Local is best
21 Jun 2011
Local is best
How green is your wedding? Julie West from Tastes of Anglia would urge you to treat your nearest and dearest to a local feast at your reception.
Some of the most romantic and genuine weddings I’ve attended in person or seen on TV have been the ones with a personal touch. And memorably the most natural and “real” of those have featured local food, with the happy couple taking time to find tasty ingredients on their doorstep to indulge their lucky guests.
For what must be the most special meal in your life – the wedding breakfast – surely no effort is too much trouble.
So what do I envisage for a local food-themed wedding? Guests walking from the church to the reception nearby, brushing the flower petal confetti off their lapels, being offered a glass of something chilled and local, perhaps farm cider, real ale or a sparkling wine made just down the road by the Champagne method rather than in France.
Seats are taken for a real food feast, perhaps some locally-smoked fish and shellfish in a seafood starter, garnished with salad leaves and a dressing of rapeseed oil and cider vinegar, with toasted wedges of locally-baked bread from stone-ground milled flour.
The main course might be a perfectly cooked joint of farmyard meat, probably organic but certainly a rare breed, slow reared and lovingly cared for, with all the trimmings; potatoes and veggies picked just a few hours before, a rich gravy made from local red wine along with mustard and redcurrant jelly in the jus.
A cheeseboard of local varieties – cow’s, ewe’s or goat’s milk, blue, semi-hard, bloom ripened, hard, curd, we produce them all – with orchard apples and celery as well as hand-crafted biscuits and fruity chutney must make an appearance.
All finished off with a summer pudding of wonderful local berries and currants, rich dollops of cream and proper farmhouse shortbread, locally-roasted coffee and, of course, an artisan wedding cake, plus the wedding favours of local fudge, beautifully wrapped in recycled packaging.
All these ingredients can be found within 30 miles of where you are getting wed. With a little effort and interest, you can work with your caterers to find regional producers for almost everything.
The Tastes of Anglia website (www.tastesofanglia.com) is a good place to start. It features a huge array of local food manufacturers and their products, plus outside caterers and wedding venues throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire as well as the rest of the Eastern region.
Julie West is chief executive of Tastes of Anglia, the East of England’s regional food and drink marketing group. For help with finding local products or ingredients, please call 01473 785883 or visit www.tastesofanglia.com.