This blog post ends the England road trip series. I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures in discovering England’s landscapes, local foods and culture.
I close this topic with this post about the delicious board of delicacies typically offered at an English pub – the Ploughman.
One of the most interesting combinations offered at local pubs, was, indeed, the Ploughman’s Lunch. Typically served on a board, the ploughman consists of a variety of food items including pickles, cured meats, chutney, sliced bread and cheese. Some dishes also include a slice of pork pie or a scotch egg. But the most important ingredient on this board is the cheese – which would, of course, be of a local variety.
The idea of serving a “Ploughman’s Lunch” was created by the Cheese Bureau (1950s) and by the Milk Marketing Board (1960s) as a method to promote local English cheese.
The definition of ploughman is, quite simply, a person who uses a plow. The dish was most likely named after this nifty character because it contains the foods he would typically bring with him for lunch out in the fields. Its contents reflect the work of farmers on the country’s beautiful terrain. Land that is filled with grazing sheep and cows that produce the cream and milk which make up the delicious local cheeses.
The Ploughman can be found on pub menus at lunchtime – when a plow man would typically have his mid-day snack. But, on occasion, you can find it served in the evenings.
Pictured above, is a tasty example of a Ploughman that I enjoyed at The Cricketers in Clavering, Essex. On this board was a slice of handmade pork pie (at far end), crispy pork crackling, sliced bread, piccalilli spread (a spiced vegetable relish), tomato chutney, a deliciously rich scotch egg and, of course, the local semi-soft gold cheese of Suffolk county.
The Ploughman was a perfect way to end this trip. It celebrates England’s glorious landscapes, wonderful people, farm-rich foods and cozy villages. That English pride will be honored by me with an occasional Ploughman and a pint of delicious English ale. Ok, well, maybe I would add a meat pie, or sticky toffee pudding, or treacle tart, or a pasty, or afternoon tea and biscuits. As you can see, I have many, many options.