When I was growing up, Saturdays during the summer would be spent doing one of two things; preparing a BBQ, or having copious amounts of cheese & wine outside until it’s dark and everyone’s wrapped up in coats but unwilling to move inside.
Because of the latter; I’ve got quite an adventurous taste for crackers (if you can imagine such a thing). The only ones I really can’t get my palate around are the charcoal ones intended for goats cheese; because quite frankly, I find they end up ruining things.
But anyway. Because I still love spending time with family or friends doing the very same thing, I was very excited to find that Peterâ€™s Yardâ€™s Original Artisan Crispbread had been awarded three stars and also named as one of Britainâ€™s Top 50 Foods out of 10,000 entries into this yearâ€™s Great Taste awards. You’ll have noticed I’m on a bit of a quest to try as many of them as I can.
Peter’s Yard is a well-known British company, famed for bringing Swedish style crispbread to the UK. The story for me represents exactly why the British food industry is so exciting right now; a mixture of influences and tastes from other places around the world, and a wonderful sense of collaboration to boot.
When founders Ian and Wendy set out on a mission to discover the best Swedish bakeries and bring some of their favourite bread, cakes and biscuits back to the UK, they visited Peter Ljunquistâ€™s Swedish bakery, Peterâ€™s Yard. There they drank coffee, chatted to Peter and enjoyed â€œfikaâ€. They also discovered the most delicious crispbread (knÃ¤ckebrÃ¶d) they had ever eaten. It was simply too good to remain confined to one small bakery, so they decided to work with Peter and another friend John, to make this authentically Swedish, delicious crispbread available across the UK.
The team used naturally fermenting sourdough, Shipton Mill organic flour and the very best, natural ingredients. Recommendations spread by word of mouth and they grew fast, starting out making just 50 kg of crispbread a week (thatâ€™s not even enough to fill one small bakery van), they now produce fifty times that much in order to keep up with the growing demand.
As well as the traditional, original crispbread, the lovely people at Splat Marketing also sent me Peter’s Yards’ two flavoured crispbreads: a Seeded Wholegrain with whole oat groats, buckwheat, roasted sunflower seeds and linseeds and a Spelt & Fig Crispbread made with Spelt flour and sweet fig pieces.
We ate these with cheese; a really strong cheddar and a goats cheese. The classic, original crispbread is absolutely great. It would go with any type of cheese; but I really loved it with the cheddar. The other two are more malty, and better suited for a blue, and a hard cheese like parmesan. I can also see these last two working SUPER well with a pate; particularly a smoked mackerel one with some freshly cracked black pepper.
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous; Peterâ€™s Yard has teamed up with Great British Chefs to create a series of recipe ideas and serving suggestions for his crispbreads, featuring Phil Fanning, owner and executive chef at Michelin-starred Paris House and Anna Hansen MBE of The Modern Pantry.