The new savoury biscuits
CELEBRITY chef Rick Stein has joined forces with a 120-year-old Cornish company to bake a new range of biscuits.
Mr Stein was at Furniss of Cornwall in Redruth yesterday to try the first of the new biscuits out of the oven.
The biscuits will be stacked high on the shelves of Mr Stein's deli in Padstow, North Cornwall.
Furniss is best-known for its traditional fairings biscuits and other sweet treats such as shortbread.
But this is the first time the company has produced a savoury biscuit. The oat-based biscuits come in three flavours – Cornish Sea Salt, Davidstow Cheddar and Thyme.
The Cornish Sea Salt Company produces a pure, natural sea salt, sustainably produced – and Davidstow Creamery in Cornwall has been making prize-winning cheddar for more than 50 years using a traditional recipe.
Mr Stein, said at the factory yesterday: "When I was a child, we never left Cornwall without a couple of tins of Furniss Cornish Fairings.
"They were as important to us as clotted cream and pasties. Furniss is a great old Cornish company and it's a pleasure to be working with them all these years later to create these lovely savoury biscuits."
Mr Stein was keen to point out that the biscuits were not just made for cheese.
He said: "They are perfect with a Cornish Blue or Yarg cheese, but also delicious topped with smoked Cornish mackerel or dipped in hummus. They have a delightful savoury crunchiness and a great taste of baked oats."
Furniss of Cornwall began life in the 1880s, when a master baker named John Cooper Furniss began making fairings, gingerbreads and other fine confectionery from a Truro teashop.
The company has fought hard over the years to keep its place in the competitive food industry.
In July 2006, more than 100 workers were sacked after the Redruth site was closed down.
The company went into administration for the second time in two years.
However, three weeks later, production started up again, but on a limited scale. Today, the plant employs 35 workers.
Matthew Bowern, sales director at Furniss, said: "We've enjoyed the challenge of producing our first-ever savoury line and hope they will prove a great success with food-loving locals and visitors to the county alike."
Tomorrow, Mr Stein's new television series begins on BBC Two from 8pm to 9pm.
Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey is an epic culinary journey taking viewers along rivers, through jungles and around the coastlines of Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bali and Bangladesh.
Mr Stein visits traditional family-run restaurants, street vendors, floating markets, night markets and fishing villages.
He speaks to local cinnamon and rice farmers to learn about the authentic food of the Far East.