A Taste of Sussex’s Food and Drink history from local Sussex Author

The latest book from Washington author Kevin Newman is on Sussex’s food and drink and those who have made it over the centuries – it is called Pond Puddings and Sussex Smokies.

Kevin says of the book: ‘There’s not been a book of this type on Sussex food and drink across the centuries before and so it was great to research and write about foodie people, places and products as well as our darned fine drinking dens and brilliant breweries.  As you can imagine though, the research process was really horrific – having to visit Sussex’s pubs, restaurants, breweries and vineyards, eating and drinking delicious food and drink.  I hope the people of Sussex appreciate the misery I’ve had to endure……”

The focus of the book is a light-hearted exploration of all of Sussex’s culinary, drinking, distilling and dining locations as well as the characters who make, sow, grow and deliver our food and drink to us.  Kevin explains further; “People have really become fascinated with the provenance of their food during the era of lockdowns – and so also people want to know the history of their food and drink, as well as those who make it.  Sussex is also punching well above its weight in the world of food and drink at the moment, and considering English wine was a joke when I was a boy, and we haven’t been known for our cheese, beer or cider it is all the more amazing that we now are such a hotspot and receive so many awards. Products such as Silly Moo cider, Greyhound and Burnt Sky’s beers and High Weald’s award-winning range of hugely creative cheeses are not only carrying the flag for Sussex but have amazing stories to tell.

The book takes its name from two of our most famous dishes from the past, which have had a resurgence in recent years with many local chefs serving Smokies again (Worthing’s Crabshack restaurant even serves it as ‘dirty fries’) and Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off encouraged many to bake the lemony loveliness of the Pond Pudding.

The launch for the book takes place on Wednesday September 22nd at 7-9pm at the Frankland Arms in Washington.

The book is also the subject of a talk at the first ever Sussex Showcase of the Senses at the White Horse Hotel in Storrington a few days earlier on Monday September 20th between 6.30pm – 9.30pm where there will be a talk on the book and Sussex food and drink, alongside much else.  Both events also include a Sussex food and drink quiz called Scrumptious Sussex.

I’m also involved in the Sussex School for Smugglers evening event and dinner in October (think an adult Hogwarts for wannabee smugglers – set in 1821!) at the Old Ship in Brighton in October as part of the new Living Coast’s HomeWORD Bound festival, and running Worthing’s Spooky Tours this Halloween for the seventh year if these might be of interest?