Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and TV farmer Jimmy Doherty were in Biggleswade today to promote the Bedfordshire clanger for TV programme Jamie & Jimmy’s Food Fight Club.
Spending an hour at the market stall of Gunns Bakers, the pair tried the clanger – a pastry product with a sweet filling at one end and a savoury one at the other – and invited others to try one too.
Completing filming at Market Square this morning, the pair will now try and invent a new combination of fillings to help the traditional dish tempt the tastebuds of the younger generation.
David Gunns, owner of Sandy-based Gunns Bakers, was approached about appearing on the upcoming programme by producers who said the pair were keen to find out about the clanger.
He said: "They came to investigate the health of the Bedfordshire clanger and how it's getting on.
"They spent some time on the stall and figured out that it needs assistance to get younger people into it, because they don't know much about it.
"We want to keep the regional food going so it was great having Jamie and Jimmy there to promote it. They enticed a lot of people over and certainly spurred attendance at the market."
For many, the prospect of having first-rate foodies sampling their efforts would be nerve-wracking, but in the end the clanger spoke for itself.
David said: "It's something we are proud of and people either like it or don't. I think it's quite a traditional food and no one could knock it.
"They said they thought it was wonderful to have an old-fashioned food like that with a sweet and a savoury end to it.
"We are chuffed they came along to help further the promotion of the clanger and lead it to more people's mouths."
He continued: "The height of the clanger's popularity was many, many years ago when people used to take them into the fields to eat.
"When Jordans and pub chain Charles Wells put the Bedfordshire Festival together in 1994 we ran the bakery for them. We started making lots for the festival.
"They became popular again and have grown ever since."
The programme is expected to be broadcast on Channel 4 late this year or early in 2014.