Jersey, Channel Islands
The Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency, off the coast of Normandy, France. In addition to the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands which are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, as well as the Pierres de Lecq and other rocks and reefs. Together with the bailiwick of Guernsey, it forms the grouping referred to as the Channel Islands.
Seafood has traditionally been important to the cuisine of Jersey: mussels (called moules locally), oysters, lobster and crabs - particularly spider crabs - ormers and conger.
Jersey milk being very rich, cream and butter have played a huge part in insular cooking. However there isn't an indigenous tradition of cheese manufacture, contrary to the custom of mainland Normandy, but some cheese is produced commercially. Jersey fudge, created using milk from overseas Jersey cattle herds, is a well-liked food product with tourists.
Jersey Royal potatoes are the local variety of new potato, and the island is famous because of its early crop of Chats (small potatoes) from the south-facing côtils (steeply sloping fields). Originally grown using vraic as a natural fertiliser giving them their own individual taste, only a small portion of those grown on the island still use this method. They are eaten in many different ways, often simply boiled and served with butter or when not as fresh fried in butter.
Apples historically were an important crop. Bourdélots are apple dumplings, but the most common speciality is black butter (lé nièr beurre), a dark spicy spread prepared from apples, cider and spices. Cider used to be an important export. After decline and near-disappearance in the late 20th century, apple production is being increased and promoted. Apple brandy is also produced, as is some wine.
Among other traditional dishes are cabbage loaf, Jersey wonders (les mèrvelles), fliottes, bean crock (les pais au fou), nettle (ortchie) soup and vraic buns.
In Jersey food is a passion and local produce, particularly seafood, features prominently on many menus. There are so many local specialities to try. Jersey is renowned for its dairy treats from Jersey milk and butter to Jersey ice-cream – the creaminess of the milk makes for a delicious treat. Even though you can find Jersey dairy on the mainland, it’s never quite the same!
You'll be familiar with Jersey Royal potatoes but discover Jersey black butter (a unique autumnal concoction of harvested apples, sugar, spices, liquorice and lemons) for something a bit different. Visit La Mare Wine Estate in Jersey where excellent wine, cider and even vodka is produced.
Time for Tea
If you're weary after hours of sightseeing or walking, visit an island tearoom for the perfect pick me up. Indulge with freshly made crab sandwiches and homemade cakes and scones laden with local jam and cream.
What could be better than enjoying a feast of seafood or tasty local produce while the sun sets over the sea, washed down with a glass of wine?
Great Pub Grub
Country and coastal pubs can be found scattered across Jersey. Many are family friendly, feature a variety of cuisines and offer great value for money.
Dine In Style
Whether you wish to celebrate a special occasion or simply treat yourself, you'll find a variety of excellent Michelin-starred or AA rosette awarded restaurants.