A Taste of Teesdale

05 September 2012

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War Victory Party. Image from the Visit Teesdale LibraryWar Victory Party. Image from the Visit Teesdale Library

Experience a taste of the some of the wonders Teesdale has to offer.

Across Teesdale there will be many events celebrating the wonderful heritage and beauty of the area through its rich and diverse history with many venues offering food relating to the area and or the past. There are places to visit and events across the dale to enjoy so why not make a weekend of it and plan a trail around Teesdale. Many of the events have food and refreshments available with a theme relating to food from Teesdale and or food from the past.

At Middleton-in-Teesdale there will be a display on food and food production through time and how our search for food has helped to shape who we are and how we and our landscape has evolved through time. We do not have a recipe book for the people of Prehistory but we can put together an idea of what they ate from the record they have left in the ground and the landscape all around us. Even when we enter into the historical records there is little known of the day to day food consumption or recipes of the ordinary person for much of this we have to rely on Archaeology, images and references from writers through the ages who have made observations of everyday life.

Early so called recipe books are more lists of ingredients, but they give an indication on the sort of food produced, there are also mentions of menus, then from the 17th century onwards giving an indication of mainly what the elite consumed. Little is known of the everyday recipes until such writers as the famous Mrs Beaton’s book of household management gives an insight into the workings of the home. In the 20th century the recipe book started to be more available for everyone, the Be-Ro book was a must have from the 1920’s which brings us today with the abundance of recipe books and magazines as much to look at as to use.

What many do not show is what we have lost, the knowledge of not only those from the distant past but also within the 20th century  the ability to produce or source from nature the produce that we need for survival, which is a dying art, so many now rely on the great hunter gathering trip to the super market. This exhibition and talk hopes to enlighten people as to what is around them, how we have helped shape the landscape, our living and who we are in our search for food through time.

The Exhibition by the Teesdale Heritage Group will be looking at food and food production in through time with particular reference to Teesdale and the farming community. This will be through old recipe books, local recipes, images of farming and artefacts relating to cooking, crafts, food production and farming with a talk at 2pm on both Saturday and Sunday on ‘Food through time’.


Blog written by the lovely Denise Charlton, Chair of the Teesdale Heritage Group.


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