It’s British Food Fortnight, an annual celebration of British produce that has been running for around 14 years. At Opus, we celebrate British food every week! We create dishes from British produce around our region and country, always seasonal and market fresh, whether it’s fish from Brixham harbour, lamb from Cornwall, fruit and veg from Worcestershire, or beef from Hereford.
This week we contributed to the work of #Britishfoodfortnight and visited our adopted school, St Clare’s Primary in Handsworth. This was the first lesson for the new year 5’s and a new year group brings with it 60 new personalities, very different questions and plenty of examples of how much food knowledge children have… far more than I did at age 9.
The part of the lesson where we confuse the children’s senses and give them flavoured jelly, is my favourite part. Green jelly suggests apple or lime flavours but surprisingly one little boy, before he’d even smelt or tasted it, suggested that it was Avocado flavour. He then went on to claim after he tasted it, that he knew it was ginger he could taste… and he was correct.
We showed the group a handful of wonky, odd looking veg to test the children’s knowledge. We showed them a sweet potato, Jerusalem artichokes, a yellow carrot with its green tops and a celeriac. A reflection of the cultures in the room, the answers consisted of a yam, ginger root, a deformed carrot and a cauliflower.
Not too far off I thought, but it made me think of how the Soho Road in Handsworth is full of supermarkets and fresh produce, so no wonder these children knew about these vegetables. Their families might take them shopping and would be cooking fresh food with them at home. We tried to explain that the deformed carrot, was in fact normal and was grown in England but didn’t always reach the supermarket shelves. We explained that the purple, white and yellow carrots that we use at Opus, taste just as lovely as the ‘normal’ orange ones they were used to seeing. If we succeeded in leaving one message with the children , that weird looking veg was normal, that’s one positive Opus legacy for #britishfoodfortnight this year.