The Last Food of England
'Stew and hard': the 'stew' is a mixture of beef and cowheel, cooked up together until tender, skimmed and left to set. It is made in bowls by butchers and sold in slices. The 'hard' is an elongated Lancashire oatcake, as distinct from the soft ones of Derbyshire and Staffordshire, which is eaten crisp after a spell in a cool oven. There are several producers of 'stew', but only one of 'hard', imperilling a combination of flavour and texture which has a long and local pedigree, few rivals, and a devoted following.

North of England October 2004