Recipes and food from Jersey

There is a wealth of local produce in Jersey. You can find out about Jersey food and recipes here.

Seafood

Surrounded on all sides by the sea, seafood is plentiful in Jersey. Mussels and Oysters are farmed on the south-east coast, there is a turbot farm in a Second World War bunker at St Catherine, and the orange pot-markers used by lobster fishermen to mark their pots can be seen around the coast. Two types of edible crab are caught around the Island - the smooth-looking Chancre Crabs and the spiky-looking Spider Crabs.

Ormers are considered a Jersey delicacy, but numbers have greatly declined and so the are protected by very strict regulations. They can only be collected on the days or full or new moons and two days afterwards between 1 January and 30 April each year!

The Fish Market between Minden Place and Beresford St sells an amazing variety of fish and shellfish, including bass, bream, sole and turbot caught locally, as well as imported fish.

Tip Stallholders in the fish market are friendly and will sometimes let you behind the stall to see the live crabs and lobsters in the tanks. Worth a visit especially with children if they haven't seen them before.

Many Jersey Restaurants specialise in seafood dishes, and even those that don't will usually have a good range of fish on the menu.

The turbot farm at St Catherine is open for visits during the summer.

In the north-west of the Island, at L'Etacq, there is a fishmonger selling a wide range of fish based in a bunker.

A van selling fresh scallops can be found at the bowling alley car park on Saturdays.

Traditional Jersey seafood recipes include Conger Soup and Ormer Stew.

Local Meat

Most meat is imported into Jersey. Jersey cows are kept for milk rather than meat, although you can sometimes see Jersey beef on the butcher's stalls in the Central Market. Jersey beef has a characteristic yellow fat - nothing to do with the meat being bad, just the natural colour of meat from this breed.

There is one sheep farm in Jersey, and local turkeys are reared for Christmas.

Tip Look out for the delicious organic meat and sausages sold by the Vermont Farm stall at country fairs and farmer's markets.

Vegetables

The best known of Jersey's vegetables is the Jersey Royal new potato. They are distinctive potatoes, grown commercially only in Jersey, and often reckoned to be the best new potato variety.

Tomatoes, cauliflowers, courgettes, calabrese, peppers and parsley are also grown.

Driving around the Island you will come across small stalls selling locally grown produce, with an 'honesty box' for payment. The Central Market in St Helier sells a huge range of local and imported vegetables and fruit. There are also a number of farm shops around the Island where many locals buy their veg - one of the best is Lucas Brothers farm shop at the bottom of La Haule Hill near St Aubin.

Tip If you are visiting Jersey in the late summer or autumn, look out for the field of pumpkins grown for Halloween opposite La Haule slip, St Aubin.

Tip There are a few farmers growing organic vegetables. You won't find much in local supermarkets or the Central Market - the Organic Shop in Stopford Rd, St Helier has a much bigger selection.

Dairy Produce

All the cows in the Island are Jersey cows - it is illegal to import cattle, and once exported, cattle cannot be brought back to the Island. Jersey cows produce very rich creamy milk. The local dairy produce butter, yoghurt and a range of flavours of ice-cream. Only Jersey milk is sold in the Island as milk cannot be imported, but you will find a choice of full-cream, semi-skimmed and skimmed milk for sale, and a semi-skimmed organic milk.

Goat's milk products have recently become more widely available in Jersey, with one of the local supermarkets importing a popular brand of milk and yoghurt - not much is produced locally. Goat's cheese is widely available, most large supermarkets having a good choice of soft and hard goat's cheeses. The French Market which visits Jersey several times a year sells a variety of french goat's cheese.

Bakery products

There is a large local bakery which makes a range of bread and cakes sold in the Island. There is a small bakery preferred by many people at Ransom's Garden Centre.

You won't find traditional Jersey breads and cakes easily. The best known are the Cabbage Loaf - so called becuase it is baked wrapped in cabbage leaves, and a small fried pastry cake called the Jersey Wonder. You can often buy Jersey Wonders at country fairs and fetes around the Island. They are best eaten fresh - and tradition says they should only be cooked on a falling tide!

Bean Crock

The most traditional of traditional dishes associated with Jersey is the Bean Crock or Bean Jar. A mixture of beans with pork, traditionally pig's trotters - but nowadays more usually belly pork - or sometimes beef, this dish was prepared in a special crock pot and taken to the local bakery on a Saturday night to be cooked slowly overnight and eaten for breakfast. Traditional crock pots are sold by Touzel's Pet Shop near the Cenrtral Market, where they also sell the mix of dried beans needed.

Bean Crock can be eaten at several Jersey cafes including the one at Hamptonne Country Life Museum - or you can try making your own. There's a recipe here.

Find out how to make a Jersey Bean Crock here.

Find out more about the Central Market here.

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