Five East Midlands delicacies to add to your Christmas hamper

Thursday, 12 December 2019

This Christmas, why not give Aunt Bessie and her frozen favourites a break and try some traditional dishes that originate in the East Midlands?

Melton Mowbray pork pie, Leicestershire

You’ve probably left a mince pie out for Santa on Christmas Eve, but how about enjoying a pork pie for breakfast the next morning? This unusual tradition is thought to have started in the East Midlands and lots of people in Leicestershire still tuck into a pork pie on December 25th to keep the custom alive.

For the ultimate festive pork pie, skip the supermarket and instead head to Melton Mowbray, a quintessentially English market town known for its eponymous pork pie and general passion for food and drink.

The Melton Mowbray pork pie has a distinctive hand-formed crust and contains uncured meat that’s chopped rather than minced. Unlike other pies, which have straight sides due to being baked in moulds, the Melton Mowbray pie’s sides bow outwards, giving it a charming handmade appearance.

For an authentic, award-winning Melton Mowbray pork pie, visit Dickinson & Morris, who have been baking in the same shop in the town centre for over 160 years. It’s the third stop on the Melton Heritage Trail, which guides you through 1,000 years of the town’s history.

For the perfect accompaniment to a Melton Mowbray pork pie, check out the next item on our list.

Dickinson & Morris, Melton Mowbray | Google Maps

Book train tickets to Leicester station, which is a 15-minute train journey from Melton Mowbray.

Mushy peas with mint sauce, Nottingham

Mushy peas aren’t everyone’s cup of ...peas, but they’re much loved in Nottinghamshire, especially when accompanied with lashings of mint sauce. You’ll traditionally find this dish at Nottingham’s annual Goose Fair, where locals take the preparation of the delicacy very seriously (a few years ago, a Facebook campaign rallied against ‘shop-bought mint sauce out of a squirty bottle’ and demanded the return of the traditional bowl and ladle).

You can find a permanent stall, aptly named The Mushy Pea Stall, in Nottingham’s Victoria Market, which is dedicated to this curious green treat. It’s not a fancy affair but promises a nostalgic trip down memory lane for anyone who enjoyed this dish when they were young.

Victoria Market, Nottingham | Google Maps

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Lincolnshire sausages, Lincoln

Every supermarket stocks Lincolnshire sausages, but only a handful of butchers can claim they’ve made these bangers the traditional way for nearly 200 years.

Curtis of Lincoln is a family business that cares about local provenance and the quality of its ingredients. Whether you’re after some sausages for a barbeque, toad-in-the-hole or bangers and mash, Curtis’ recipe, which has been handed down through the generations, is a perfect choice. They also offer two varieties of traditional, luxury Lincolnshire plum bread.

Curtis of Lincoln has several shops in Lincoln, including one that’s a 10-minute walk from Lincoln Cathedral.

Curtis of Lincoln | Google Maps

Book train tickets to Lincoln