All About Cornish Food Traditions & Producers

Posted by Cornish Hampers on

This article is about all things Cornish food, covering the traditions and dishes that Cornwall has become famous for, along with a detailed guide to local food and drink brands from the county.

Traditional Cornish Dishes

Walk through Padstow in the summer and you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t eating an ice cream, fish & chips or a pasty. Food is a key part to the county’s draw for millions of tourists every year. The region is famous for producing lots of great tasting food and drink, some of which began in Cornwall and others that have become extremely popular in the county. Here we have detailed the cuisine that Cornwall is traditionally famous for:

Cornish Cream Tea – A traditional cream tea is a speciality of Devon and Cornwall where a pot of tea is served with scones, jam and clotted cream. The exact origin of the "cream tea" is disputed, but Devonians claim there is evidence that the tradition of eating bread with cream and jam started at Tavistock Abbey in Devon in the 11th century. In Cornwall, the cream tea was traditionally served with a "Cornish split", a type of slightly sweet white bread roll, rather than a scone. But nowadays the scones and clotted cream used throughout tearooms in both counties is very similar and therefore the main difference is how you choose to have it.

Cornish Clotted Cream – Clotted cream is a smooth, thick cream traditionally made in Devon and Cornwall by heating unpasteurised cow's milk that is left in a shallow pan for many hours causing the cream to rise to the surface and 'clot'. Cornish clotted cream has been awarded ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ status, along with the likes of champagne and Parma ham.

Seafood – Being surrounded by the sea on three coasts it’s no surprise that Cornwall produces and consumes lots of fresh fish. Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant in Padstow does a particularly good job at putting Cornwall on the map as one of the best places for ‘straight from the sea’ fish in the UK.

Saffron Cake – A Cornish classic, perfect at teatime, a Saffron Cake is a sweet bun containing currents and flavoured with saffron and cinnamon, similar to a teacake but yellow in appearance.

Cornish Pasty – Probably Cornwall’s best known food, the Cornish pasty has always been a popular meal in the county. In the past it was the ideal lunch for Cornish tin-miners as it was seen as a complete meal that could be easily transported and consumed without cutlery, with some miners using the side-crimps as a handle that could be discarded. In 2011 the traditional Cornish pasty was given ‘Protected Geographical Indication’ status in Europe. It’s popular worldwide following the spread of Cornish miners.

Cornish Fudge – Handmade fudge is abundant in shop windows throughout Cornish tourist towns like Padstow and St. Ives, with some shops offering a mind boggling array of flavour combinations. Cornish clotted cream is often a key ingredient in local fudge.

Cornish Ice Cream – Cornish Ice Cream is made using clotted cream. It’s a tradition than began in the region but has spread with many Cornish brands available throughout UK supermarkets. Coastal towns in the county are all brimming with ice cream parlours.

Cornish Fairings – A Cornish fairing is a type of traditional ginger biscuit commonly found in Cornwall. The term ‘fairing’ originated from treats sold at fairs in the county. Furniss began manufacturing the biscuits in 1886 and are still the biggest producer of them today.


Cornish Artisan Food Brands


Cornish Clotted Cream & Ice Cream Producers

Rodda’s – Beginning in 1890 when Eliza Jane Rodda, great-great-grandmother to the current owners, started making Cornish clotted cream in her farmhouse kitchen in the heart of Cornwall. Over 120 years on and now the world's largest producer of clotted cream, Rodda’s still craft it the same way, by gently baking rich local cream until it’s thick, unctuous and thoroughly dollopable.

Trewithen Dairy – Producing milk, cream, yoghurt and butter, Trewithan Dairy is a family business with more than 25 years experience based at Greymare Farm near Lostwithiel.

Treleavens - Artisan award winning sorbets and ice creams hand-made on the south Cornish coast.

Kellys - Kellys have been making Cornish ice cream for over 100 years and use Cornish milk and Cornish clotted cream. The company is now owned by R & R Ice Cream, the Yorkshire based company that is Europe’s highest volume producer of ice cream.

Callestick Farm - Located in the heart of Cornwall, only minutes from the North coast where the air is clean and the grass is green, Callestick Farm create Cornish ice cream in a vast variety of flavours.

Moomaid – A small family business producing over 30 flavours of luxury Cornish Ice and sorbet from their ice cream parlour on Tremedda Farm, West Cornwall.

Gerry’s - Gerry’s Originals are hand-made, luxury ice creams and sorbets in a number of varieties as well as fruit ice pops made using 100% natural ingredients.

Roskillys – Based on a real, working, organic Cornish farm where visitors can meet the animals and stroll around the meadows, Roskilly’s produce award winning ice cream and fudge.


Preserves, Chutney, Honey & Sauce Producers from Cornwall

Boddingtons Berries - Boddingtons Berries produce quality preserves by hand, in small batches on their family farm at Mevagissey and has been doing so since the Second World War.

Cornish Meadow - Established as a business in 1987, after many years of making home-made preserves, Cornish Meadow still produces all preserves in the same way, using small open pans and the finest ingredients, sourced locally.

Sisleys & Crellow – Produces of Chutneys, Preserves and Jellies using handmade and at times laborious methods, bringing out the best in some of the most unusual ingredients.

Sarah & Finn - Sarah & Finn’s is an artisan producer of 'Taste of the West' award-winning relishes nestled in the far west of Cornwall’s north coast.

Cornish Orchard – Specialising in award winning, premium ciders and juices, Cornish Orchard also turn their apples into chutney.

Halzephron – From marinades to mayonnaises, dressings to dips, seeds to chutneys, cold sauces to cooking sauces or jams to curry sauces, Hazelphron have something for every recipe. They’re based a few miles away at St Keverne, within the grounds of Roskillys organic farm.

Cornish Chilli Company - Cornish Chilli Company have a passion for chillies and every product reflects that passion. They have a large range of delicious sauces that have been carefully developed over the last 15 years.

Cornish Hell – Homemade chilli sauces and chutneys, sourced from locally from the heart of Cornwall to give you a unique flavour. With extreme heat levels for those chilli head connoisseurs that like a little kick.

Bad Boy Chilli – Producers of chilli mash using the freshest chillies, preserving them, then blending just at the right time to keep the lovely flavour of the chillies locked in the mash whilst still retaining the heat.

Andrea's Cornish Chillies – Home-grown chillies and homemade chilli inspired products grown in a secluded wooded valley near the North Cornish Coast.

Cornish Ketchup Company - The Cornish Ketchup Company was founded by two friends with a passion for great food.  Their ketchup is handmade in Cornwall using 100% natural ingredients.

Nine Maidens Mead - Located in west Cornwall, Ninemaidens Mead combines a wealth of experience in Cornish honey production along with long-standing family traditions of brewing real Cornish mead to create drinks of the highest quality.

Heather Bell Cornish Wildfower Honey - Based on the Lizard peninsula, Cornwall, Heatherbell Cornish Honey is produced on-site by their own bees. They organically manage all of their beehives, without the use of pesticides or antibiotics.


Biscuit & Crisp Brands from Cornwall

Furniss – One of Cornwall’s best-known brands, Furniss has been serving the needs of biscuit fanatics ever since its founder, John Cooper Furniss, opened his Cornish teashop in 1886.

Simply Cornish - Simply Cornish offers a full range of award-winning, handcrafted products ‘for all your bakery needs’, including pasties and savoury treats, muffins and traybakes, luxury biscuits, scones, saffron cakes and seasonal products.

The Cornish Crisp Company – Crisps made from potatoes grown in Cornwall and other ingredients sourced as locally as possible.

The Lusty Pirate - Cornish crisp producers with flavours including Cornish pasty.


Cornish Producers of Fudge, Chocolate, Cake & Other Confectionary

Buttermilk Confectionery - Buttermilk is a family business, born and bred in Cornwall using traditional methods to create handmade confectionery for over 50 years. They have over 60 flavours of smooth and crumbly fudge, chocolate clusters and honeycomb.

Furniss – Although famous for biscuits, in particular Cornish Fairings, Furniss also produce fudge in small boxes.

Copper Pot Originals - Award winning confectionery classics, including fantastic fudge and heavenly honeycomb, Copperpot Originals are an accumulation of three generations of confectionery expertise, which all started in the family kitchen, in the picturesque seaside town of St Ives, Cornwall.

The Handmade Fudge Shop -award winning handmade fudge from the Isles of Scilly. Fudge flavours include traditional favourites such as Vanilla & Chocolate to original and exotic flavours such as Cheeky Cherry Bakewell & Malty Moonrock.

Roskillys – Based on a real, working, organic Cornish farm where visitors can meet the animals and stroll around the meadows, Roskilly’s produce award winning ice cream and fudge.

Veronica Farm Fudge- Based at Veronica Farm, on Bryher on the Isles of Scilly, Veronica’s has a purpose built fudge kitchen but still uses traditional farmhouse methods.

Kernow Chocolate – Cornish chocolate producers located in the village of St Eval, North Cornwall, with a chocolate factory that’s open to the public to visit.

Trenance Chocolate - Trenance Chocolate’s small team of chocolatiers temper and mould the chocolate in small batches to create solid novelty shapes, gourmet bars, luxurious soft centred chocolates and indulgent truffles.

Simply Cornish - Simply Cornish offers a full range of award-winning, handcrafted products ‘for all your bakery needs’, including pasties and savoury treats, muffins and traybakes, luxury biscuits, scones, saffron cakes and seasonal products.

Warrens Bakery - Warrens Bakery is a traditional bakery, with two production sites and 50 stores throughout Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. They’re the oldest Cornish Pasty producer in the World. Products include hand crafted savouries, luxury scones, artisan breads, cakes, sweet treats, and regional speciality biscuits.

Raw Chocolate Pie – Raw Chocolate Pie is a dairy free, gluten free and soya free treat which contains no refined sugar

Chocolarder - Chocolarder is one of the only small batch bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the country. They produce fine quality, stone ground chocolate using organic beans imported from family run plantations in Venezuela, Java, Madagascar, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

Cloud Nine Marsh Mallows - Multi award-winning, handmade gourmet treats from Port Eliot, Cornwall.

Get Fruity Bar – 100% natural fruit bars that count as part of your ‘5 a day’ produced in Cornwall and found across the UK in chains such as Waitrose and Holland & Barratt.


Cornish Tea and Coffee Brands

Cornish Tea – A brand popular in seaside tourist shops throughout Cornwall, Cornish Tea provides the region with tea and coffee.

Tregothnan - Tregothnan put the English into English tea for the first time in history by planting the first ever tea in the UK in 1999. As well as growing English tea and a vast range of delicious herbal infusions, sustainable coppiced charcoal, Cornish Manuka and wildflower honeys, and the rare Kea plum jam are also produced on the estate.

Time Out Tea – A family run business based in Cornwall, sourcing the finest herbs & spices from around the world, which are lovingly blended into small batches for consistency in quality.

Origin Coffee - Based in the depths of Cornwall, Origin Coffee are enthusiastic about sourcing, importing, roasting and selling great coffee. All coffee is environmentally sourced with farmers  being guaranteed a fair price for their crop and that their workers and the environment are being looked after too.

Cornish Coffee – Cornish Coffee has been supplying and serving the hospitality sector in Conrwall for a number of years and in 2014 they began roasting coffee in the UK for the first time.

Hands on Coffee - Hands-On coffee is micro-roasted by hand in small batches at their roastery in Wadebridge on the Cornish Atlantic coast using a hot-air roaster.

Yallah Coffee - The Yallah coffee roastery is located in the far southwest of Cornwall, just a few miles outside of Falmouth.


Soft Drink Producers from Cornwall

Helford Creek - Apple juice and cider made with traditional craft methods on their 18th Century farm near Helston in Cornwall.

Cornish Orchard - Award winning, premium ciders and juices, using traditional craft practices, produced to modern, exacting standards.

Tamar Valley Apple Juice - Produced at Greenbank Farm beside The River Tamar, Tamar Valley Apple Juice use apples from their own orchard to create high quality apple juice.

Cornish Country Cordials – Cornish Country Cordials create a wide range of flavours, delicious with still and sparkling water, hot water or splashed with the tipple of your choice for a fruity cocktail.

Cornish Natural Spring - Cornish Natural Spring Water is situated on the edge of Bodmin Moor in the picturesque and dramatic setting of Brown Willy and Rough Tor. The bottling plant stands on an underground lake where pure Cornish moorland kissed rainfall naturally filters through the rock to produce Cornish Natural Spring Water.


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