FORMBY asparagus is the star of a new show examining regional food heroes.
Renowned for its delicate flavour and quality, Formby asparagus used to be transported daily to Covent Garden and graced restaurant tables aboard ocean liners outbound from Liverpool to New York.
In the 1930’s more than 200 acres were grown in fields formed by levelling parts of Formby’s sand dunes. Today there are less than 10 acres of Formby asparagus in cultivation.
The Great British Food Revival looks at the vegetable’s links with the town and examines the importance of the Formby Asparagus Trail Project, which looks to preserve the area’s history.
Farmer David Brooks tells the story of traditional cultivation in the dune fields at Formby to celebrity chef Monica Galetti, star of Masterchef.
Today the National Trust cares for part of the cultivation area.
Trust countryside manager Andrew Brockbank said: “The landscape we look after here at Formby includes the former Pinetree Farm. This was established by local farmer Jimmy Lowe in the 1920s. Lowe went on to win first prize five times in the 1930’s at the Evesham Asparagus Championship.
“However, we’re delighted that David Brooks of Larkhill Farm has established a new field of asparagus on National Trust land which will help to sustain the Formby asparagus tradition.
“Asparagus now has much wider appeal than ever before, so in May next year we’ll be hosting an event to showcase Formby asparagus with chefs on hand to share mouth watering serving suggestions and recipes.”
Andrew will be giving a free talk on Formby Asparagus on Thursday November 22 at 7pm at St Luke’s Church.
The Great British Food Revival is on BBC2 at 7pm on Monday, November 5.