Thursday, November 18

Whitby gingerbread

As I finished off the last slice of Botham's Whitby gingerbread yesterday (bought way back in September and still as tasty - the best before date on the packet was March 2011!), buttered and eaten with a slice of hard goats cheese, I was slightly bemused by the statement on the wrapper along the lines of: 'This is not for everyone'.

I couldn't find any further explanation of this rather enigmatic statement, but suspect it may refer to the unusual texture.

According to The Taste of Britain by Laura Mason and Catherine Brown, Whitby gingerbread was believed to have been developed with a rather more dry and firm texture than normal gingerbread to enable it to last for a long time as part of a ship's provisions. It's described as somewhere between a loaf and a biscuit, and traditionally is served buttered with cheese. The entry in the book says it's made with lard, but that seems to have changed since the book was written, presumably to make it suitable for vegetarians.

It is certainly drier than you would expect of a regular gingerbread or parkin, but this in no way detracts from its delicious gingery taste. Us landlubbers are lucky to be able to offset the dry texture with a nice moist cheese (presumably Wensleydale would be perfect) but I guess if you were on a long voyage it would be a real taste of home after weeks at sea.

If you fancy trying some baked Yorkshire delicacies, you can now order online!


PixieMum said...

Can you buy this gingerbread in London?

It sounds lovely and good as a store cupboard item.

knit nurse said...

Sorry PixieMum, looks like you've got to buy mail order or take yourself Oop North. It's worth the trip, I can assure you - not just for the gingerbread but also for Fortune's kipper pate, Yorkshire fish n chips, the best black pudding and Yorkshire curd tart, to name just a few!