The original Grantham Gingerbread is being stocked on shelves all over the county by Lincolnshire Co-op.
Grantham Gingerbread is being produced by Alastair Hawken, owner of Panini in Westgate, Grantham, who has taken on the task of reviving the long-lost recipe.
In the 1700s, Grantham was one of the stopping places for horse-drawn coaches on the Great North Road. Passengers and drivers would stock up on so-called Grantham Whetstones for the journey – hard, flat bakes which were some of the first biscuits made for sale in the country. Baker William Egglestone made a mistake in his recipe in 1740 and Grantham Gingerbread was born. It was very popular but in the 1970s, stopped being sold commercially.
Alastair stepped in a few years ago and started producing the original Gingerbread for his shop. Now, 180g packets of the biscuits are being stocked in all of Lincolnshire Co-op’s 77 food stores. They’re part of the Society’s popular Love Local range, which includes a variety of goods sourced from the trading area, from bread to beer and from cheese to crisps.
Alastair said: “We’re a nation of biscuit lovers and I’m sure people will enjoy rediscovering Grantham Gingerbread. It’s got a very light, delicate ginger flavour with a buttery aftertaste.”
Each batch is made from sausage-shaped rolls of a very dry dough which is cut up and then rolled, by hand, into small balls and baked. The finished biscuits are bite-sized and look similar in shape to an Amaretto. Unlike traditional gingerbread, they don’t contain treacle so are very light in appearance and they also have a unique honeycomb-style centre.
Alastair added: “Grantham Gingerbread is one of the oldest biscuits in the country and when people try one,
they can’t believe it isn’t more widely sold. As well as that unique heritage, there is the unique flavour – it’s a very special biscuit.”
Alastair, whose wife Kerry is a big supporter and whose young sons Charlie and Joshua get a name-check on each packet, said he was delighted to be supplying a large local retailer like Lincolnshire Co-op.
“We want to spread the word about Grantham Gingerbread. Because Lincolnshire Co-op has lots of community stores around the county and beyond, it means that lots more people have the chance to try our biscuits.”
Supply Chain Manager for Lincolnshire Co-op Nicola Berry said: “It’s got a great local story and it’s also delicious, a really high-quality product. We’re lucky to have such goods on our doorstep in Lincolnshire and we’re happy to do our bit to support these artisan producers through our Love Local range.”
For more on Grantham Gingerbread go to www.granthamgingerbread.com and for details about Lincolnshire Co-op or the Love Local range, visit www.lincolnshire.coop