Thursday, 31 May 2012

Good things to eat [Volume 9]

It's been far too long since I've written about some of the great things I've eaten. For the most part this year, if it wasn't a restaurant, cafe or takeaway meal it hasn't had a look in. I'm going to try and redress the balance by writing more of these posts, and hopefully in the process big up some of the fantastic food producers and suppliers we have in the North.

Sheffield ice cream

Let's start off with some ice-cream. It's been very summery of late so the cold creamy stuff has been warranted. I've discovered that Sheffield is home to two very good ice cream makers, both of whom use local dairy products.

In the case of Our Cow Molly, dairy products from their own herd of cows. I'm not normally a fan of mint choc chip ice cream; - bright green, too sweet, artificial mint flavouring, cheap chocolate. Not good. Theirs was none of those things. It was mild and creamy with a delicate natural mint flavour and just a scattering of tiny dark chocolate chips. Lovely, and very refreshing.

Yee Kwan's ice creams are a little more exotic, with an emphasis on Asian flavours. The pistachio was excellent. Very smooth with an intense pistachio flavour. I could eat a lot of this stuff, and that's not the norm for me where ice cream is concerned. I'm keen to try the ginger and green tea flavours.

Uncle Riaz' corner shop samosas

I love samosas. I especially love dirt cheap home made back street Asian grocery store samosas. I'm sure there are plenty of places all over West Yorkshire where you can buy such delights, but the number one for me can be found on Brudenell Road, in the Hyde Park area of Leeds.

It's not and never was called Uncle Riaz' corner shop, it was run by a Mr Riaz but the shop appeared to be nameless. I lived about three doors down from it as a student, and Uncle Riaz was an affectionate term for the proprietor who kept us supplied with chipping potatoes, fizzy pop, budget loo roll and spicy deep-fried snacks morning, noon and night.

Nowadays it's been tarted up and goes by the name of Makkah Foods or somethingorother, but I know the same people are in charge because the samosas are still there. It's over a decade since I ate them several times a week, but if I'm in the vicinity I'll still pop in for a few.

The crust is substantial but crisp, light and yielding. I've no idea how it's made (gram flour?) but it's good. It cracks open to reveal a moderately spiced potato and pea filling. Not overly fiery with chilli, but gently warming with cumin and hints of fennel.

They cost 40p each now, or three for a pound. Outstanding value, and delicious. All those takeaways and restaurants who consider it acceptable to sell a filo pastry triangle filled with frozen mixed veg and call it a samosa should be ashamed. And should be forced to visit Uncle Riaz' and buy his samosas until they repent their sins.

Available on Brudenell Road, just by the Mosque.

Cheese - tome des bauges

It's been an age since I've talked about cheese. I had a cracking cheese board a few weeks ago (thanks Booth's). There were some fine British cheeses (Stichelton, Ticklemore, Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire) and a good Brie de Meaux, all of which I'd eaten before plus one new cheese, a rather splendid French effort by the name of tome des bauges.

It's an unpasteurised cow's cheese, and that depth of flavour you only seem to get from cheese made from unpasteurised milk is there in spades. It's rich, buttery, slightly salty with a sort of lingering vegetal taste, almost mushroomy. Lovely.

Available at:

Yorkshire curd tarts 

The pictured tart was ok, but I've had better. It was a little bit dry. This is more a plea for help than anything. I adore Yorkshire curd tarts but don't know where to find a really great one. I think it's probably quite tricky to get the balance right. The curds should remain moist with hints of cheesiness, but without transferring any sogginess to the pastry that should be short, sweet and crumbly. Suggestions please?


Anonymous said...

Rather disgracefully, I hadn't eaten a Yorkshire curd tart until a few weeks back. It seems I was missing out all this time. The venue was the Artisan bakery in Headingley where Ian makes them fresh every day and they're quickly snapped up. Check 'em out and let me know if they stack up.

And thanks for the tip that Stichelton is in Booths. I haven't seen it anywhere in Yorkshire.

Dave said...

You've been missing a treat! A good curd tart is a thing of beauty. Thanks for the Headingley tip, will check it out.

Booth's have started stocking a small selection of Neal's Yard cheeses, hence the Stichelton. I bought it in the Salford Quays branch, but I'm pretty sure they have them in Ilkley too.

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