When you travel to Newcastle, the Geordie cuisine may not be the first thing you hear about. To a foreigner, the names of the local foods sound amusing, if not confusing at first. One thing you can count on is that the traditional ‘northern food’ tastes heavenly!
From the memorable Gregg’s Pasty to the richly flavoured Newcastle Brown Ale, there are a plethora of culinary delights and drinks to suit every taste. Here are our top picks from the North East.
The Gregg culinary outlet has been around for more than 7 decades. They have some of the most delicious snacks, including biscuits, sandwiches, doughnuts and salads; however, the Greggs pasty is the icing on the cake. These memorable Greggs pasties consist of a delicious puff pastry with a hot filling.
Ask any Geordie abroad what they miss most about home, and most of them have one answer: Greggs pasties.
The Singin’ hinny is quite popular across the North East. Its ingredients include flour, butter, milk, salt, currants, lards and baking powder.
Guys from Northumberland, the origin of this savoury griddlecake, pronounce honey as ‘hinney’- often a term of endearment to a loved one. And that’s where the word hinney comes from.
What about the singin’ moniker?
Cook the blend on a griddle pan and the dough starts singing. While baking, the fat contents in the mixture start melting, giving off some whistling sound.
So, don’t leave the North without dancing to the tune of these sweet singin’ hinnies.
Another delicacy with an equally fascinating name, the Pan Haggerty, is a favourite among kids. This dish resembles the French Dauphinoise potatoes, but for a small twist, we don’t have cream in our ingredients.
This delectable meal is a blend of thinly sliced potatoes, mature cheddar cheese and fried onions and the noticeable sprinklings of ‘Geordie flavour’. And it is even heartier when served with egg, bacon, fish or meat.
Stotties are rich in history as they are in taste. They come in a round, flat shape with an indent in the middle. A stottie is also heavy but with a wonderful starchy texture to break your fast.
Most people like fillings like pease pudding, bacon, eggs or thick ham alongside their stottie cake. But butter can also do.
The name stottie comes from the Geordie word ‘to stott’. This word means to bounce and ideally, the loaf is said to bounce when dropped on the floor (in case you are wondering, no, each loaf isn’t tested for bouncing quality measure).
The Saveloy Dip is a seasoned sausage sandwich, but that’s not all.
If you are in for a mouthful, it is a smoked sausage rolled in a bread roll, soaked in gravy, dunked in fat before being wrapped in mustard, stuffing and Pease Pudding (see next). This dish is mostly served with chips to heighten the saveloy feeling.
The red colour of the sweet dish comes after the sausage is boiled in water with added red colouring.
Another Newcastle favourite, the pease pudding or pease porridge, is a smooth, spreadable paste. Its ingredients include yellow split beans, potatoes, onions and seasoning. It is usually eaten with pork or in sandwiches.
Unlike in the past, when it was blended with ham or bacon in the same pan, it now comes as a cold paste, which is then separately served with stotties, ham or bacon.
Newcastle Brown Ale
Nowadays, it may be sold in more than 40 countries, but at home, it is still the favourite. After all, this distinctive English-styled beer has washed down stotties down people’s throats for almost a century.
It is also fondly known as the Newkie Brown, a pint of Broon or bottle of dog. The maxim, ‘why drink from a glass what you can drink from the bottle’ has never rung truer than with this dark ale.