What is a ‘traditional Yorkshire recipe’? British regional recipes generally tend to follow the food easily available in any particular place and recipes from Yorkshire are no exception. The type of work done in an area can also have an impact on what is cooked and when it is served. Foods, for example, that can be cooked slowly throughout the day (or conversely, prepared and cooked quickly in the late afternoon) were popular when all members of a household were working during the day, but came together for an evening meal.
Many of the recipes shown on this website have their origins in the 19th century, and often earlier, and are the product of creative cooks using their imagination with food easily available to them in their own kitchen cupboards, back gardens, allotments, or corner shops. Good and tasty, plain and simple, is the cornerstone for these recipes. The dishes shown here would have been relatively straight-forward and quick to prepare in a typical kitchen, although more time would have been given to prepare food for special occasions, particularly festivals.
Cooks would have exchanged recipes with neighbours, and later in the 19th century, with the growth of literacy and rise of the postal services, recipes would have been exchanged with friends and relatives across a wider area of the country, thus broadening the repertoire of cooks.
On this website you will find recipes that appear to have their origins in Yorkshire, although what can happen is that a recipe will arrive from elsewhere, prove popular, and is then given a regional or whimsical name to put a local stamp on it. So although ‘Bald Head Pudding’ sounds daft enough to have come from Yorkshire, on closer examination it proves to be a plain good old steak and kidney pudding found and cooked everywhere – from Barnsley to Brighton.
I have tried then, to include on this website recipes that do appear to have a close link and popular association with the region. However, good recipes don’t recognise borders, and thus their early beginnings can often be obscured by the mist of time.