7 amazing culinary delicacies made in Cornwall – and you can buy them now
Even if we can't get back there for a summer holiday just yet, these should still top the list of things to sink your teeth into
Cornwall is rightly proud of its unique heritage and status in the United Kingdom. It has its own Brittonic culture, its own Celtic language, and even its own sub-tropical microclimate (which puts it in the same climate classification as Mexico and Vietnam).
It’s no surprise that Cornwall is also awash with unique, local delicacies. Here are 7 culinary delights which are only produced in Cornwall and can be bought right now.
1. Cornish Yarg and Kern
What better way to start off anything than with cheese? From their dairy near Truro, Lynher Dairies use a local herd of Ayreshire cattle to produce several Cornish cheeses, two of which are Yarg and Kern.
Yarg is probably their most famous cheese, with its distinctive rind made from nettles (don't worry, they don't sting). A semi-hard cheese, similar to Caerphilly, Yarg is described by its creators as having "a fresh mushroomy taste" and an "irresistible crumble in its core."
Lynher Dairies are the exclusive producers of Cornish Yarg and Kern, among others
Kern is similarly as distinctive in appearance, with a deep, black rind made of wax. As a hard farmhouse cheese, Kern has its roots in the Dutch Gouda and is described by Lynher as having a "rich, buttery taste and caramel notes."
2. Cornish Biltong
Founded in 2016 by two pals and rugby fanatics, The Cornish Biltong Company has gone from strength to strength. Four years ago they started out making biltong; a South African type of dried, cured meat. Now, having long since perfected their recipe, they use local beef to produce three types of high quality biltong in their North Cornwall facility.
Ex-professional rugby player Rupert first discovered Biltong through his South African teammates at Bristol
The resulting biltong is tender and packed full of meaty flavour, which co-founder Rupert Freestone attributes to the high quality ingredients used. It's also super healthy, unlike American jerky, due to being low in sugar but packed full of protein, vitamins and minerals – you'd expect no less from two rugby nuts.
The Cornish Biltong Company can ship individual flavours or variety packages of different weights straight to your door. They also offer a subscription service if you can't ever do without a regular supply.
3. Cornish beer
There isn't much that goes better with biltong than a glass of decent beer. And Cornwall is no stranger to the crafting of a good pint. For traditional ale drinkers, there's the renowned St Austell brewery who, since they began brewing in the town of St Austell in 1851, have brewed over 1.8 billion pints.
St Austell aren't just local to Cornwall, they also export ale nationwide. Photo by mnm.all on Unsplash
If you're a craft beer aficionado, there's the Harbour Brewing Company from Bodmin, who brew their beers to reflect the Cornish landscape and lifestyle that has shaped them.
"We are blessed with where we live," say the brewery. "We pay homage to our fortune through the nature of our brew."
4. Cornish wine
That microclimate Cornwall's got going on turns out to be so suited to winemaking, that the county has been dubbed the "California of England".
The Camel Valley vineyard is settled on the steep banks of the river Camel. Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash
The Camel Valley vineyard, whose wines won 10 silver and gold medals in various competitions last year and picked up a world championship award for their sparkling rosé, have solidified Cornwall's right to be considered alongside the top wine producing regions of the world.
5. Cornish Gin
If winning the "World's Best Gin" award in 2017 doesn't put Cornish gin on a list of delicacies, not much could. Tarquin's Cornish Gin claims to have been the first distillery to open in Cornwall for over a century, but is now one of many producing high quality gin to be sipped around the country and the world.
Tarquin's Cornish Gin regularly tops lists of Cornish delicacies. Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash
Tarquin's Cornish Gin are still shipping during lockdown and have even turned their hand to making hand sanitiser for key workers. All bottles of gin qualify for free delivery and come with a 500ml bottle of Fever Tree tonic.
6. Cornish Pasties
It couldn't really be decent list of Cornish delicacies without featuring the humble, yet mighty, Cornish pasty, which has been part of the British diet for 700 years.
To be considered genuinely Cornish, a pasty must contain diced or minced beef, swede, potato and onion. It must contain at least 15% meat and 25% vegetables; be hand crimped and shaped like a D; and have had all the ingredients inside cooked from raw within the pastry. Obviously, it must have been made west of the river Tamar, in Cornwall.
And oh yes, you can get Cornish pasties delivered straight to your door. What a world we live in.
7. Cornish clotted cream
Spread it over a scone. Serve it with a warm chocolate brownie. Scoop tablespoons of it into your mouth. Cornwall is famous for its clotted cream, which is used throughout the country to help afternoon tea reach its full potential.
Photo by Sam Edwards on Unsplash
Rodda's, who call themselves 'keepers of the cream', have been producing Cornish clotted cream since 1890 using milk from nearby livestock farms.
It seems people have been enjoying quite a bit of afternoon tea recently. Rodda's is currently having stock issues, but will start taking new orders again soon.