Over the last few years, we’ve seen the word ‘artisan’ used the world over to describe everything from baked goods to coffee to cheeses to beer; but what does it actually mean?
The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘artisan’ as “A worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand” or “(Of food or drink) made in a traditional or non-mechanised way using high-quality ingredients”.
So, basically, in the latter sense, the word should be used to describe food made by hand using the best ingredients available – and where better to find artisan foods than in Suffolk, home to some of the best foods, drinks and ingredients in the country? Our county produces the well-known and loved Aspall and Adnams ciders, Copella apple juice, Musks sausages, Suffolk Gold cheese and Cole’s Christmas puddings, but what about the smaller producers that also call Suffolk ‘home’?
Here are five of EAUX’s favourite artisan producers in and around Suffolk – we recommend checking these out, especially as the Christmas gifting season approaches!
Drop by the village of Orford for delicious breads and pastries from Pump Street Bakery. These foodie treats are made daily onsite, and displayed in their intimate cafe alongside local, seasonal food and the best artisanal tea and coffee. We also recommend their mouthwatering Bean to Bar Chocolate, which is sold all over the UK and the world, including Australia, the USA and Asia.
The business was founded in November 2010 by father-daughter team Chris and Joanna Brennan. It is the result of Chris’ years developing his skills as a self-taught baker, and Joanna’s enthusiasm for all things gourmand. Chris manages the baking team, while Joanna takes care of the shop and cooks for the café.
You might see the vintage-style Alder Tree ice cream van at a fair or even a wedding, offering their fantastic fruit cream ice in flavours such as Gooseberry & Elderflower, Pear & Vanilla, and Stem Ginger & Rhubarb – unique, unforgettable flavours that make your nostalgic for a childhood spent eating ice cream on the Suffolk shores.
Alder Tree fruit cream ices are made with just three ingredients: local British fruits, cream and sugar. Specifically, the fruits come from the surplus of produce at Alder Carr Farm near Needham Market, and the business itself is situated in the barns onsite that also house the family’s farm shop and cafe.
Mother-daughter chocolatiers Toni and Laura create wonderful chocolates in the form of bars, lollipops and hot chocolate swirling sticks, to name just a few. These one of a kind treats are offered in an array of fantastic flavours, and are produced using local ingredients, including local free range eggs in their cakes and bakes.
Each product is lovingly handmade in Suffolk, and the ladies even run workshops at the Suffolk Food Hall to pass on their knowledge and techniques to aspiring chocolatiers and home bakers.
Having farmed at Fen Farm for three generations, the Crickmore family are experts at their trade. They believe that ‘the very best food in the world is the simplest, straight from nature to your plate’, and use this ethos in the production of their organic Raw Milk and extremely tempting Baron Bigod cheese.
Visit their farm in Bungay, where you’ll see their peaceful herd of Montbeliarde cows frolicking, and you can also fill up your milk bottle from the UK’s first raw milk vending machine! There are so many facets to this amazing independent business…
This family run farm in the Stowmarket countryside produces English Longhorn Beef, Oxford and Sandy Black Pork and in-season Lamb, all of which is reared and butchered onsite. Kenton Hall Estate guarantees 100% traceability on all of their meat, from field to fork, meaning that you’ll always know that your food is certifiably Suffolk-bred!
Their herd produces pure Longhorn Beef, which is known for its marbled quality without excess external fat cover; this ensures tenderness, succulence and fantastic flavour! Their 28 day ageing process seals in natural juices and ensures the tastiest cuts of meat possible. You can purchase their produce through their farm shop, located on the estate.