Food Matters: Frumenty is back for Christmas

A FESTIVE dish with Celtic roots will be back on the menu this Christmas Eve after a North Yorkshire food store managed to secure supplies of a hard-to-find ingredient.

Frumenty (also known as furmity, fromity or frumentee) is a sweet, porridge-like dish based on cracked wheat. The recipe has changed little for centuries: wheat is pounded and de-hulled, then boiled in water or cow's milk, almond milk or meat broth until it forms a jelly-like mixture. In recent centuries, the boiled wheat mixture was sugared and spiced.

The dish requires a very particular sort of wheat. Northallerton gourmet haven Lewis & Cooper was a stockist for years, until supplies dried up a few years ago. Now, a fresh source has been secured from within the region and it is back on sale at the firm's Northallerton and Yarm outlets. See www.lewisandcooper.co.uk for a recipe for Christmas Eve Frumenty.

BUMPER END TO SCHOOLTERM

School cooks across the country are set for a bumper end to the term as they get ready to serve up an estimated three million Christmas dinners.School kitchens could get through more than 60,000 turkey breast roasting joints, 4.4m roast potatoes and 150,000 litres of gravy as they offer healthy turkey lunches to children before the end of term.The School Food Trust is urging schools to use their Christmas menus to tempt more pupils into the dining room in 2011.