2020 has been a year of lockdowns and tiers and unprecedented restrictions on people’s movement in UK. For much of the year, only essential shops could stay open – food shops, of course, being one of them. The run-up to the first lockdown in March saw people beginning to stock up on food. Images of supermarket shelves stripped bare of essentials such as pasta, tinned food and flour proliferated and spread unease. People began shopping in smaller food shops near where they lived as an alternative to crowded supermarkets. I spoke to three independent food shops to find out what their experience of this pandemic year had been.Read details
Welcome to Jenny’s Food Words. This is a selection of my own personal food writing which explores aspects of the food world that interest me – from cookbooks to food producers to food retailers. In 2020 one of the recurring themes is a chronicling of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on food businesses. I began this series in April 2020 with my British Cheese Crisis article, written from the heart and off my own bat to highlight the disastrous situation facing British cheesemakers. The compulsory closure of hospitality in late March saw Britain’s artisan cheesemakers left with mountains of perishable stock and no wholesale or export market. Described by Rachel Cooke in The Observer as a ‘rallying cry’ to buy British cheese, the piece struck a remarkable chord with people and much cheese was bought as a consequence. Other pieces this year look at the importance of food markets in pandemic times, the importance of cheesemongers and the impact of the pandemic on high street food shops and online food retailers. Happy reading!