“ Type: Other Desserts „
In these days of mass production and high speed travel some of the traditional 'local' foods seem to have got lost. So it was with a favourite cake from my childhood in the North of England, Parkin. Parkin was a popular treat which we used to eat around Bonfire Night with a high flavour as it is cake made with oatmeal and treacle which was lovely to eat as we stood around the bonfire. In fact I can remember we always had treacle in the cupboard which came out to make treacle toffee and parkin to warm us through in the cold winter months. It was a lovely warming cake as it had ginger in it (good for the digestion) and lots of oatmeal (to fill hungry children) as well as tasty syrup and treacle. When I moved to Suffolk I had largely left Parkin behind and, apart from when I visited my mother and she had made some for me, or occasionally around Bonfire Night when Asda and Morrisons used to stock it for a couple of weeks, it has been hard to find. That was until a recent visit to Asda in Ipswich when I spotted a pack on their cake shelves in March. There I spotted 'Asda Parkin', described as 'ginger cake with treacle and oats'. It was so lovely to see it again and it looks like it might be part of their regular range so I picked up a couple of packs and took it to the checkout. As someone who loves Parkin I am well aware that not all Parkin is the same, some can be pale and uninteresting and others can be hard and unpleasant so it was with some trepidation that I opened a pack and tasted it. It was actually quite good, not too dry but full of flavoursome treacle, I could also taste the ginger which was mildly warming and there was obviously some oatmeal in there (although not as much as when my Mum made it). Overall it was very enjoyable and I would be happy to recommend it to others. If you haven't ever had Parkin it would be a pretty good introduction. The Asda Parkin is suitable for vegetarians although people who suffer from allergies should be warned that it contains, gluten, wheat, barley, oats, egg and soya and may also have some traces of nuts and/or seeds. 100g contains 350 calories, 7.5g protein, 52.9g carbohydrates of which 31.8g are sugars, 12g fat, 3.7g fibre and 0.4g salt. It certainly makes a change from some of the bland and tasteless cakes on the shelves these days and was a pleasant reminder of my childhood. Worth a try if you want something a little different.