Monday, 22 October 2007

Hello from Cumbria's real food magazine!

This Post was written by Martin from

A quick introduction as I have just joined this group. My name is Martin and along with my wife Cecilia we run Cumbria's on-line food magazine. It's sort of like a big blog in that it's our personal take on the food scene in Cumbria, but we run it as a magazine, on-line. I'm a photographer and Cecilia is a journalist, so that's the words and piccies taken care of, Cecilia makes the pages and I make the site. Job done.

We fight for the rights of the real Cumbrian sausage....

About three years ago we took a decision to try to spend our "food money" in local shops rather than the supermarket. Being foodies and often cooking all sorts of food for our friends and family, this was not going to be easy. Where do you start? As usual for me, it was in at the deep end. "Let's try only eating food produced in Cumbria for a week" was the bright idea that Cecilia willingly went along with. After driving for what seemed like hundreds of miles and spending hours searching for any, never mind decent, sources of genuinely local food, the week ended up being a real eye opener. This was the seed that started the magazine and now two years on from the launch we spend the vast majority of our "food money" locally, sometimes without even leaving the house. Over that time our understanding and love of our local food economy has blossomed.

After the blossom comes the Damsons from Lyth Valley, a simply perfect local product that ends up in jam, gin, puddings, chocolates....

The sections are called, startin', readin' eatin' cookin' gettin' and makin'. It's all about who produces what in Cumbria. How it's produced, where to get it, how to cook it and where you can find it to eat. We love our producers and our chefs in particular. Not least because the good ones are really hard working and extremely dedicated. We hate being disappointed with badly cooked and poorly served, expensive food. So we have our own restaurant reviews. These represent the places we love to go back to. I like to experiment as well and the site gives me the perfect opportunity and excuse to try cheesemaking, bake sourdough bread, smoke food, stuff my own name it I'm up for it.

Such as researching the best recipes for cooking the local grey squirrels...

We have a blog section on the site. I post regularly, so does one of our local chefs, an organic vegetable farmer, a food historian (well at least he did until he broke his leg...) and more recently a local dairy farmer is giving us his insights too.

We are re-designing the site at the moment (the articles have had a makeover, top pages are next) as well as introducing video, which we call, somewhat tongue in cheek, our own TV channel. But seriously whilst we stick more or less strictly to Cumbrian products on most of the site, we would be happy to include contributed videos on relevant food subjects, just e-mail me if you have some ideas or relevant content.

It's a bit of fun really.

Hope you like what we do, feedback is always welcome.

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