In this post I am going to tell you of 5 foods that Manchester provide for the world- some may surprise you! Living in Manchester all my life I am aware of some foods that Manchester is famous for and brought to the world. I decided to research more about things my glorious City is famous for. As a result of this
5 foods that Manchester bring to the world
Heinz Baked Beans
This item is one of the countries favourite foods. Heinz Beanz were launched in 1901 as “Heinz Baked Beans” and were produced in the USA until 1928. In 1901, Heinz Baked Beans were first sold at Fortnum and Mason in London. I know you are thinking what is the connection with Manchester – well Heinz UK and Ireland’s main food manufacturing facility is based in Kitt Green, near Wigan Greater Manchester and turns out more than 1 billion cans every year. It is Europe’s largest food factory. The factory in Wigan, produces more than 1 billion cans per year of beans, soups and pasta meals and is one of Heinz’s largest food factories around the world
Another favourite English foods. Around 67 million packets of Corn Flakes are made in Manchester at the Kellogs factory, Trafford Park, the companys largest factory in the world, With 128 billion bowls eaten worldwide each year, as far afield as Guatemala, India, Japan and Argentina. Greater Manchester, the location of its European headquarters has a significant contribution to the world of Cornflakes. A little known fact is that in 1963, The Beatles featured on the back of Kellogg’s cereals boxes, with people able to win the chance to see the band play live in a tent in Manchester.
OK I can hear you saying that the above 2 foods did not originate in Manchester – but are produced here – The Next 3 have been created in this fabulous City.
Vimto was created by (John) Noel Nichols who was born on December 28th in Blackburn, Lancashire (Northwest England) yes it’s not technically on the list of edible foods but a drink!
After working as a stockbroker’s clerk and a soap factory manager, Noel decided to enter the world of flavours, herbs and spices. He set up his small wholesale druggist and herbalist business in Central Manchester. In 1908 he created the drink we all know and love, Vimto. Originally launched as a herbal tonic that gave the drinker ‘Vim & Vigour’, Vimtonic (as it was known then) soon became known simply as Vimto.
The Company moved to a new home in Old Trafford where it would stay until 1970. J.N.Nichols (Vimto) Ltd is listed on the Manchester stock exchange in 1961. The factory and office moved to Wythenshawe in 1971. It was to move again in 1999 when the can and bottling factories were amalgamated into a new state of the art site in Haydock.
It has undergone many changes but is still popular today, especiallly served hot in winter.
I have to admit now that these are one of my favourite treats. If I’m going anywhere and need a packed lunch or picnic I always take these with me – but they have to be Lancashire Eccles Cakes
For those of you who are not familiar with them An Eccles cake is a small, round cake filled with currants and made from flaky pastry with butter, usually topped with demerara sugar
It is not known who invented the recipe, but James Birch is credited with being the first person to sell Eccles cakes commercially, In 1793 James Birch’s shop on the corner of Vicarage Road in Eccles began selling small, flat, raisin-filled cakes. They sold, quite literally, like hot cakes!
Earlier, in 1769, Mrs Elizabeth Raffald, the housekeeper and owner of a confectioner’s shop in Arley Hall, Cheshire, wrote an influential cookery book, “The Experienced English Housekeeper” which became a best seller.
The book contained a recipe for “sweet patties” with ingredients identifiably similar to the Eccles cakes of today. Could this have been the recipe seized upon by a cookery-mad servant girl who took a copy of the book with her when she went to live in … Eccles?
Whatever the murky origins of the cakes, James Birch was certainly the first person credited with selling them on a commercial basis. They were sold from a shop at the corner of Vicarage Road and St Mary’s Road (now known as Church Street) in Eccles.
However, the story becomes lost in the mists of time. Although the shop’s letterhead in the 1870s showed that the firm was established in 1796, the Land Tax returns show that a James Birch first appeared as a “shopkeeper” in Eccles in 1785.
Whether James Birch made a name for his cakes in the 1780s, in 1796, or indeed some time later, is now impossible to say. It is equally impossible to construct a link between James Birch and Elizabeth Raffald (who died four years before the opening of Birch’s shop – of reasons unknown).
The word ‘Eccles’ means church and is derived from the Greek word ‘Ecclesia’ which means an assembly. In the middle ages an annual service ‘Eccles Wakes’ took place at the church in Eccles and afterwards there was a fair at which food and drink were sold, including of course, Eccles cakes.
In 1650, when the Puritans gained power, they banned the Eccles Wakes and subsequently the Eccles cakes which they considered to have pagan significance due to their juicy and exotic richness.
More recently the question of Eccles cakes has been raised in Parliament. A question was tabled regarding the future of cakes made outside Eccles to the same ingredients. Could non-Eccles made cakes still be referred to (and sold) as Eccles cakes?
Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls:
Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls are still manufactured using the same traditional methods as when Mrs Santus originally made the sweets in her kitchen in 1898.
The factory churns out 160,000 Mint Balls per day, 720,000 per week and 35 million per year – which means the company will produce its three-billionth mint ball in 2041.
Mint Balls have been called up for duty by soldiers in Afghanistan, who claim that the sweets help them handle freezing weather conditions.
There are three natural ingredients in Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls – pure soft golden brown cane sugar, cream of tartar and oil of peppermint.
Do you have a favourite product from Manchester? Comment or contact me and let me know or do you know of another product we Mancunians can be proud of?