In the very heart of England, Worcestershire borders Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.
Renowned for fruit farming and the cultivation of hops, today only the Vale of Evesham has orchards still worked on a commercial scale.
Banner Foods are based in Bromsgrove, was established over 100 years ago back in 1906 by Sam Banner and his wife. Nowadays the business has three distinct sectors: a farm shop butchery with takeaway food; a manufacturing unit that produces meals for all catering establishments; and most recently a restaurant.
The butcher’s side of the business provides excellent cuts of meat, including lamb in mint and onion gravy, lamb Marrakech with orange, sultana and chickpeas and lambs liver. More exotic meals include curried fragrant guinea fowl breast and rich venison casserole.
Fruits of the Earth
One of the Worcestershire food producers serving the UK is Primafruit is based in Evesham. It is the place for fresh fruit. The company specialises in the sourcing and supply of fresh fruit and works with some of Britain’s best-known retailers and foodservice customers.
Fruit is sourced from around the world and Primafruit prides itself in its excellent relationship with growers and suppliers. The product range includes stone fruit, citrus, grapes, kiwi and pineapples all year round as well as melons and bananas.
No waste is sent to landfill; with a local dairy farm taking significant volumes of fruit waste as cattle feed and compost material.
Ice Cream and Herbs
For those who love ice cream then Bennetts is a familiar name in the county with a delightful selection of traditional and contemporary flavours. All recipes are suitable for vegetarians and are gluten free except amaretto, lemon meringue and champagne sorbet.
There are over 50 flavours of truly traditional ice cream to choose from. This made on the farm in Worcester from milk supplied by Bennett’s own dairy herd and fresh double cream from a local independent dairy.
The farm holds 240 Holstein/Friesian cows. In the summer, the cows graze in luscious pastures, set between the rivers Severn and Teme. The creamiest and freshest morning milk is collected, pasteurised and turned into delicious ice cream within 24 hours. There is a huge choice from Banoffee Fudge, Blue Bubblegum, Caramel Honeycomb & Fig Ice Cream, Coconut & Pineapple Ice Cream or Honey & Ginger.
Finally let’s talk about herbs! Red Deer grows fresh herbs in Worcester and then distributes them nationwide. Established in 1986, Red Deer Herbs concentrates on processing herbs and related crops to the highest quality standards. The choice includes red and lemon basil, chervil and chives, lovage and fennel and borage, a taste similar to cucumber.
Worcestershire food producers are the last in the first AC Services series of local food producers in the area it serves. But there are so many good local ingredients, we’ll soon start spotlighting some more.