Savour Suffolk, the foodie county
By Oliver Paul
Suffolk Food Hall
The incredible range of food which can be found across Suffolk is inextricably linked to the landscape. Quite different to the rest of the UK, this little corner has a diverse range of landforms, which lead to the wide range of local delicacies you will enjoy. Probably the best way to describe this is by painting a mental picture.
Think of the coast and the wide estuaries stretching inland (such as the Orwell running up to Ipswich) and you’ll understand where our fish comes from. Imagine the lush pastureland you would expect to find next to these rivers and tucked behind seawalls; rich in wildlife and unrivalled grazing for cattle and sheep.
The light soil-type to the east of Ipswich lends itself to free-range pigs and vegetable crops; and millennia of arable farming have shaped our fields (Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings all knew it as a good place to settle).
To the west of Ipswich, the land gets heavier and so is home to world-class orchards (mine’s an Aspall cyder, please) or cereal crops; wheat for our bread and barley for our beer (Adnams or Greene King, this round). Even our ancient woods are influenced by food & farming with many sweet chestnut stalls still being coppiced to this day for livestock fence posts.
While this picture may not be a Constable or Gainsborough masterpiece (both local lads), our geomorphology serves to explain the diversity in local food and drink.
This is a story told at the Suffolk Food Hall, underneath the Orwell Bridge, and founded by the seventh generation of an ‘agri-business’ family. Along with their history in grain trading and rearing native breeds, the Paul family has seen the opportunity to bring together all the local lovely foods our area has to offer.
Savour the sea with their fishmonger, sample their beef, lamb and more with the butcher, sup ale from the beer stands, slice bread from the artisan scratch baker, sun yourself at the Café whilst your children enjoy the jumping pillow.… and soak up the landscape with the view from their restaurant.
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