Our Food: Kent
Giles Coren and the Our Food team explore Kent. This is the garden of England, rich with orchards and fruitful harvests, but it’s also on the doorstep of continental Europe - a source of new tastes and ideas.
Giles gets a taste of what British beer was like before the arrival of hops, while Alys Fowler uncovers the real roots of English cherries. The team also discover lavender’s long history as a flavour as well as a fragrance and learn the secret of some mysterious buildings on Romney Marsh.
Giles sails through Kent on the Lady of the Lea, an original Thames barge built in 1931. Rivers and estuaries put Kentish food within easy reach of the markets of London - the barges were big enough to ply their trade in coastal waters but could also venture into narrow creeks to pick up goods direct from suppliers.
Giles learns the importance of getting the tides right and meets a huffler - someone whose job it was to lower the mast so the barge could pass under bridges and sail deep into the heart of Kent.
Wednesday 18 April