Creating the perfect Norfolk Christmas: part 1

As we head full speed towards Christmas, here at Rookery Farm, we love to point out guests towards some of the fabulous ingredients you can buy locally. Every week from now until Christmas we will feature some of Norfolk’s finest producers, helping you source some of the finest locally produced food and drink the county can offer.

Candi’s Chutneys

The Reepham-based company Candi’s Chutneys is as local as you can get. Vegetables are grown from the fields around the company’s headquarters and the eponymous owner, Candi Roberts, can be found at almost every farmer’s market or food fair that take place in the county.

Candi’s Chutneys are regular recipients of Good Taste awards and in 2017, scooped the Pride of Norfolk award.

Candi’s Christmas tips:

“When you are preparing your Christmas food, don’t just see chutney as an accompaniment. It can be used for cooking too. For example, my Spiced Carrot Chutney is a great marinade for roast gammon – and it is simple to do with amazing results. Take the rind of the gammon, smother the layer of fat remaining with the chutney and place it in the fridge overnight – uncovered – as this helps it dry out.

Then it is ready to pop in the oven the next day. The result is delicious, the flavour of the gooey, glazed crust doesn’t interfere with the meat and it looks like you have spent ages creating a special marinade.

“I get asked all the time for cranberry chutney, but they are not a local, seasonal ingredient. So I encourage people to try something different with their turkey aside from cranberry. Apple based chutneys really complements white meat and are great at Christmas.”

Godwick’s Free Range Turkey

Godwick Turkeys have been supplying free range Christmas turkeys for the past 50 years. The turkeys range over clover rich paddocks and are bedded in high quality barley straw. As Robert garner of Godwick Turkeys says: “We believe this approach provides us with a truly unbeatable product. You simply cannot rush quality.”

Black or Bronze?

The Norfolk Black turkey is one of the original turkey breeds. It’s statuesque stature and deep black plummage made it very desirable when turkeys were first imported into Europe from the Americas and Mexico. The Norfolk Black is widely regarded as one of the oldest turkey breeds. It is a slightly slower growing bird, but has a fantastic flavour that is slightly gamey to taste.  It’s absolutely delicious cold and hot but if you enjoy cold turkey and chutneys on Boxing Day then this turkey is a winner every time due to its rich natural flavour. A truly unbeatable natural product full of taste and quality.

The Bronze turkey was bred out of the Norfolk Black and has a mellow succulent taste which really rattles the taste buds. It has a broad breast will give you plenty of succulent white breast meat. We can guarantee that Godwick bronze turkeys, provided that they are cooked properly, will be succulent and moist meat, as they are allowed to age naturally and so develop a natural finish. This gives them a small layer of fat covering which when cooked permeates through the bird, giving it a moist flavoursome taste.

Mrs Temple’s Cheese

No Christmas feast is complete without some cheese to finish the meal. We recommend the wonderful Mrs Temple from Copys Green near Walsingham. The renowned cheese maker keeps it simple with just a few types of cheese, but they are all excellent and her range will suit every taste.

The cheeses are hand made from Catherine Temple’s own cows and the range includes soft veined Binham Blue, crumbly Walsingham, Melton Mozarella, Wells Alpine, and Gurney Gold, creamy Wighton, Copys Cloud and the flavoured Gouda type Warhams. Just to make this an even worthier producer, all the cheese-making processes are fuelled by energy produced on the farm.