There is only one place to start a tour of Somerset food and that is sitting on the grass.
To fully appreciate why such wonderful cheese, butter, yogurt and cream is produced in our county, it is a good idea to spend time in the lush green valleys and flat wetlands our cows depend on to produce milk.
The process of making Cheddar cheese takes its name from the extraordinary village at the southern end of a river gorge formed in the Mendip Hills. The best Cheddar makers in the world are here in Somerset and the names; Montgomery, Keen and Westcombe are to be found on menus in the most prestigious restaurants nationwide.
However Caerphilly has also been made in Somerset since the 1880’s and continues to be produced in Westcombe dairy.
Goats cheese too is produced here and Mary Holbrook is famed for her Tymsboro to be found on the list of Neals Yard Dairy in Borough Market in London, a testament to its quality.
In the last 20 years as the food revolution has taken hold, it has been a generation of artisan workers who create new and exciting products.
Local Chefs including the Michelin Award Winning Josh Eggleton (The Pony & Trap) demand the same high standards from their local producers that they expect in their own kitchens. This raises the game for all and has resulted in the community here enjoying some of the best Farmers Markets, Delicatessens and specialist food shops anywhere.
From Charcuterie (Somerset Charcuterie) to hand made chocolates (The Chocolate Society), there are local businesses enabling us to buy a wealth of produce from the county. It is now possible to buy water buffalo meat, game pies, smoked venison and salami all created here in Somerset.
So whether you are cycling along the Strawberry LIne, watching otters on Shapwick Heath or shopping in Wells you will never be far from a wonderful local food producer who will be tempting you with cider, cider brandy, cheeses, chutneys or delicious pork sausages.
Somerset is a county of contrasts from the Mendip and Quantock Hills to the Levels, there is so much to see, do and EAT!