EAT TRULY LOCAL
When in Cornwall eat Cornish; it should be that simple. Unfortunately that is not always the case. Many restaurants advertising local produce are simply not telling the truth. Next time you are sat eating out take time to think where the fish in your favourite garlic king prawns or crispy squid rings actually comes from.
Frozen king prawns and squid rings are o.k. products. The obligatory Kenyan green beans and mange-tout, often served with a tasteless farmed sea bass fillet, or ever present Peruvian asparagus are equally fine; but I feel when dining in Cornwall we should eat the fantastic produce that is on our doorstep.
Admittedly this does need to start with the people writing menus and seasonal local options need to be available. But customers should also take some responsibility and show the determination to seek out places that go the extra mile to use the great produce that is available to them. Diners possibly need to be a bit more adventurous when ordering and choose slightly less familiar but more locally sourced options. At the moment a lot of the best Cornish produce is shipped to the big name chefs in London, or even worse, exported.
We should look forward as cooks and customers alike to menus changing with the seasons. The excitement of the first asparagus in May, the soft fruits and tomatoes of summer or the comforting roots and game in the autumn.
At Sazerac Social we believe passionately in using Cornish and West Country seasonal produce and especially seafood throughout the year. We have deliveries six days a week and see no need to use anything frozen or from further afield.
Fish is in very short supply these days so we make sure all our fish is on the recommended sustainable fish list, and of course there are the other benefits of buying local, for example reduced food miles and the knock-on effect to the local economy.
Now, I like a garlic prawn as much as the next man but we must make sure we support the cooks who are making the effort to provide us with great local alternatives.
Given the option of prawns that have flown across the globe encased in ice, a beautiful fresh Cornish mackerel, or even better a Bude Bay lobster landed that morning, to me it’s no brainer and almost a moral obligation.