Taste buds are tickled by Swaffham food events

editorial image

The taste buds of visitors to Swaffham were ticked and teased by two events in the town over the weekend.

On Saturday, the seventh annual Apple and Orchard day got the juices flowing before a wide array of exotic foods were on display at Swaffham’s International Food Festival in the Assembly Rooms 24-hours later.

Those offering the foods were mostly dressed in national costume, adding to the colour and international flavour of the event.

There was an amazing range of delicacies to tempt the taste buds such as Apple Strudel from Austria, sauerkraut from Germany and Nadenitsa (Nadenitsa) sausage from Bulgaria.

The event was part of the month long Brecks’ Food and Drink Festival, organised by the Iceni Partnership, and its popularity was such that the assembly rooms were crowded almost from the time the doors opened.

Some 20 nationalities were on display at a variety of stalls including Russia, Rumania, Portugal, Turkey, all the Baltic states and even England’s nearest neighbours the Welsh and the Scottish.

There was also a vegetarian stall which was probably the most international stall of all.

It was also very much a local multi-cultural event for the stall-holders were mostly representatives of their countries who had made Swaffham their home.

Iceni manager and event organiser Don Saunders said: “We’ve got foods of the world here.

“It’s such a big social occasion with all the different nationalities mixing together and socialising.”

And for those who enjoyed the experience of savouring foreign delicacies the chance to taste the food of other countries did not have to end with the festival.

Swaffham Community Centre has its own Hungarian Patisserie whilst the town boasts a Portuguese Delicatessen, a Russian shop and a Lithuanian shop selling a wide range of European food.

On the Saturday, scrumptious apples had taken centre stage at Swaffham’s seventh annual Apple and Orchard day at the Green Britain Centre.

A wide variety were on display including Norfolk varieties such as the Handworth Codlin, the Norfolk Beefing, the Beachamwell, the New Costessey Seedling and the Norfolk Royal Russet discovered in Burnham Overy in the 1930s.

The event was one of the many such events in the Brecks’ Food and Drink Festival which is running all through September.

On hand at the centre was Bob Lever, a self-confessed apple enthusiast, who promised to identify the variety of any apple brought in by a visitor.

Staff member, Gavin Jary, operated an apple press producing instant apple juice whilst Linda Penny, of Norfolk Master Compositors, showed how easy it was to create a wormery which churns a rich compost that helps a garden grow bigger and better.

Everything the centre grows is organic such as their heritage orchard with over fifty varieties of Norfolk apples while the cafe is vegetarian.

Visitor centre co-ordinator Kathryn Rowland said: “One of the centre’s aim is to promote sustainable living.”

Exhibitors also included the Love Food Hate Waste organisation.

There were children’s activities including the chance to bake an apple pie to take home or a competition to see who could produce the longest apple peel.

“It’s been a very successful day,” admitted Ms Rowland afterwards.