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56 of the best food and drink products from Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 12:28 09 January 2018

5132 Reuben (c) Steve James, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

5132 Reuben (c) Steve James, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Steve James {steeljam} 2013

Few counties are as blessed as ours for their fine, bounteous larder. We asked Julie West from Tastes of Anglia to give us a flavour of her Suffolk favourites and she came back with this mammoth list of 56 delectable food and drink products

Living as I do in the heart of Suffolk, I see on a daily basis how fortunate our wonderful region is with its food and drink heroes and their indulgent creations. From household names to hidden gems, Suffolks rural traditions in farming, brewing, fishing and the like, have inspired generations to harness the natural resources and verdant fertile soil surrounding us.

A patchwork of different landscapes and soils the coast with its reedbeds and marsh to the north and wide river estuaries to the south, inland the sandy heaths, wooded estates, flat arable land, lush pasture have influenced what flourishes in particular parts of our beautiful county.

Tasked with compiling a greatest list of 50 products to showcase what we evidently do so well, when the rollcall reached over 70, I admitted defeat, so here is merely a grand selection.

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1) Explorer Blonde Beer, Adnams of Southwold

Part of Adnams complementary commitment to making distinctive different beers outside of their historic mould of iconic ales, draught Explorer is a citrussy blonde bitter, full of grapefruity tang to cut through its golden malted and peppery hopped backbone (4.3% abv).

The passion to move forward and to be market leaders is far from limited to head brewer Fergus Fitzgeralds innovation and dynamics in the brewery. Just one part of this benevolent company, Adnams very green and responsible portfolio extends beyond great beer to being wine merchants, hoteliers, owners of a sizeable regional pub estate, retailers in cookware and food and, of course, corporate figureheads in sustainable business.

Vintners of much repute and history, their wine list is synonymous with quality, value, passion and indulgence. One of the newest Adnams flag bearers will be the Adnams premium Cellar Selection range (think Crozes Hermitage, Sancerre or Fronsac claret) bottled under their company label, as well as that of the fine winemakers whose benchmark vintages they have chosen as fine dinner party wines.

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As hoteliers they need little introduction with the Swan at Southwold, the elegant country house hotel in town, and its sister property, the Crown down the High Street, wine bar-brasserie with rooms. Further afield, they have snapped up Fritton House on the Somerleyton Estate and taken back in house the Bell at Walberswick, just one of the many 70-plus tied pubs in their estate across East Anglia.

Their nine Cellar & Kitchen stores (Hadleigh, Woodbridge and Southwold in Suffolk) are lovely lifestyle stores, perfect for Adnams label foods, funky cookware and dining ranges, not forgetting all those fabulous wines!

But beer is the crux of company, wonderful ales made with the best of technology and tradition, around a dozen in bottle and many more in cask.

Besides The Bitter, Broadside and of course Explorer regulars on pump, look out for not to be missed one-offs such as the international range (Irish Dry Stout in March) and the seasonal brews including dark ruby Gunhill in March, champion Extra special bitter in April and of course Mayday golden ale to follow.

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2) Line caught fish from Maximus Fishing

One of a new breed of fast, small, inshore longline fishing boats, the Maximus fought the tide when it was launched at Lowestoft in early 2005. As long established beam trawlers were left redundant due to rising costs and restrictive quotas caused by diminishing fish stocks, the Wightman brothers boat is indicative of the environmentally-friendly face of 21st century commercial fishing.

By using hundreds of hooks (with a particular bait and a certain size gape) rather than nets, they can target particular species at any time of the year.

If they do happen to catch under-size fish or varieties which they cannot sell, they can swim away unharmed rather than perish (the BBC reporting recently that a third of all trawled catch on average is thrown back dead into the sea).

Not only is the green manner of their fishing estimable, chefs appreciate the quality of the Maximus landings. These are pristine specimens, not squashed or damaged unlike after bulk trawling. Also being a dayboat means their produce gets back much quicker to the market or kitchen door.

Besides their many restaurant customers (including the Michelin starred Tom Aikens in Chelsea), some fish and chips like Hall Road in Lowestoft want prime fish, buying whatever they can from Chris and Steves haul.

Having attended the Aldeburgh Food Festival at Snape Maltings and appreciating the evident demand for their catch, the Wightman brothers are soon to be opening their own fish shop nearby at Friday Street Farm Shop just off the A12 at Farnham.

The seasonal fish calendar is fascinating, cod through the winter until early spring, skate wing all year round (blonde and thornback ray), sea bass in early spring and autumn, with flatfish during the summer months, mostly dover sole, turbot and brill.

3) Damson Jam from Fruits of Suffolk

Embracing all that is good with cottage industry, Crowfield-based Jenny Gibbons has been preserving her talents for the past 15 years.

Core to her Suffolk roots is the ideal of sourcing her ingredients, the wonderful fruit and vegetables, as locally as possible, bringing them back home, and selling them on as close to her community as possible.

So in this case, the damsons are bartered for with locals, they are transformed in small, handmade batches to keep colour and flavour as it cooks quicker.

The resultant dark, deep, sweet/tart preserve is sold at nearby farmers markets and farmshops like the rest of Jennys 30-plus strong range which includes other jams such as raspberry and redcurrant; marmalades including pure lime, three fruits, olde English with black treacle; jellies perhaps bramble or redcurrant; chutneys including autumn fruit and seasonal pickles, maybe beetroot, red cabbage, shallots or local eggs.

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4) Suffolk creme fraiche from Marybelle Dairy

Fresh from their Walpole dairy near Halesworth, the Strachan family’s Rendham herd of pedigree Holstein and Jersey cattle herds at Rendham Hall and those of other fine local farms within an 8 mile radius produce a very fine pint of the white stuff.

Their very good wholesome milk is very green, not just sourced locally, it is all sold within 30 miles of Walpole and their new biodegradable cardboard bottle (plastic lined) is a demonstration of their eco-commitment.

Their prepared products are also a cut above the supermarket norm. Marybelle crme fraiche, their very own native version of the classic soured cream Normandy style, is rich and luscious, just perfect over ripe berries or for enriching sauces.

A sister producer to the Strachans Marybelle Dairy, Suffolk Meadows makes an appetising array of creamy indulgent ice creams in weird and wonderful flavours.

The essence of fine dairy ingredients, their clotted cream variety showcases their rich milk to great effect but if you are looking for something both local and tropical, there is always the Indian kulfi or Turkish delight.

5) Foggers Pear Cyder from Stoke Farm Orchards

The Upsons pear cyder, perry by any other name, is not for the faint hearted, reaching the heady heights of 6.5% abv. A still old-fashioned farm style, it is golden brown in colour and full of that inimitable fragrance and mature orchard flavour.

Blended from over two acres of Conference, Comice, Beurre Hardy and Williams fruit, it takes some two tonnes of fruit to fill 200 half litre bottles after an eight month creative process.

The autumn-picked pears are crushed into a pomace, carefully pressed, cider yeasts are added and after an extended fermentation, it is racked (drained off) the following spring and bottled for sale.

Buying the orchards back in the late 80s after a career in pig farming, it was the hail of 94 which saw the need to do something with the damaged fruit. Starting with juicing, this in turn led to cyder-making, with most of the 30 acres planted with apples, not just the predictable varieties, but also delights such as Princes Russet, Kidds Orange Red, Duke of Devonshire and the interestingly named but geographically challenged Norfolk Biffin.

The juices under the Appletree Hill brand are produced as single varietals to capture their individual essence. Such is the renaissance in heritage apple varieties, this year they hope for a bumper harvest and the opportunity to sell top grade fruit as eating quality.

6) Great with Friends coffee by Paddy & Scott

Locally roasted, ethically sourced beans form the basis of Paddy and Scotts growing coffee business, carefully blended to get the right flavour, in this case Sumatran and Ethiopian arabica with a spicy rich and smokey finish, just right to linger over during a dinner party.

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7) Suffolk cupcakes from The Suffolk Cupcake Company

A great alternative to traditional wedding confections in a tower or just as a little indulgence for afternoon tea, cupcakes are taking this country by storm.

Each is individually hand decorated, giving a beautiful display and needing no portioning, the lucky eater gets to admire them before consuming with glee.

Using local ingredients such as Suffolk free range eggs and Marriages flour, the yummy carrot or apple and blackberry flavours feel almost virtuous compared to the equally delicious chocolate ones!

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Check out our other food & drink content!

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8) Suffolk lager from Calvors Brewery

One of just a clutch of dedicated microbrewers producing artisan lager in the UK (as opposed to the ghastly branded stuff), Alec Williamson was inspired by the family’s arable farm to look at diversification opportunities.

Yet to use their own malted barley (but part of the future vision), they seek it from local maltings to keep provenance.

Alec bottles two brews, a food friendly, gently carbonated Calvors Premium, full of malty hoppiness and at 5% abv great with Indian and other spicy cuisine; and a triple filtered Calvors 3.8, a lower session style lager, crisp and refreshing.

9) Strawberry and Cherry Bomb Chilli Ice Cream by The Chilli Company

Endorphin-boosting capsaicin is the hot stuff in chillies which, like chocolate, has the same physiological feelgood feeling on our bodies and emotions.

So, combined with the cool indulgence of a great ice cream and real fruit, surely Mendleshams Chilli Company must be on to a winner with their innovative six-strong range.

Using an Italian style gelato base, they taste distinctly grown up and chilli lovers excepted, are perhaps best approached gingerly to begin with.

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10) Chicken Liver Pate from the Suffolk Pate Company

A good home cook, Marie-Louise Miller spent 20 years perfecting her three recipes, in this case she takes free range Sutton Hoo chicken livers, sears them until caramelised and blends them with minced garlic and a liberal addition of port and brandy, potted up and sealed with clarified butter to preserve it.

Suffolk Blue cheese forms the basis of another favourite, flavoured with lemon and parsley.

11) Local Mutton from Alburgh Lamb

In the west of the Waveney Valley close to Bungay, Pied Bridge Farm sits on the Suffolk/Norfolk borders and is well known for its lamb.

For those that like a little more texture and deeper flavour, mutton (from two year sheep) offers an old-fashioned choice, in this case foraged on Stewardship pasture.

In 2004, HRH Prince Charles founded the Mutton Renaissance Campaign to encourage its return to the nations plates at home and in restaurants.

12) Dingley Dell Pork

Based at Wickham Market, the Haywards outdoor reared pork lives out in the great Suffolk countryside, the Dingley Dell breed has been chosen to give the best taste and marbling, using Duroc and Gloucester Old Spot amongst its lineage.

As well as the regular pork cuts and joints, in conjunction with Broad Oak, they also produce hams and sausages under their label too.

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13) Suffolk Rusks by Farmhouse Cooking

Attempting to describe a good old Suffolk rusk to the unfamiliar or non-native is a pretty impossible task.

These county specialities have little to do with the baby teething variety the name provokes, more akin to a scone but oven-dried so they have a crisp exterior and quite dense yet light soft interior.

A relatively simple recipe, the skill is in the gentle preparation and deft baking. Like the original biscuits (their French name giving it away), Suffolk rusks are twice baked, pulled into two halves after the first bake and returned to the oven again to harden.

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14) Smoked Haddock and Curry Fishcake by Walnut Tree Foods

With local potatoes harvested at Fosketts Farm of Bromeswell and wherever possible, locally smoked fish, these crispy fishcakes are a savoury blend of poached smoked haddock, fresh herbs, mashed potato and a special blend of mild Madras style spices, formed into patties, floured and breadcrumbed.

Stephen Thurlow launched his Rendlesham-based business ten years ago, calling on his entrepreneurial chef talents.

15) Broadside Strong Original Ale bottled by Adnams Brewery, Southwold

Not to be confused with its draught cousin, the bottled Adnams Strong Original, Broadside celebrates the Battle of Sole Bay and was first brewed back in 1972.

Far from a session beer, more a warming fireside sipper, at 6.3% abv its a hearty mouthful, a brooding dark ruby temptress, steeped in fruitcake flavours of dried fruits and toasted nuts.

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16) Salt Beef from Grangeworth Farm

Worlingworth-based Bill Palfreman and his rural butchery team produce a whole range of cooked meats as well as jointing high quality fresh meats from nearby farmers.

After taking over the land and buildings back in 1966, the mid-80s necessitated diversification, in Grangeworths case this was to add value to farm-reared produce by converting it into charcuterie style delicacies.

The old Jewish favourite, salt beef is just one of these fine silverside, curing it for a week through a salting process and then slowly simmering it to perfection.

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17) Suffolk Red Poll Beef from Worlingworth Hall

Recently taking over the business, The Wells family have relocated the headquarters of Red Poll Meats to their new home near Woodbridge.

Prime heritage beef from Suffolk Red Poll cattle is the mainstay. Grass-fed it comes with dark red, fine-grained, well-marbled flesh and yellowing fat, a sign of good feeding and proper hanging.

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18) Old Growler Porter by Nethergate Brewery

Nethergate IPA and Umbel Ale may be more familiar to some, but Sudbury-based Nethergate have had great success with their distinctly cold weather brew, Old Growler, a rumbling meaningful beer at 5% abv and a heady mix of dark fruity, malty, hoppy flavours with spicy liquorice on the finish.

It has twice been Camra’s UK Winter Beer of the Year.

19) Musks Newmarket Sausage

The founder of the company, James Musk back in 1884, would be proud to see his original and closely guarded recipe has never changed.

Holding four Royal warrants in its history, the Musks Newmarket meaty archetype is now supplied to the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Part of the unique manufacture is moistened local bread instead of rusk being added to the spiced pork shoulder mix, then handmade into links of these famous sausages.

20) Classic Vanilla Fudge by Cascade Foods of Peasenhall

Hand-stirred, carefully tended fudge is for some a sweetmeat of ambrosial proportions. The secret recipe is infused with just fine vanilla and TLC needing no extra gilding.

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Many of our county’s restaurants use this list of producers! Check them out!

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21) Suffolk Wedding Cake by Vanilla Patisserie of Leiston

Besides their indulgent chocolate creations, Michelle Wade and her team specialise in bespoke traditional confections to suit the finest nuptials.

Using local free range eggs and Marybelle cream amongst her carefully sourced ingredients, they really are a perfect fit for all wedding celebrations, classic or contemporary.

22) Dedham Home Baked Tongue by Hall Farm of Stratford St Mary

Firmly established as a charming rural cafe and farm shop/deli, Hall Farm just off the A12 is a firm favourite on the county’s foodie map, twice winners in our Suffolk Food and Drink Awards.

Cleverly diversifying to add retail and catering to their bows, the Barrie family continue cattle farming and their rich succulent home-baked tongue shows their strength in well bred meats.

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23) Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil by Hillfarm Oils of Heveningham

Sharing similar quality production to Italian olive oil, great British rapeseed oil is a very different culinary ingredient, fully traceable to its farm origins and eco-friendly sustainable production.

With food miles firmly on the agenda, the Fairs familys inventive agricultural philosophy has created a great timely substitute for many recipes and cooking techniques.

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24) Stokes Cider and Horseradish Mustard

Aiming for a superior taste for those who resent the mass market options, Stokes is bringing a contemporary edge to the art of condiment making, a fine arable tradition in East Anglia.

A Great Taste Award winner, this excellent accompaniment to pork is a spiky mélange of three local flavours including great cider, earthy horseradish and wholegrain mustard.

25) Stokes Suffolk Pickle

Just right for a local sandwich of crusty bloomer, good cheese and golden dairy butter, this sticky, tangy, fruity relish hits the spot, rich with molasses, pickled vegetables and deep spices.

Combining the best of old and new, the contemporary packaging and stylish branding match this reworked retro style savoury preserve.

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26) Perronelles Blush Cyder by Aspall

For nearly 300 years, the Chevallier family have been making Suffolk cyder from their own orchards and in the hands of the eighth generation, brothers Barry and Henry, continue to energetically lead the company now encompassing fine ciders such as premier cru and organic, vinegars such as cyder with raspberry and apple balsamic as well as pressed apple juices.

Perronelles Blush is a delightful yet curious fizz, ripe for alfresco consumption, sweet yet tart, a pleasurable cyder version of a kir royale finished with blackberry liqueur.

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27) Meat pies by Goulborns

Literally just over the Norfolk border, Goulborns are bakers par excellence, supplying delicatessens and food halls across the county from their Bedingham base near Bungay.

Well-known in particular for their pastries and savouries, the ingredients and care which goes in is evident in the end results in the mouth, including Steak and St Peters Stout pies making the best of local beer and quality meat.

28) Pure Suffolk Honey by Suffolk Larder, Friston

A perfect showcase for the most natural foodstuff we produce, artist Simon Clay bottles local mellifluous finest into his limited edition hand-painted flagons, the perfect addition to a well laid breakfast table and any slice of toasted Suffolk trencher.

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We’re halfway through our monster list so take a break with this big quiz!

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29) Rendlesham Forest Venison by the Wild Meat Company of Sweffling

Specialising in game, feathered and furred, of all sizes and descriptions from the diminutive woodcock to the majestic red deer, it is mostly native fallow venison from nearby Rendlesham Forest and the surrounding heaths which the Wild Meat Company sells.

Well-nourished on natural fodder and farmland, the herds flourish and need controlling, giving a tasty nutritious good value alternative to farmyard meats.

30) Gunners Daughter Ale by Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds

An independent freehouse-brasserie-B&B in the centre of our cathedral town, Old Cannon is perhaps the only brew pub in the county where you can see the brewing whilst you sit there supping the results.

Gunners Daughter is made with East Anglian malted barley, their special house yeast and carefully chosen hops to give its distinctive character, a balance of strength (at 5.5% abv) and complexity, so good it goes in their chutney and sausages too!

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31) Hot Preservaments Jellies by Jules and Sharpie

Eight years on, Jules and Sharpies name graces many a fine food halls shelves with their unique spicy jellies, chutneys and chillied jams and the epicurean accolades keep flooding in every year.

Not just the classic pepper jellies (in hot and extremely hot varieties) but also mint or apple and sage flavours, as well as hot mango or pear chutney; and, new last year, their fascinating hot gingered rhubarb and fruit salad jams to join their zingy marmalade.

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32) Brown Bread Dairy Ice by Criterion ices

A childhood favourite, it is lovely to see a luxury ice cream maker keeping this quirky recipe alive.

From their Manor Farm Creamery at Thurston, Criterion’s parent companies first churned nearly a century ago in 1920 and proudly call their products fresh cream dairy ice to emphasise the natural ingredients.

In this case it is caramelised brown breadcrumbs scattered through their regular vanilla, infused with a touch of rum.

33) Omega Sprinkles by Munchy Seeds

A past winner of Suffolk Best Product, such is the savoury delights of Munchy Seeds snack products that the health boosting properties of their Omega Mix seed fest tastes far nicer than your average medication.

A mix of seven dry roasted soy sauced seeds, they eat well scattered over a salad of home-grown leaves or in a hearty local cheese and tomato sandwich and disappear even quicker as nibbles in front of the telly.

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34) Blythburgh Free Range Pork

Jimmy Butler is a true hero in pig farming, a gentleman farmer in the proper sense of the word, whose impassioned family together happen to produce perhaps some of the finest pork in the UK.

Perfecting the right breed to thrive on the ideal soils of the East Suffolk coast and nurturing them carefully, his free range pork discreetly supplied to the finest addresses in the land, a superb local food success story.

35) Suffolk Salami from Ian and Sue Whitehead

Starting with the Whiteheads excellent sausage-making skills (see Lane Farm) and their pedigree home-reared pork, the soft Suffolk air, a secret recipe and four months of natural maturation create a beautiful mould-bloomed masterpiece, with all the peppery sharpness and deep piggy flavour of the authentic Italian versions.

Not just content with two salamis (with fennel or with red wine and peppercorns) they make smoke Spanish chorizo and Polish style cabanossy.

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36) Lane Farm Redcurrant and Chilli Pork Sausages

A true testament to Suffolk food production, these are a splendid trinity of Alder Carr Farms redcurrants, a generous dollop of Jules and Sharpies Redcurrant Chilli Jelly along with the meaty backdrop of the Whiteheads excellent pork sausagemeat.

Just right for a warming supper on a nippy spring evening in front of the fire.

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37) Alde Valley Lamb from White House Farm, Great Glemham

The lush pasture of the Alde Valley as well as proper husbandry gives Alde Valley lamb its sweetness and flavour.

Jason Gathorne-Hardy is committed to spreading the message of real local seasonal food and has converted much of the farm into a centre of well being through feasting, art and crafts, the focus for his annual calendar of food adventures.

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38) Wyken Bacchus

With a reputation as one of the finest vineyards in East Anglia, Wyken Vineyards is based in quintessential Suffolk landscape. Besides its excellent restaurant, fine shopping and weekly farmers market is also a working agricultural estate with some two decades of wine making from their seven-acre vineyard.

The eponymous fragrant Germanic grape variety flourishes here and their resultant almost Sauvignon Blanc-style white (one of four made here) has hints of herbs and apples with a floral character. In 2009 it won the Best White Wine from the East Anglian Wine Growers Association.

39) Procter’s Gressingham Duck Sausages

Using locally sourced Freedom Food, welfare-assured pork and natural casings, Simon Protheroe and his Ipswich-based team are passionate about sausages in all sorts of flavours.

Taking the exclusive Suffolk speciality duck breed, the Gressingham (a pekin-wild mallard cross) and combining with its natural recipe bedfellow, the exotic orange, they have come up with a rich, succulent aromatic banger, perfect for toad-in-the-hole with a difference.

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40) Powters Pork and Ale sausages

Another local delight, Greene Kings premium Abbot Ale is the excellent flavouring in this savoury mix alongside prime Suffolk pork cuts, proper rusk, fresh spices and real skins.

Four generations of Powters have run the well-known Newmarket butchers and sausagemakers over some 125 years and the trademark rich peppery flavour of their fine ‘bangers’ have earned them a loyal following.

41) St Peters Suffolk Gold beer

Using their own borehole water next to the Elizabethan Hall at the centre of the brewery, as well as locally malted barley and fine English hops, St Peters has become iconically established around the world, not just for their signature oval bottles but also their fine and interesting brews.

Not just appropriate because of its supreme quality, Suffolk Gold’s name is inspired by the local First Gold hops infused within to give its distinctive long-lasting hoppy freshness as well as a full malt body.

42) Organic Carrot and Apple Juice by James White

Unfiltered for even more goodness, James Whites organic juices meet all the additive-free expectations of the Soil Association.

Using fresh natural, rather than concentrated, apple and carrot juice, this zingy blend has a real feelgood factor without any of those health farm connotations, a much greener and interesting form of breakfast wake-me-up than the ubiquitous orange variety.

43) Strong Suffolk Vintage Ale by Greene King

Bury-based Greene King are well known Suffolk brewers, IPA and Abbot Ale familiar names across the region and beyond.

Strong Suffolk is less well known, a blend of two ales: Old 5X, which is brewed to the maximum strength possible around 12% abv and left to mature in 100-barrel oak vats for a minimum of two years, and BPA, a dark, full-bodied freshly brewed beer which is added just before bottling.

The result of ancient and new gives a unique beer elegantly punchy at 6% abv, dark, fruity, oaky and one to be savoured.

44) Smoked Eel from Pinneys of Orford

A two star Gold Great Taste Award, Pinneys smoked eel is a delicious conundrum.

Some mysterious alchemy in the smokehouse over smouldering oak logs takes what is generally considered rather mundane raw fish and transforms it into one of the finest foodstuffs imaginable, up there with the finest smoked salmon as an hors d’oeuvre to start a dinner party.

Fortunately it is very rich as its high price reflects the rarity of eel stocks in our local rivers.

45) Cratfield Turkeys by Mobbs and Sons

Free ranging the proper way, more than five decades of poultry rearing has resulted in the Cratfield turkey being prized far and wide.

Fed on home-grown grain feed, this traditionally bred and reared meat is not just for Christmas! Their savoured texture and flavour is due to the birds being hung for at least ten days maturation.

46) Smoked Shipcord Cheese by Rodwell Farm Dairy

A fairly recent addition to the East Anglian cheese scene, the Richards family started making farmyard cheeses in late 2006, and their unpasteurised hard cheeses, the close textured Shipcord and crumbly Hawkston get great flavour from the verdant river meadow pasture as well as their names.

The longer-matured Shipcord is also oak smoked for an even longer taste for cheese-lovers.

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Here’s a few more eateries to try in Suffolk!

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47) Somerleyton Venison from Bluebell Woods

The sheer explosion in deer numbers across Suffolk woodlands and farms and the inevitable damage to crops and trees leads to a necessary and very tasty by-product.

Venison is one of the healthiest, most natural meats and is an interesting and ready substitute for lamb and beef in most recipes. The aristocratic Somerleyton Estate is the base for leading deer stalker Mark Burrage’s venison production and he specialises in cuts for all cooking needs as well as pies and sausages.

48) Black Suffolk Ham by Emmetts of Peasenhall

A Rick Stein food hero, Mark Thomas sources all the pork for his famed hams from four local Suffolk farms. His closely guarded secret recipe includes Old Growler stout (see separate entry), treacle and molasses.

In total, it takes more than 10 weeks to cure, sweet pickle and smoke these gilded piggy jewels. Lavender smoked, vintage velvet port cured and cider pickled are amongst other indulgent variations seasonally available.

49) Loganberry Jam from High House Fruit Farm

Over a half century of horticultural prowess has led to the Pool familys fruit farms respected reputation as leading soft fruit and orchard growers in the county.

Their heritage apple varieties and resultant proper cloudy natural juices are well known but their interesting preserves less so. Loganberry is an uncommon rare preserve choice due to the rarity of the fruit bearing trees, its lush fruitiness and sweet-sour balance makes it perfect on scones or toast and of course roly poly!

Today's beautiful fruit from High House Farm.

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50) Porchetta style pork belly from Jimmy’s Farm

Needing little introduction to our readers, Jimmy Doherty is one of our best known Suffolk faces, celebrity farmer and TV personality. He and his passionate team at Wherstead enjoy a loyal following for their well bred, well-fed, rare breed pigs.

Something a little unusual, porchetta is a rolled boneless Italian pork joint, stuffed with wild herbs. Jimmy’s Farms version uses the belly cut of their famous pork and fills it with rosemary, sage, basil, marjoram, lemon thyme, parsley and fennel, seasoning along the way with rock salt and fresh garlic.

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51) Denham Estate Fallow Venison

A great testament to the late Michael Gliksten, joint proprietor of Denham Estate, Cecilia his wife continues their enthusiastic efforts and great success in spreading the gastronomic message of their widely renowned fallow venison.

Roaming over the 1,200 acre family estate, their free-ranging parkland herd consists of up to 3,000 prized beasts at any one time. Also look out for their recent innovation Rutting Buck, their appropriately themed estate beer.

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52) Potted Shrimps by Stoberry of Newmarket

Unusually located away from the coast, seafood aficionados John and Barbara Rimmer have created a premium niche for their delicious shellfish in miniature, carefully peeled and gently parcelled under their spiced buttery covering.

Amongst their distinct fans are the Reeks’ discerning customers at their La Hogue Farm Shop and Delicatessen on the Suffolk/Cambs border near Newmarket.

53) Hand Raised Pork Pie from Slate

Such is the standard of our county’s delis, Slate’s pre-eminence as thrice winners of our Best Delicatessen category in the EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards in 2007, 2008 and 2009 might make them first among equals, but still they remain superlative.

Their delightfully piggy tasting, sublime pork pies from Bray’s Cottage pies are hand raised in a North Norfolk flint barn.

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54) Organic Kelsale Eggs from Maple Farm

A Soil Association organic farm, the Kendall family farm has been in their safe earthy hands for over 50 years. Maple Farm’s properly dirty veggies are well known for their interesting varieties, lack of chemical interference and sheer good taste.

William Kendall is a passionate rural supporter and foodie entrepreneur, indeed one of the founder-organisers of the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival.

His discerning flocks of happy Black Rock and Isa Brown hens roam over the pastures and woodland edges, pecking here and there as well as on their own hammer-milled peas and wheat, giving them rich yolks and old fashioned flavour.

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55) Wild Boar from The New England Boar Company

Suffolk Mag recently covered Jim Bolton and Vicky Gamble’s new boar rearing business in the wild woods near Haverhill so it would be remiss of us not to mention them here.

Their herd of wild boar grow to an age of around 18 months when they will weigh around 45 – 60kg, after which they are used to make a number of delightful meat products.

Meats on offer include salamis, chorizos and coppas while they occasionally have a limited selection of joints, burgers and sausages.

56) St Jude cheese from the White Wood Dairy

Made by Julie Cheyney in the Waveney Valley from the milk of a herd of mainly French Montbeliarde cows, this cheese has recently been receiving considerable praise in The Great British Cheese Awards.

This lactic-style cheese can be found at many artisanal stores across the county – including Suffolk Food Hall and Slate – and are cracking on top of some lightly toasted sourdough and a glass of Chenin blanc.

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