Tuesday, 27 February 2018

A Taste of West Sussex – celebrating the food of our county

Ten years ago we launched our very own Taste Magazine. The idea was to promote all the wonderful food and drink in West Sussex, this was a positive way to support some small and often rural businesses and I am pleased to say Taste continues today and has a loyal following.

West Sussex was originally a very rural and agricultural area, the benign climate and rich soil means we have some fantastic local produce which we should all be proud of. This is nothing new, the Romans came here and saw the South East as a productive area to grow food and wine and they certainly knew a thing or two!

We at West Sussex County Council are actively promoting the tourist economy through a website which pulls together all the great things to do in the county; Experience West Sussex.

We know there is a real interest in artisan and high quality local food. People like to know the provenance of their food when in a restaurant or at home on a special occasion. Whether it is South Downs Lamb, Selsey Crab or local grown potatoes and asparagus or spinach – it all counts and says much about the area. Added to that the food can be eaten with some highly acclaimed wines and beers as well. A lovely thought when the weather is as cold as it is at the moment!

That was one of the reasons that we held a ‘Meet the Buyer Event’ for our food producers. This was a chance to bring together people who make the food with the people that get it on the shelves of our shops. I have to say it was such an inspiring afternoon meeting and talking to some very dedicated and committed producers. From delicious artisan cheeses - Brighton Blue was very tasty - to pies, chocolates, brownies, chutneys, honey, breads and not forgetting ice cream as well (who could forget ice cream?!) For me it was a first to try sheep’s milk Ice Cream and milk – which was really good. Then there were a range of beers, gins, wines and water as well fruit juices.

For me the afternoon demonstrated how much West Sussex has to offer and the committed food professionals who take such a pride and delight in all that they produce - they are West Sussex food heroes and I hope that the help we give them will ensure they grow and develop to showcase all the great produce here in West Sussex.   

 

 

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