7 traditional Derbyshire foods that you need to try

Not sure what an oatcake is? Never had a real Bakewell pudding? Keep reading to find our pick of the top 7 traditional Derbyshire foods that you need to try during your visit. 

While it might be the walking routes that first draw you to Derbyshire, the region’s food and drink will definitely be one of the unexpected extra highlights of your trip. 

We’ve used this blog to showcase Derbyshire’s huge range of foodie offerings, including everything from top-tier brunch to our favourite fine dining pubs

In this post, we’ll be championing the traditional foods of the county – trademark treats and regional recipes that you’d struggle to find anywhere else! 

Below, we’ve listed our top 7 traditional Derbyshire foods, alongside our recommendations for some of the best places to find them.  

1. Derbyshire oatcakes

You may have had the biscuit version of an oatcake, but these are nothing like those dry, crumbly little rounds.

Derbyshire oatcakes are a type of oat-based pancake, with a savoury flavour. They are usually served filled with savoury breakfast fillings, like cheese and bacon. They can also be enjoyed with more elaborate fillings like cooked meats and chutneys, or are equally delicious toasted under the grill and covered with butter. Or maybe go super sweet and try one with banana and nutella.

But, of course, these are just suggestions. One of the best things about oatcakes is their versatility. You can pair them with a huge range of fillings, both sweet and savoury. 

Derbyshire oatcakes are the siblings of Staffordshire oatcakes, which have a very familiar texture and flavour. The main differences between these two oatcake varieties are that Derbyshire oatcakes are made thicker, and contain a small volume of milk (so, we reckon that makes ours superior!). 

Where to try it?

You can buy packs to take home at The Bakewell Bakery or The Cheddar Gorge (Ashbourne). 

Or, one of the best places to try traditional Derbyshire Oatcakes is at Edensor Tea Rooms. They serve freshly made oatcakes with a range of filling options, which you can enjoy right in the heart of the picturesque Chatsworth Estate. They do a brilliant full English there too.

7 traditional Derbyshire foods that you need to try

2. Derbyshire Bacon Badger

Don’t worry – no badgers were harmed in the making of this dish. 

This unusual-sounding dish is made from bacon cooked with onions and potatoes. This is then wrapped up in a pastry made from a combination of beef suet, self-raising flour and cold water.  

Then, once the filling is cooked and seasoned, it is wrapped up in the pastry (so that it looks a bit like a classic Beef Wellington) and baked until golden. 

The result is similar to a more hearty cross between a Cornish Pasty and a sausage roll. 

Bacon Badgers make a great hearty lunch, or can equally be enjoyed in the evening, with some roast veggies or a side salad. 

3. Bakewell Pudding

Of course, we couldn’t possibly write this list without including the iconic Bakewell Pudding. 

To give you a brief history of the pudding, although there are a lot of different rumours about the origin story of the Bakewell Pudding, the general consensus is that it was invented by accident.

The story goes that, in the 19th century, a cook was following a recipe for a jam tart, but made an error. The dish was served anyway, and guests loved it. So, over time, it became a staple dessert in the town, before spreading nationwide. 

Today, the Bakewell Pudding consists of a base of flaky puff pastry, baked with an almond paste and cherry jam, combined in an egg custard, then baked. 

Where to try it?

As you can imagine, you’ll never be short of places to find one of these puddings in Bakewell. 

If it’s a proper, authentic Bakewell Pudding that you’re after, then we’d recommend visiting Bloomers of Bakewell and The Bakewell Bakery. 

7 traditional Derbyshire foods that you need to try

4. Bakewell Tart

To avoid causing any controversies, we made sure to include this as a separate entry! 

The Bakewell Tart far more closely resembles the Bakewells that you can buy nationwide, or from Mr Kipling (so if these are a favourite of yours, don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed!). 

Although not quite as traditional or historic as the pudding, Bakewell Tarts are just as delicious in their own right. 

For anyone that hasn’t had one before, Bakewell Tarts are made with a shortcrust pastry base, filled with almond frangipane and jam, then covered with a layer of white icing and a final cherry on top. 

Where to try it?

Once again, you’ll find an abundance of great Bakewell Tart shops in their namesake town. 

Check out our complete guide to finding the best traditional Bakewell Tarts here.

5. Derbyshire pork faggots

Although they might not be as famous as Sweden’s national equivalent, Derbyshire meatballs definitely give the big names a run for their money. 

These traditional meatballs (historically known as faggots) are made from minced pork and seasoned with herbs. They are then usually served with gravy. 

6. Fidget pie

Also known as a fidgety pie, these pies are a very classic, traditional Derbyshire pie. 

They feature a shortcrust pastry crust, and are filled with a timeless combination of bacon, onion, sage, apple and potato, but with the unusual added twist of some sweet sultanas. 

The result? A rich and flavourful dish, which offers the perfect reward after a long walk.  

7. Hartington Stilton 

If you’re big on your cheeses, this is definitely a must-buy! 

Hartington Stilton is, as its name suggests, made in the little Derbyshire village of Hartington. 

This cheese is renowned for its strong, punchy flavour (as you’d expect from stilton!) and the creaminess of its texture.  

7 traditional Derbyshire foods that you need to try

Where to try it?

If you’re keen to see what all the hype is about, you can try Hartington Stilton for yourself by paying a visit to The Old Cheese Shop in Hartington. There, they stock the beloved regional stilton that is made by Hartington Creamery. 

Hartington Creamery is located at Pikehall Farm, and not only is it Derbyshire’s only Stilton producer, but it is the smallest Stilton producer in the entire world! All of their cheese is handmade by its team of artisan cheesemakers, using milk from the Derbyshire Dales.

We hope you enjoyed this list of our top 7 traditional Derbyshire foods that you need to try. 

If you’re keen to explore all the foodie delights that set Derbyshire apart, what other recommendations would you like us to share?

Or, if you think there are any traditional food or drinks that we’ve missed, we’d love to hear your additions! You can share your recommendations with us in the comments, or get in touch via our socials.

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