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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hamline chapter.

As if the various street vendors and confectionaries didn’t already fill the Yorkshire air with the most delicious and tempting smells, the York Food and Drink Festival has added its many sweet and salty notes to the symphony. 

Since its introduction in 1997, the festival has seen a drastic change in its motivation. Originally the festival brought high class celebrity chefs to the area who in turn hosted a food market rather than a true dining experience. The festival changed hands both in 2004 and again in 2007, ultimately landing in the care of a not-for-profit organization in partnership with the City of York Council. With this change of ownership came a change of aim, focusing on the local Yorkshire chefs and talents and celebrating Yorkshire food and drink. 

The festival spans around the City Centre, most heavily concentrated on Parliament Street and St. Sampsons Square. 

Walking down the collection of stalls on Parliament Street infuses the nose with a cornucopia of scents ranging from sizzling beef to sweet fudge; fresh fruits to fragrant licorice. 

My tour of the festival included savory and sweet treats alike but began with a true Yorkshire Beef burger. The beef here has a greater depth of flavor to it, a maturity that the typical American Beef burger lacks. 

Continuing my tour of the barnyard, I dove into the quintessential traditional pork pie. The pies here are heavily filled with hearty goodness and baked to golden perfection in a hot water crust pastry. Although often served chilled, as if from a deli case, I prefer mine warm, enjoying part of my pie in the City Centre and taking the rest back to have for dinner with some carrots and potatoes. 

Pork pie. Photo by Kat Mccullum. 

For a sweet treat I partook in some French macarons, meringue-like halves sandwiching a creamy filling. These artisan treats are brightly colored and accurately flavored, pulling high quality ingredients into a delightful mouthful. 

Macarons. Photo by Kat Mccullum. 

The drink of choice in York is still gin, keeping in tune with the high-end liquor trend that recently swept the UK. A malleable liquor, folks have taken to gin due to its makers’ ability to specialize the liquor with flavors from local areas as well as the backstory behind each distillery, creating a more complete experience for the drinker. I had a chance to sample various Yorkshire inspired gins and, while distinct and smooth, the liquor really isn’t for me and I preferred indulgent hot chocolate.

On the way out of the festival, tummy full and content like a well-fed cat, I snagged one last treat to bring home; gourmet fudge. Hand chiseled out of massive sheet blocks, my chosen variations of the sweet delicacy combined two classic British sweets, Maltesers and Mars Bars, blended into the fudge based for a sugar rush like no other. 

Unlike the high-end food festivals in the US that often require purchased tickets, dividing the casual food lover from the rich foodie, the free entry to this festival and its location in the middle of town creates a warm and fun atmosphere where drinkers, bakers and foodies alike can share some good food and good times. 

Kat McCullum

Hamline '21

English major with Creative Writing tendencies
Skyler Kane

Hamline '20

Creative Writing Major, Campus Coordinator for Her Campus, and former Editor and Chief for Fulcrum Journal at Hamline University