Every year since 2002, the incredible Alexia Robinson has championed British food and encouraged suppliers, caterers and the Great British public to get behind her initiative, British Food Fortnight.

Originally developed in the wake of disasters such as BSE and the foot and mouth crisis, British Food Fortnight was designed to re-engage the public and demonstrate the great food from this country. What started as a new form of harvest festival and involved only a few communities has today become a truly national initiative and has grown way beyond Alexia’s dreams.

British Food Fortnight will run from 21 September to 6 October this year and there are a loads of ways to get involved on the www.lovebritshfood.co.uk website – for both consumers and caterers alike. Why not have your own British Food Fortnight at home and look out for special promotions at your local stores (and in your bartlett mitchell restaurant or café). Here are a few suggestions for you from the South of England (from a much longer UK-wide list!):

London and the South East

London – Pie, mash and parsley liquor (with or without jellied eels), and the Chelsea Bun.

Hampshire – Hampshire watercress and artisan cheeses including Lyburn Winchester, Tunworth and London Blewe.

Isle of Wight – Is famous for its tomatoes, sweet corn and garlic. In fact the garlic is so good it is regularly sold to the French!

Sussex – Famous for its Sussex Downs lamb, Arundel mullet and the tea-time pastry, Brighton Rock.

Kent – Juicy fresh fruit and delicious vegetables and local delicacies also include Dover sole, Whitstable oysters, cobnuts and Romney lamb.

Surrey – The chalky soil makes it the prefect location for English sparkling wine production.

Berkshire – Traditional recipes such as Eton mess, brown Windsor soup and poor knights of Windsor pudding.

Oxfordshire – The Oxford sausage, made with pork meat and veal. The Banbury cake is made with puff pastry, and filled with a mincemeat mixture known as ‘Banbury meat’.

Buckinghamshire – Local chocolates, Aylesbury duck and The Chiltern Brewery’s award-winning draught beer.

Hertfordshire – Hertfordshire’s barley malt is an essential component of beer. Also, Braughing sausages, and game from the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate in the Chiltern Hills including venison, hare and pheasant.

Essex – From Colchester oysters, Southend whitebait and Essex whelks to Maldon sea salt. Also home to the famous Wilkin and Sons Tiptree preserves.

South West

Cornwall – Mackerel; Cornish pasties, savoury and sweet; and nettle-wrapped Cornish yarg cheese.

Devon – Fresh fish and seafood, Devon cream teas.

Dorset – Abundant fresh produce and the award-winning Woolsery English goat cheese.

Somerset – Best known for its delicious cider, and cheddar cheese.

Gloucestershire – Double Gloucester and Stinking Bishop cheeses, and the Old Spot pig, which produces top quality pork chops, roasting joints and sausages.

My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

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