Mince pie still Britain’s favourite festive fare

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WHILE the latest fad appears to get a Continental flavour to Christmas festivities, the beloved mince pie still appears to rank as the nation’s favourite.

Speculation had intensified that Stollen, a German, spiced fruit bread with marzipan, was replacing the classic mince pie as the UK’s best-loved festive treat.

However, staff at one of Yorkshire’s most famous companies, Bettys, have maintained that customers are bucking new trend and are still opting for mince pies.

The firm, which is based in Harrogate but has its roots firmly from the Continent, has sold 50,000 mince pies so far this year.

“With our Yorkshire and Continental heritage, we’re in a win-win situation,’ says Michael Dickinson, the retail manager at Bettys Café Tea Rooms in Harrogate.

“White the growing number of Continental Christmas markets is increasing sales of Stollen, mince pies are overwhelmingly the most popular in the county.’

Frederick Belmont was the driving force behind the initial success of Bettys, possessing a steely determination to succeed after he was orphaned while a young boy.

He styled himself as a chocolate specialist after training in his native Switzerland, Marseilles and Paris.

He opened the first café tea rooms in Harrogate in 1919, and Bettys has remained true to its Yorkshire roots, only operating within the county’s boundaries.