Thursday, 1 August 2019

Happy Yorkshire Day!


1st August is Yorkshire Day. The first one took place in 1975 and was created by the Yorkshire Ridings Society. The day was to be celebrated by wearing white roses and eating Yorkshire Pudding! 1974 had brought boundary changes throughout the United Kingdom and the Yorkshire Ridings, which had existed for over 1000 years, were no longer administrative areas. However the Ridings Society wished to make sure the historical boundaries of the county were not forgotten.

1st August is also Lammas Day, originally a pagan festival celebrating the harvest, the church ’Christianised’ it by calling it Loaf Mass when loaves of bread were blessed. Fairs were held throughout Yorkshire.

Given the Yorkshire and food associations with 1st August, we thought it might be interesting to look at some of the recipe books in our collections to see what Yorkshire delicacies are suggested. Looking at the recipe books from the 18th and 19th centuries in our collections there are very few, if any references to Yorkshire food. We have quite a collection of Yorkshire recipe books from the 20th century in our Local Studies collection and I have been looking at these.

A selection of the cookery books available at Hull History Centre 

Yorkshire Parkin is a well-known recipe, made with treacle and ginger and really lovely if left to mature for a couple of weeks before eating. You can check out our favourite recipe from our collections with this link to a previous blog.

Returning to Yorkshire Pudding; what is the advice for a good Yorkshire Pudding from books in our collections? It is quite a tricky recipe to get right however I was surprised that most of the cookery books I looked at did not have recipes for the pudding in them. Maybe Yorkshire folk are expected to know how to make them! One of the books: Old Yorkshire Recipes by Joan Poulson. (L.641.5) reminds us that the traditional way to serve Yorkshire Pudding is just with gravy as a starter. The pudding should be light with crisp edges.

Recipe for Yorkshire puddings taken from one of our cookery books

There are other recipes which have the words Yorkshire in the title, some better known than others; Yorkshire Goose, Yorkshire Beef Collops, Yorkshire Curd Tarts and Yorkshire Teacakes. The latter according to the Women’s Institute Yorkshire Cookery Book can be plain or fruited.

Recipe for Yorkshire tea cakes taken from one of our cookery books

One famous Hull delicacy is the Hull Pattie. These are available in local fish and chip shops and consist of potato encased in batter. The secret ingredients are the herbs and these might differ but rumour has it that sage is an essential flavour.

If you fancy a drink then you could have some Hull Cheese! In ‘The History of the Town and Port of Kingston upon Hull’ by James Joseph Sheahan (1866) [L.9.7], he describes Hull Cheese as ‘a strong ale mighty as any in the country’. The book also has a poem by John Taylor, the ‘Water Poet’, who visited Hull in 1662. He wrote the poem ‘a very merry wherry-ferrey voyage’, which includes the reference to Hull Cheese: ‘Give me Hull Cheese and welcome and good cheere’. There is also a pub named after the famous ale on Jameson Street in Hull.

So Happy Yorkshire Day and celebrate with some good Yorkshire Fare.

Elaine Moll, Archivist/Librarian (Hull City Archives and Local Studies Library)