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Traditional Oxford Delights You Can Enjoy There or Make at Home

21st February 2016

Campus Oxford students and those considering joining their ranks tend to expect to experience certain things, including marvelous views of those famed dreaming spires, the chance to experience life at one of the oldest and most prominent educational institutions in the world, an introduction to both British culture and history and the chance to make friends and connections that they might not have any other way.

Food makes up a part of any culture and a pretty large one at that. British food tends to – unfairly – get a pretty bad rap abroad, especially since there really is no such thing as “British food”. Every region, county, city and town has its own culinary specialties that are unique to it and Oxford is certainly no exception. Here is a look at some special Oxford dishes visitors to the city can seek out and, in some cases, even replicate to try at home right now.

Oxford’s Famous Marmalade

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Toast and marmalade is very British in general but Oxford boasts a marmalade of its own that is considered to be one of the best in the world. Frank Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade, which is darker than most marmalade, dates back to 1874 and it’s creator was actually Mrs. Cooper, Sarah Jane, but as it was first sold in her husband’s corner grocery shop then it gained his name.

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Over the subsequent decades Frank Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade has made a huge impression both in and out of the Oxford city limits. It’s a long time royal favorite and Captain Scott even took some to the Antarctic with him — we know because a tin was discovered in perfect condition with the remains of the Scott party in 1980.

Although the factory that makes the iconic marmalade moved out of Oxford in 1967 many of the restaurants and cafes in town still make use of Frank Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade elusively and you can try making it at home using this recipe.

Oxford Skate

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No, we are not talking about actual skating but instead an especially tasty variety of sausage. These meaty delights are skinless sausages created using a mixture of pork and veal (or lamb), which are supposed to be shaped into a C before frying or baking. They date back to the 1700s when the college kitchens served them up as an efficient way to make use of leftover meats from previous meals.

Oxford-Sausages

These days they can be found freshly made and in abundance at the world famous Oxford Covered Market, an institution that even predates the sausages by a century or so. Want to try whipping up a classic version of the Oxford Skate yourself? Then follow along with Mrs Beeton’s famous take on them here.

Oxford Sauce

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This is a rather odd, but tasty, little condiment that is now very hard to find prepackaged. It’s supposed to accompany a good Oxford sausage, but it actually goes well with any pork dish. What exactly is it? Check the recipe below, as you will have to make it yourself if not dining at one of the Oxford restaurants that also make their own:

1/2 pint Port
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
1 orange
half a lemon
1 tsp Oxford Marmalade
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp cooked shallots
1 tsp mustard
cayenne pepper (to taste)
ground ginger (to taste)

Squeeze the juice from the lemon and the orange then mix all the ingredients in a jug or blender and serve in a side dish so that diners can help themselves.

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