by Kevin Newman
Its farming and fishing industries yield an impressive harvest of ingredients, so it is no surprise to discover that Sussex also boasts a rich culinary heritage. At one point in the past it was said that ‘to venture into the county was to risk being turned into a pudding yourself’. Local cookery books were filled with recipes for dense dishes including Chichester Pudding, Sussex Blanket Pudding, and the intriguingly named Sussex Pond Pudding, which contains a whole lemon and was featured on the BBC’s Great British Bake Off. Today, though, the county’s menus feature a much wider array of local dishes to satisfy even the most demanding palate and local produce matters much to Sussex folk, as well as being a reason the county attracts so many visitors.
In Pond Puddings and Sussex Smokies local author Kevin Newman explores these changes through an investigation of the county’s culinary history and specialities, together with its famous food and drink producers, markets and food-themed events. Starting with an exploration of interesting and unusual Sussex dishes and drinks, as well as the people behind them, Newman visits wonderful watering holes and incredible eating places from across the centuries such as ‘Pacy’s Blood Hole’ and a hotel where Christmas puddings meet an unusual fate. The author focuses on the county’s past and present food-themed customs and traditions, offers foodie and drinking locations to visit and investigates the quirky stories behind many locally brewed beers. He explains how ‘Dirty Arthur’ became dirty, how a prince provided school dinners, how a local member of the clergy ended up as a Fijian feast and why ‘Black-Eyed Susan’ hasn’t been in a fight. We learn how it’s impossible to eat a ‘dish of tongues’ but how you could chomp on ‘the Devil’s children’ in the past.
Sussex residents and visitors alike will discover the true flavour of Sussex in this book, and as you tuck into this fascinating and delicious study of its culinary heritage across the ages, just like the county’s famous Pond Pudding, there will definitely be a something you might not have expected inside.
96 pages 115 illustrations