No County Show is complete without food taking centre stage and the Kent County Show is no exception. There will be plenty of local produce from ‘The Garden of England’ when gates open of Friday 12th July for the three day celebration.
Produced in Kent will have a large area dedicated to local artisan producers who not only sell their goods, but are more than happy to chat to visitors about where they source ingredients, how they make the product and ultimately how wonderful it tastes. Cheese makers, meat producers and a host of homemade jams and chutneys will be some of the wonderful products available.
Kent is well known for its fruit production and two years running the National Top Fruit Grower of the Year and Young Grower of the Year have hailed from Kent. The Kent County Show hosts the National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show. Commercial growers from across the country enter fruit, which is judged by a panel of experts. Once judging has finished on the first day visitors are welcome to visit the large marquee and see some of the best exhibits of fruit grown anywhere in the world. The standard of entries is exemplary with taste, colour and uniformity being critical to gain a high score from the exacting judges.
The competition fruit is available to purchase, although, tradition states that the winning entry of cherries is always couriered to Buckingham Palace as a present for her Majesty The Queen.
The extensive ‘Why Farming Matters in Kent’ area will be themed ‘Kent Food Delivers’ for 2013. The stand will show visitors the wonderful produce that Kent has to offer and will stage cookery demonstrations from local chefs. Farmers and growers will be on hand to talk about the advantages of buying local food and to showcase the new Kent Food App. The app funded by Kent Downs and Marshes Leader lists over 500 producers, suppliers, Farmer’s Markets and restaurants all committed to Kent produce. The app is free to download and helps small to medium producers market directly to the public.
The large professional cookery theatre will be home to the “Kent is Delicious’ children’s cookery competition run by The Kent County Agricultural Society and the Diocese of Canterbury. Primary school age children have been encouraged to use local, seasonal ingredients in both sweet and savoury recipes designed by the children themselves. The top six schools will be making the dishes in the Why Farming Matters in Kent area on Friday. The schools will be judged by a panel and the winner announced in the afternoon. A book with recipes from all entries will be available from the Diocese of Canterbury.
Kate Excell, Trade Stand Co-ordinator said, “One of the most popular areas of the Kent County Show is the large International Food Marquee. We have over 40 stands from both around the world and here in Kent. Bellota is an importer of specialist spanish foods, Grasmere Farm in Cambridgeshire specialize in making their own pork products and Solley’s Farms award winning ice cream, based near Deal, will be selling their delicious ice cream made using Kentish milk & cream from Channel Island cows”.