As a peninsula, Cornwall is rife with a proliferation of amazing seafood; from Falmouth’s world famous oysters, to London’s favourite Mylor prawns, and the fat mussels lining the rocks of the Helford and other estuaries across the county. Within the catchment of St. Ives, Hayle brags salt flats laden with marsh sampihre and razor clams, and rock samphire and sea spinach act almost as weeds around the coast.
Following the success of my last list of Cornwall food and drink related companies, I have so much more to add to this list, which I am uncovering as I wend my around the beautiful peninsula I call home. 30 years ago when I was a child in Boscastle, fish and chips was the height of British food, and the nation suffered from this stigma of sufferable food since.
Until recent years.
Throughout the nineties, as I, like many other teenagers in Cornwall, made my first independent money as a KP in a local cafe, Cornwall became a more recognised foodie destination. Seafood chef Rick Stein rose to popularity, and Cornwall saw many other independent chefs choosing provenance.
These days Cornwall boasts thousands of top class eateries and Michelin star chefs, making it a highly sought after foodie destination. Working as a freelance writer in food and drink has allowed me to meet people from all over the county who are doing great things with food. It’s just so transpired that all of these companies fit with the sustainability ethos we love to communicate here.
Harbour Lights Falmouth
So much more than just a chip shop, my work with Tasting Britain has introduced me to the wonderfully motivating and inspirational Pete Fraser, who manages my local chippie! With a wellbalanced combination of rapeseed oil and a small amount of sustainably sourced palm, these chips are delicious and healthier than most too. Ricky ‘Kaiser Chiefs’ Wilson told the Guardian how great it is, and we were invited down to a relaunch recently. Pete, like Mary Quicke, is a local hero; prioritising sustainability and good, honest food. He has some exciting plans for furthering his commitment to sustainability, hoping to deploy an anaerobic digester to reduce waste.
The Rebel Brewing Co.
Tucked away in an industrial estate in Penryn, these guys are doing exciting things with beer. Having been microbrewers for some years now, they are constantly pushing out new beers and ideas, such as their Penryn Pale Ale and the incredible Mexi-Cocoa, which uses the by-products from ethical, sustainable company Chocolarder cacao husks. Independent and award winning, these brewers use renewables to ensure their business looks to the future.
I’ve written about them before, and have seen them pop up across different places in Cornwall over the last few months. One thing I am pleased to say, after meeting Karen and Debs for a Tasting Britain review is that everything they use to make their incredible low and slow meats is sourced locally. Add to that sustainable packaging, wooden knives and forks and a hand refurbished horse box, and you’ve got the ethos of Inkie’s right there: simple, sustainable and local good food. They have two regular slots a week in Bodmin and Liskeard, but you’ll see them popping up at food festivals and events as the season opens up.
Infusing wheat based alcohol with aromatic botanicals is something that distilleries across the country have been doing for centuries. Southwestern Distilleries use their own blend of these botanicals to make small batch Cornish gin, near to Wadebridge. Clear and crisp, this is a gin with a light and yet exotic flavour. A visit to the place where the magic happens is something I’m really looking forward to, on behalf of Tasting Britain next month.
Sean Gee photography
Great things happen in great places, and one of the things I love the most about Cornwall is the community of foodies who contribute to #cornishfoodhour on a Sunday night. From bloggers to food label owners, and foodies to photographers, we all get together to tweet about events, discoveries, recipes and all things food. Through this, I met Sean Gee, a food photographer who has a rather large hand in the Boscastle Food Festival. Maybe it’s because he’s from my home town, or maybe because he relentlessly pops up everywhere ;) I love Sean’s thoughtful and mouthwatering photography.
Food and drink in Cornwall is one of its biggest exports, as the brand of Cornwall begins to grow internationally. As such, this is a list and subject my food journalism and natural curiosity seeks to expand upon over the summer.