Thursday 19 July 2007

Oatcakes - a proper North Staffs tea

From start to finish - cheesey oatcakes served on pink trefoil plates made by my grandma at the Masons Ironstone Pottery in Stoke.
The North Staffordshire equivalent of the Cornish pasty - only a bit flatter. Oatcakes, a sort of oatmeal pancake, are yummy and I lived on them as a kid. They were cooked traditionally in the Potteries (Stoke-on-Trent) in front-room kitchens and sold to the pot-bank workers and their families. Definitely best served with melted cheese, bacon and the usual fried trimmings. They should NEVER be eaten with jam or sweet fillings but my friends and relations from other parts of the country seem to prefer them like this - wierd.

Growing up they were a staple on Saturday lunchtimes and occasionally, on very late night out, we might catch the shop in our village cooking up their batter in the early hours ready for the next day and they'd cook us a special batch. A million times tastier than a takeaway.

For me plain cheese with a good dollop of tomato suace is perfect. We don't get them over in Buxton very much so it was a lovely treat when J picked some up on a visit to his mum today. Mmmmm...

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