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Saturday, 19 April 2014

One of the best areas for fresh food in UK

EVENING Mail food critic SUSAN GOODSON gives her verdict on the best food Barrow has to offer

0283093
TASTE OF THE ORIENT: Tuk Wall in her new Thai food stall on Barrow indoor market. MILTON HAWORTH REF: 0283093

BARROW is in one of the most wonderful parts of Britain for fresh food.
The first time someone pointed out the distinctive brown and white Herdwick sheep that haunt the moors, I couldn’t believe such world class meat could come from such scruffy, motley looking things – button sheep as I always think of them.
But while they come last in sheep beauty stakes they come first in taste.
Barrow’s supermarkets are usually some of the first to have the Herdwick lamb at their butcher’s counter. Rare lamb steaks are a favourite on my menu served simply seasoned with good sea salt, fresh ground pepper, olive oil and rosemary or, something more elaborate, a Morrocan lamb stew.
Another regular dropping off point for me is Barrow market for three big reasons.
Norman Rhodes – the face of N C Rhodes – in the market hall. I swing by there to see if the hunters have been out because for just £3 you can get wild rabbit from Norman.
Wild rabbit roasted or stewed in red wine is delicious and mildly gamy.
Just round the corner is farmer Peter Gott’s stall which always has some of the produce from his famous wild boars, he farms at Sillfield Boar Farm near Kendal.
His fat wild boar sausages can cheer up anybody on a cold night.
Further into the market is a wonderful stall that always has a group of Thai women sitting chatting and working away.
Tuk Wall’s stall is full of exotic ingredients – dried and fresh – to allow you to create authentic Thai or Asian foods.
Check out the fresh Thai basil and huge frozen prawns.
And that vital ingredient for many Thai curries dried shrimp paste.
For a different taste there’s Barrow’s Cake Crusader Julie Walmsley.
Her icings are sensational works of art, she is the Picasso of her profession.
Julie uses the same recipes as her grand-mother – and they taste as good as they look.Finally, but definitely not least, I couldn’t write about Barrow’s food without Green’s pies being put on the menu.
This humble little shop tucked away on Jarrow Street has a never-ending queue of pie eaters ready to stand in line for their fix of meat and potato pie.
Even the town’s most famous foody, Hairy Biker Dave Myers, has eaten more than his fair share Thomas’s on Cavendish Street as his all-time favourite.

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