Do you enjoy tucking into gourmet experiences? Why not get yourself to Malton, the small town described by Italian cookery writer and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio as “Yorkshire’s food capital”, and participate in one of the new food tours?
The first Malton Food Tour was led by Tom Naylor-Leyland during August 2016, coinciding with the monthly Malton Food Market. Local farmers and food producers sell their wares at the market, held on the second Saturday of each month, from March to December.
Tom is passionate about food. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the springtime Malton Food Lovers Festival plus the autumn Malton Game and Seafood Fest.
We sent Stuart Forster, our food and drink expert, to North Yorkshire to join Tom on the inaugural food tour. Would our man be waylaid in one of the compact town’s ten cosy pubs? Would he eat all the pies? Some of the money in the MannedUp office pool was on him getting lost on the way to Malton and ending up in Scarborough, with teatime approaching, for fish and chips.
Yet he made it. Here are some of the highlights of the three-hour culinary extravaganza in the town 18 miles north-east of York.
1. Smell the aroma of freshly roasted coffee at Roost
Gain an overview of the art of coffee roasting from master roaster David Elkington at the Roost Coffee and Roastery, one of a handful of food production units on premises at Talbot Yard.
David swears by the quality of coffee beans whose origins can be traced to their estate of origin. He uses a double-drum Diedrich roasting machine to “roast by hand, sight and smell”.
2. Browse local products at Malton Food Market
During the tour you’ll be following your guide, hearing about Malton’s history and food produced in and around the town. Arrive early so you can browse the market and purchase goods. Be smart—carry a cool box in your car to transport cheese, sausages and meat that are best kept chilled.
3. Nibble on freshly baked bread
The Bluebird Bakery has premises in both York and Malton. Don’t loaf, get yourself to the front of the queue and taste some of master baker Al Kippax’s products. His spinach, cumin and chickpea roll is delicious.
4. Tuck into a world-class steak pies
Forget the products passed-off as pies in many football grounds. The steak pies sold at Costello’s Bakery are succulent and packed with meat. Tour-guide Tom likes his with a dollop of HP. When in Malton, do as the locals do.
5. Taste the rum chocolates at Mennells
Sharon Foyle runs a traditional confectioners, Mennells, and creates her own Belgian style chocolates. The fillings might be rich in rum or other spirits, so watch out if you’re driving. The shop’s shelves are packed with glass jars holding sweets, from sherbet to boilies.
6. Learn how to cook or bake
Pop into Malton Cookery School to take a look at spacious, well-lit premises that hold regular classes. If you join one of the courses you can cook and bake using range cookers. Courses to prepare meat, game and seafood count among the school’s range of offerings.
7. Polish off a beer at the Brass Castle Brewery
Take a look at the stainless steel tanks used at the Brass Castle Brewery. The microbrewery’s Helles Lager was awarded a national gold medal at the 2016 Society of Independent Brewers Awards. Hear the brewer talk about his creations and then sample them. Yay!
8. Pat your own butter
Pop into Butterbees, the UK’s first butter boutique, and hear owner Lucy describe the process of churning butter from creamy Yorkshire milk. Pick up a pair of wood paddles and pat your own block of butter, adding herbs and spice, should you so wish.
9. A taste of Yorkshire at the Talbot Hotel
The Talbot Hotel has been an inn since 1740. Back at the hotel, the meeting point for the Malton Food Tour, you can sample York ham, freshly dressed crab and other seafood from the North Yorkshire coast, plus pork pies and cooked meats.
10. Don’t miss out on an ice cream
Leave room for an ice cream over at Groovy Moo after the tour has concluded. The company produces Italian style gelato made with milk from local cows. Be ready to face up to questions such as how many scoops, which flavours and whether you prefer a cone or a bowl.
Malton Food Tours costs £35 a person. To make the most out of the tour ensure you turn up hungry.
For more information about what you can expect from Malton take a look at the Malton Yorkshire website.