Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Leicester Cuisine

The great city of Leicester sits at the heart of the county, the centre occupying the same site it has done since the Romans built their city of Ratae Corieltauvorum here in ad50 on the site of an earlier Celtic town. The city formed the administrative centre for the county and adjacent areas in Roman times, and has dominated the economy of that same stretch of countryside ever since. In 1937 the League of Nations produced a report that named Leicester as the best city to live in to be found in the British Empire. Though the Empire has gone, the city remains an attractive place that has boomed in population as more and more people have moved to live here. What were once separate villages such as Knighton, Aylestone and Oadby have been brought into the city as suburbs.

The growing populations of the towns and city have provided a ready market for the foods and drinks produced by the rural areas. This has encouraged the production of numerous delicacies and staples on a scale that would have been impossible without the urban demand. And the towns and cities have produced impressive products of their own. Most breweries have been, and still are, located in the towns, while bakeries and other processing units have turned out some great foods.

In recent decades the influx of people with cultural roots in the Indian subcontinent has brought an entirely new culinary tradition to the county. Today the Asian community in Leicester turns out a wide range of craft foods that can match in quality and variety the more traditionally English heritage of the county.

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