norfolk delicacy. Freshly caught Cromer crabs are available at many Norfolk restaurants, cafes, delis and fishmongers; if you are looking for something that tastes of Norfolk you simply have to try the one and only Cromer crab.
Fresh mussels from Brancaster Staithe Harbour are a local speciality, popular with visitors and locals alike. Found on the menu of many establishments around Norfolk, Brancaster Mussels are in season
during months with an ‘r’ in them, so generally speaking, from September to April. These delicious shellfish can be found in restaurants, pubs, cafes and fishmongers around Norfolk and especially along the Norfolk coast.
Norfolk Black Turkey
Norfolk has traditionally been a region that produces great turkeys, and the Norfolk Black is considered by many as the most delicious of all turkeys. Its distinct, gamey flavour ensures it is on the menu of many restaurants in the county all year round, not just at Christmas!
These cockles are known locally as “Stewkey Blues”, due to their distinctive blue hue that they get from the mud and sand in which they live. Collected from sand beds near Stiffkey in North Norfolk, this local delicacy is best enjoyed by the sea with vinegar and plenty of pepper.
Mrs Temples Cheeses
These locally produced Norfolk cheeses can be found on many Norfolk restaurant menus and in delis and shops around the county. There are a number of cheeses produced including the popular Binham Blue, a soft blue veined cheese, Copys Cloud, with its melting centre and fluffy white rind and Walsingham, a hard, matured cheese with a crumbly texture.
Samphire is a sea vegetable that loves salt marshes and North Norfolk boasts the largest expanse of salt marsh in the country and producers an excellent supply of samphire. Sometimes known as sea asparagus, it has a crisp texture and tastes of the sea and is gathered for consumption from June to September. It can be used raw in salads or boiled or steamed for a few minutes. Often sold in countryside lay-bys, outside houses or in fishmongers along the coast, it can also be found on the menu when in season, in many Norfolk restaurants and pubs. A delicious salty vegetable that is best enjoyed with some ground pepper and little bit of butter.
When in season, it is a very common sight to see asparagus growing in a field in Norfolk. Norfolk’s light soil creates the perfect growing conditions for this vegetable and around the county there are many impromptu roadside stalls selling Norfolk asparagus between April and June. If you are visiting Norfolk during asparagus season you are sure to find it on the menu at many local restaurants, pubs and cafes.
Norfolk is a large rural county with plenty of game birds and mammals. Game is full of flavour and much venison, pheasant and pigeon can be found on pub and restaurant menus across the county. Norfolk Game is also available to purchase from many farm shops, delicatessens and butchers around Norfolk, for those wishing to cook it themselves.
There are many variations of shortcake, with different parts of the country adding unique ingredients to make it their own. Norfolk is no different and you will find these sweet treats in bakeries around the region, generally with the addition of currants.
If you would like to make your own Norfolk Shortcake, you may like to try the following recipe:
Norfolk Fish and Chips
Obviously not just a dish associated with Norfolk, but a trip to Norfolk wouldn’t be complete without sampling some freshly caught fish with a side of chips. Norfolk has an abundance of fish and chip shops and restaurants and cafes selling delicious locally caught fish, and with miles and miles of coastline, they don’t get much fresher!! Nothing beats a portion of fish and chips whilst overlooking the Norfolk coast!
Here are some of the best fish and chip shops in Norfolk:
It’s not just certain foods that need sampling when in Norfolk. The county also has some fine examples of locally produced gin, real ales and even whisky!
Norfolk produces many high-quality ales and these can be sampled around the county in a vast number of restaurants and pubs. They can also be purchased across Norfolk from farm shops, delicatessens, pubs, and direct from breweries. For further details, please go to the following article:
There are many fine examples of gin produced in Norfolk, from those with more traditional juniper-forward taste impressions to the sublime. In recent years there has been a massive surge in gin drinking and Norfolk has in turn seen a rise in gin producers. Many are available to order in bars and restaurants around Norfolk or are available by the bottle from farm shops, delicatessens or directly from the producers.
To find out more about locally produced Norfolk Gins, please go to the following article:
Norfolk Whisky - The English Whisky Co
St. George’s Distillery is located on Harling Road, Roudham in Norfolk and is England’s oldest whisky distillery. The site is perfectly suited to whisky production, with Norfolk being one of the world’s finest barley growing regions. Coupled with the fact that the Breckland aquifer which can be found 50ft beneath the distillery provides a plentiful supply of crystal clear water. Tours are available and items can be bought online or from their shop on site.