Brecks Food and Drink Festival celebrates local produce
- Credit: Archant
A government minister praised Norfolk’s world class food and drinks industry during a festival celebrating local produce.
South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, the former secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs and current secretary of state for justice, attended the Brecks Food and Drink Festival at the weekend.
Ms Truss said: “It’s really exciting to see this festival continue to grow and expand.
“It is a great celebration of local produce.
“I think events like this are encouraging more and more people to appreciate the wonderful local food that we grow here in Norfolk.”
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There was live music and food stalls at the Fire Pit Camp in Wendling, near Dereham – a venue which regularly promotes the Slow Food movement. This began in Italy in the mid 1980s and strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine.
Sarah Hughes-Wade, from the Fire Pit Camp, said: “The Brecks Food and Drink Festival fits in perfectly with our Slow Food ethos.
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“It’s about making the effort to spend time with family and enjoy great food which is clean, sustainable and offers a fair deal to the farmer and the customer.”
The weekend also featured a traditional market in Swaffham, an apple and orchard fun day at the Green Britain Centre in Swaffham and an International Food Festival at the Assembly Rooms in Swaffham.
This saw around 1,000 people sample the flavours of 20 different countries.
Don Saunders, from the Iceni Partnership, which organised the event, said: “One of the aims is to link different nationalities and parts of the community together. People who have lived in Swaffham all of their lives have been able to taste food they’ve never had before.
“The great thing is, the festival offers food from around the world made from local ingredients, grown in the local area.”
Barbara Melnyk, who is from Poland, and has lived in Swaffham for 10 years, attended the festival for the first time.
She said: “I’m surprised how popular my homemade Polish food is with the English people here. This is a lovely way to bring people together and make new friends. I’m definitely coming back next year.”
Vanessa Scott, owner of Stratton’s Hotel and Restaurant in Swaffham and organiser of the Brecks Food and Drink Festival, said: “It’s been great to show the diversity which exists within our community and the feedback we’ve had from people has been really good.
“We produce such a wonderful range of food in Norfolk, from the coast, to the agricultural side and to the wild areas as well.
“The festival showcases the great food we make here and if it encourages people to go to their local butcher, as oppose to picking something up from the supermarket, then it has achieved what it set out to do.
“Because if we don’t use these things we lose them.”
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