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Food for Christmas thought… December 22, 2017

In recent years a new Christmas tradition has emerged – the seasonal battle by the big brands to win our hearts (and money!), with the most endearing big budget TV commercial.  John Lewis has more often than not emerged the outright winner, with Sainsbury’s coming close behind them in 2014 with a mini epic to mark the centenary of that famous football match in Flanders.

This year, however, John Lewis’ effort seems to have been somewhat of a disappointment, Sainsbury’s effort is so-so, and a recent study threw up some surprises in its top ten rankings.  Realeyes, which uses webcams with machine learning technology to measure how people feel as they watch videos, and audience platform Lucid, measured 55 Christmas adverts by tracking 3,300 viewers’ facial expressions as they watched.  John Lewis only came in at number 17, with Coca Cola taking the top slot.  The one that caught our attention, however, was the Waitrose ad, which came in at number seven.

White Christmas courtesy of Waitrose
If you haven’t seen it, the Waitrose commercial shows a group of people wading through a blizzard to the Tan Hill Inn for a Christmas morning pint.  However, to everyone’s initial dismay, they find themselves snowed in.  All is not lost however, as the pub is well stocked with all the ingredients for Christmas dinner (all Waitrose, of course!) .  Despite a power cut they manage to prepare a feast (turkey with all the trimmings, cooked on gas, presumably?) only for rescuers to dig them out just as they are all set to dig in.  Ho, Ho, Ho…

This got us thinking.  Suppose Cornwall was cut off by snow – what would the stranded folk to the west of the Tamar do for festive fare?  Looking down the list of our 2018 exhibitors, we realised they certainly wouldn’t go hungry, or thirsty.  In fact, when you consider the variety and quality of local produce on offer the prospect of being snowed in is pretty attractive.

Tuck in
Cornish Farm Produce or Total Produce could provide the brussels sprouts, the roast potatoes, carrots and all the other fresh fruit and veg, as well as the dairy items.  The Brian Etherington Meat Co, or RD Johns or Ilfracombe Foodservice, could sort the turkey, and a wide range of meat and poultry options.  If someone fancied fish then F Smales & Son or Stevenson of Newlyn would happily oblige

Pasties, bread, cakes, pastries?  No worries – we’ve got Rowe’s Cornish Bakers, Truly Treats, Ryders Homemade Bakery and Prima Bakeries.  For dessert we’d be spoilt for choice with ingredients and complete dishes from Roddas, Antonelli Brothers, Treleavens, Roskilly’s and Callestick Farm Dairy Ice cream.  One of them might even do Christmas pudding!

Drink and be merry
Stranded Cornish merrymakers wouldn’t have to endure a dry Christmas.  Beer would be in plentiful supply from the Dynamite Valley Brewing Co, the Electric Bear Brewing Co, Exmoor Ales, Keltek Brewery, Skinners Brewing Company, St Ives Brewery and the Rebel Brewery.  Wines and spirits would flow freely also, with the help of Camel Valley Wine, Colwith Farm Distillery, Cribbar, Curio Spirits Company, the North Coast Wine Co, Salcombe Distilling Co, Southwestern Distillery, Wine in Cornwall and Trevethan Distillery.  You wouldn’t get cold either, as you could warm yourself with a cuppa from the Cornish Coffee Company or Cornish Tea.  Or you could mull some of that lovely wine and warm the cockles of your heart that way.

Fingers crossed?
What’s the likelihood of there being a huge dump of snow that cuts off the whole of Cornwall for the Christmas period?  Let’s be honest, the odds are not high, but don’t rule it out completely.  After all, in February 1955 Cornwall was buried under the white stuff, as this classic newsreel from Pathé shows.  If this freak weather event doesn’t happen again this year you won’t have that particular excuse to sample all the local delights listed here – so you’ll just have to come to the show instead, on the 6th-8th March 2018 at the Royal Cornwall Showground just outside of Wadebridge.  It’s been known to snow in March too, although as the show’s organisers, we’re rather hoping it doesn’t!!

Merry Christmas everyone!