Strange name for a blog site perhaps? Not when you were dragged up in’t North on chips and gravy like I was!
Of course I wasn’t literally ‘dragged’ up and my diet as a child didn’t consist of soggy fat chips swimming for their lives in thick brown gravy. But since living in the South West, as soon as I open my mouth, that is what most people assume. Ok, so they might not be able to pin point the County of origin for my alien accent (not surprising given the majority of people think anywhere north of Bristol is THE north), but they automatically visualise whippets, flat caps and you’ve got it, chips and gravy.
This doesn’t bother me though. I am proud of my northern roots and would be horrified if somebody could no longer tell that I’m not local. In fact I welcome the opportunity to talk to people from other parts of the country about ‘that place near Scotland’, also known as Lancashire, so that I can dispel (or at least try to) some of the myths: We weren’t all sent to work down’t pit after school; Yes there are things like electricity and clean water up there; and the most popular one, no, it’s not grim up North!
Once I’ve set people straight on a few things (gently, with a bit of northern charm thrown in, of course), there’s nothing I love to talk about more than FOOD. And just one of the things I’ve come to love about the South West, is the food culture. There are some fascinating traditional dishes down here: Devonshire Splits, Stargazy Pie, Hogs Pudding, Lardy cake…I could go on. The quality and abundance of produce is something to be proud of too. In fact, it’s a wonder I’ve not doubled my body weight in the 5 years I’ve been living down here.
So although my heart will always crave a decent pie with lashings of proper gravy, my palate is becoming quite accustomed to the tasty treats of the West Country. And I’m only just starting in my tasting quest, so watch this space.