Parkin. Apparently, not so many people outside of Yorkshire know what it is – making it quite a ‘Northern thing’ here in the UK. Parkin is a gingery, wholemeal oaty cake-like dessert, can be eaten hot or cold, on it’s own or with custard, ice-cream, cream or butter. Though as a rule I don’t do’ desserts , for me it’s one of the ultimate Autumn comfort foods (I do eat half a bar of 85% chocolate daily though – fact).
Green and Blacks also have discovered this rather tasty pudding and yesterday were in Harrogate delighting the people of Yorkshire with a special ‘Yorkshire pear and ginger parkin’ recipe as part of their UK taste tour.
Invited along to try it out, I met with Green and Blacks taste specialist (Brandt Maybury) and reigning Yorkshire Pudding Champion (Christopher Blackburn), whose combined expertise has created a chocolate twist on traditional parkin.
The parkin (adapted from Chris’s mothers recipe) tasted SO GOOD! The chocolate was a subtle undertone so it really worked and was served with poached pear and caramel sauce.
Photo courtesy of Edelman
Sadly the resulting parking won’t be available for general consumption anywhere – (it’s a crime!) however, I am told the recipe will be made available and when it does I shall post here.
Finally, as we stood and ate I asked the gents FIVE QUICK QUESTIONS:
1. If they weren’t chef’s they would be:
Chris: ‘I’m not a chef!’ (oh we’re off to a great start #fail). He is a foody, and Yorkshire pud world champion in his spare time though so you can see why I asked!
Brandt: Rockstar. Writes his own songs and plays the guitar. (Move over Ed!)
2. What do they eat for breakfast?
Chris: Sainsburys mini wheats with cranberry.
Brandt: Doesn’t eat till noon (a la 16:8 diet) so breakfast doesn’t really happen.
3. Meal they most readily default to?
Chris: Chilli. On a weekend sometimes made with slow cooked brisket.
Brandt: Brandtos chicken! (chicken, garlic, coriander, lime with roast veg and rice – bit like a Nando’s, I’m hungry!).
4. Most under-used ingredient people should be using more of?
Chris: Beef dripping. Drizzled on salad, used to make croutons – so many uses!
Brandt: Anchovies, cooked they dissolve and don’t taste of fish (I did not know that). Also star anise – amazing in chilli (Oh and caraway seeds!)
5. Which chef(s) do they keep an eye on/follow?
Chris: Tom Kerridge. Inspiration itself of real, home comfort food and Gordon Ramsey for his passion.
Brandt: Mikael Jonsson. Though less well-known, his restaurant Hedone, was awarded a Michelin Star in his first year and is recognised as being the 60th best restaurant in the world. Jamie Oliver for what he’s done in getting more people cooking in their homes than anyone else.
Almost an hour later I left with quite a few little pearls of wisdom up my sleeve (did you know you can add chocolate to chilli?!) and hopefully, other bypassers were also inspired to try a new trick or two in the kitchen!