Somerset butcher gets inventive

A Somerset-based butcher is looking to reinvigorate the food landscape within the county, with the launch of a new scheme to create some new 'traditional' delicacies.

Malcolm Pyne, who, along with his wife Julie, runs P&B Pyne in North Petherton, near Bridgewater, has announced the plan to invent some new Somerset treats, as he feels the county has too few traditional foods to call its own.

To help him, he intends to enlist the help of his customers to create a range of foods that reflect the county's food heritage, which will then go on to form a central part of his offer when his new 1m farm shop opens later this year.

And the customer with the best idea stands a chance of taking home 100-worth of meat. To get things started, Malcolm has created the Somerset Pie, a combination of faggot mixture, cooked with peas in a cheddar pastry crust and topped with mashed potato blended with locally made crme frache.

He said the idea came when he started planning the product range for his new shop: "I really want to make the business a showcase for the best of local food. But although we can offer people the finest beef, pork and lamb and the most exceptional dairy produce, when it comes to prepared foods theres very little that you can say is truly Somerset in origin.

Theres the Bath Bun and the Bath Oliver biscuit, but thats about it. The Sedgemoor area used to have its own version of an Easter biscuit, but no-one makes those any more. Whortleberry pie is still popular on Exmoor, but hardly anyone outside the immediate area knows about it.

And when you look at the rest of the West Country, Somerset really hasnt got many distinguishing foods. Cornwall has claimed the pasty and has got things like stargazy pie, and Devon and Cornwall seem to be the only places people associate with clotted cream.

Ask the majority of visitors what Somerset is famous for and they will probably say cider and thats about it.

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