Westmorland Pepper Cake

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Westmorland Pepper Cake

Westmorland pepper cake or (Kendal pepper cake) is a distinctive spiced fruitcake hailing from Westmorland in Cumbria. The recipe is based upon a basic fruit cake including dried currants and raisins in the batter, and the unusual addition of spices and cracked black pepper. Pepper and black treacle lend the cake its distinctive taste and moist texture, and the spices typically used are ground cloves and ginger. During the 18th and early 19th centuries the West Cumberland coast, particularly the port at Whitehaven, was the hub of trade in the North of England and on the West coast of the UK. Regular imports from the far reaches of the Empire, such as pepper and other spices, as well as molasses, rum and sugar, greatly influenced the cuisine of the area and were bought in exchange for the local wool. Other examples of this can be seen in local specialities such as Cumberland sausages, Cumberland rum butter, and Grasmere gingerbread, which all include exotic ingredients brought in by Britain’s vast trading network. The product has a strong link to the surrounding counties and local history. Combining elements of traditional British cooking with imported spices, it is a reminder of the historic ties Britain had with its Empire. With only one producer currently baking Westmorland Pepper Cake and preparing to launch sales, the lack of knowledge about this cake means it is in danger of being forgotten and consigned to the history books. Interviews with older residents found that many had fond memories of this cake being baked in their families. Records of typical recipes were also found in local cookbook archives, and form the basis of the recipe used today, an authentic recreation of the original.Foto: Ginger Bakers  

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StateUnited Kingdom

England - Nord Ovest

Production area:Cumbria, Westmorland

Other info


Cakes, pastries and sweets

Nominated by:Lisa Smith