Food & drink in Cornwall
Over the past couple of decades Cornwall has seen something of a renaissance as a foodie destination. This is not so much due to what we consider traditional Cornish food such as pasties, cream teas, saffron buns, Cornish Heavy (Hevva) Cake etc, but more down to the increasing popularity of seafood, an abundance of quality restaurants and a ready supply of quality, local produce.
With some estimates putting the annual turnover of Cornwall's food & drink industry at over £1 billion its importance to the local economy cannot be overestimated.
Cornwall's recent culinary success can be put down at least to some extent to the cult of the celebrity chef i.e. Rick Stein et al, and the the extent to which they have helped to raise the popularity of fish and seafood in the UK. It has also been suggested that the rise of vegetarianism (or more specifically demi-vegetarianism) has raised the popularity of fish and seafood.
Cornwall's close relationship with the sea and fishing has allowed it to capitalise on this popularity and with a handful of quality restaurants using fresh local produce and a good deal of attention from the food media, eating out in Cornwall is experiencing a boom.
It is worth a mention that whilst Cornwall is benefiting from the UK's increase in interest in seafood cuisine is experiencing,
interest has been for species such as swordfish, tuna, marlin and tiger prawns, all of which are not indigenous!
However, whilst many Cornish restaurants are either specialist fish restaurants or offer a greater number of fish dishes than meat, there is more than Rick Stein and fish to Cornwall's culinary revival.
Cornwall's farmers are gaining a reputation for producing food of the highest standards in terms of the environment and animal welfare. Farm produce such as Cornish Yarg and Roskilly's Ice Cream is being sold not only in a growing number of farm shops and farmers markets but exported all over the UK. There has been a particularly strong growth in the organic produce sector over the last few years, reinforcing the public's trust in the wholesomeness and traceability of Cornish meat and vegetables.
The number of quality restaurants in Cornwall have now comprehensively re-defined the county's culinary image from that of tacky beachside cafes to a gourmet destination.