When visiting Brook House on the Isle of Wight, this summer or winter, there are a few delicacies that you should be looking to enjoy. Be sure to try local delicacies like Gallybagger cheese, black garlic and honeycomb doughnuts among our other recommendations, from the list below.
Whilst The Isle of Wight is traditionally known for beautiful seafood – fine crab, for example, as well as stately home cream teas, there’s far more than that produced on the Island’s shores. From beautiful asparagus through to honey, tomatoes and garlic, as well as strawberries that have been bagged amongst some of the best in the southwest of Britain. Take a look at the list below to find out more.
Isle of Wight tomatoes
The Isle of Wight and tomatoes go hand in hand. Simply due to the amount of sunlight hours the Island receives, it’s the ideal climate for these to grow. Growing in the Arreton Valley, there are an array of glass houses filled with tomato vines of all variety. The taste of these shows the care and attention put into the growth.
There’s a whole festival on the Island surrounding this particular Island-made produce; Black garlic. This ingredient is made by cooking garlic bulbs for prolonged times as a low temperature, resulting in jet black, sweet and syrupy cloves with a vinegar taste. They are served in both sweet and savoury accompaniments – including even an ice cream made from the ingredient at the Garlic Farm in Newchurch.
The island is lucky to have some of the first asparagus in the UK with the season normally running from early April until the end of June. This lovely vegetable has a low calorie count and can even be reputed to be an aphrodisiac. They are a great way to get the day off to a great start, accompanying a soft poached egg and a slice of local toasted bread. Whether creating this in our own kitchen at Brook House for your family, or heading out to enjoy this at one of the lovely Farm Shops across the Island, you can find somewhere to make the most of the fantastic homegrown asparagus on the Isle of Wight.
Rock samphire is a historical Island ingredient, shipped in casks of seawater from the Isle of Wight to London as far back as the 19th century, with the shipment taking place in May. This coastal grass used to be sold on the London streets, but is now relatively unknown despite the fact it grows in such quantity around the Island and is so tasty – with a hot and spicy taste to it – it’s making a comeback on the Island as the perfect pairing for some of the wonderful freshly caught seafood dishes here.
It wouldn’t be a list of beautiful Island produce without mentioning crab. The Isle of Wight is the perfect place to sample freshly caught crab in a variety of ways and in a variety of seafood speciality restaurants. However, one of the most novel and tasty ways to enjoy the Island’s crab is in a crab pasty down on the beautiful and well hidden Steephill Cove in Ventnor. With the recipe coming from a long line of south Wight fisherman spanning back to the 1450’s, the recipe now uses crabmeat in pasties using the flakiest puff pastry and delicate seasonings to make this a treat to remember whilst wandering along the beautiful beach.