When you talk about the North East of England you wouldn’t automatically mention food as it’s not famous for its culinary prowess. However, if you’re a local you’ll have tried some Northern specialties that even the rest of the UK probably hasn’t ever heard of.
Thanks to the ever growing bakery market most people will now know what a Stotty is, thanks to shops like Greggs, but how many of you have heard of Singin’ Hinnys, Pan Haggerty or Saveloy Dip? These are just 3 of the local delicacies you can expect to find when you visit Newcastle all of which show a glimpse into the North East’s working class past.
Pan Haggerty is a famous Northumberland dish made with thinly sliced potatoes, fried onions and mature cheddar cheese making it an English spin of the French dish Dauphinoise potatoes. This filling dish is lovely on its own or as a side to a meat or fish main.
This taste sensation is a favourite dish in the North East and is no ordinary sausage sandwich. The legendary Saveloy Dip is a smoked sausage, sandwiched in a roll which is then swept in the gravy or fat that the sausage was cooked in. It is then wrapped in stuffing, pease pudding and mustard.
A Geordie loaf or “Stotty” is a large, round flatbread with an indent in the centre. They have a heavy texture and as a result if you drop one it should bounce. This is where it gets its name as “stott” is a Geordie slang term meaning “bounce”.
Traditionally Stotties are halved and filled to make a huge sandwich. A favourite local filling is ham and pease pudding.
A smooth, spreadable paste made from split peas, Pease Pudding is the North East’s version of Marmite, an acquired taste, you’ll either love or hate.
A tradition would usually be to cook split peas in the pan alongside a joint of ham before draining and mashing them to eat alongside the boiled ham. Today it is served cold alongside ham or bacon or is used as a filling for stotties.
Made with flour, butter, lard, currants, salt and milk a singin’ hinny is a type of scone. Baking powder is added to the mix to make them rise when cooking on a griddle. As the mix cooks on the hot griddle pan the fatty ingredients melt causing a hissing noise as if the scones are singing hence how they get their name.
Main image copyright Chris.