Hello. You are reading The Wallfish Journal, a newsletter about food in Somerset and the people who grow, cook, make, sell, and serve it.

The What-fish Journal?

Wallfish. It’s an old Mendip dish of snails cooked in cider. It’s also a few words that relate to Somerset, and more specifically its food and its qwerks. Kind of sums it up really.

And well done to those who noticed the play on words related to a certain American daily newspaper.

Who’re you?

Hugh Thomas is my name. I’m a food journalist, founder of Frome Food Network, and SFM’s co-ordinator for Frome.

This newsletter is sub-edited by Jess Lawrence.

What on Earth makes you think this is a good idea?

As I carried out a food research project for Frome Town Council in 2021, it quickly became clear if locals wanted to know more about the food produced around them, there wasn’t a go-to resource for it.

The Wallfish Journal shortly thence emerged and, in August 2023, evolved from covering purely Frome to covering the whole of Somerset.

Ultimately, The WFJ seeks to help the local community make more informed decisions around – and an improved relationship with – what they eat and what they drink.

What kind of things do you publish?

Just about anything, as long as it’s to do with food or farming in the locality – from how a dairy farm is reviving a cattle breed bordering on extinction, to the relocation of Somerset’s best fried chicken. Others include:

  • The story behind Frome’s most popular sandwich [Issue 40]

  • How a local veg box scheme is helping end rural homelessness [Issue 29]

  • Why a locally-made sourdough loaf costs £4.50 [Issue 4]

  • Under the hood of the UK’s ‘best resturant’ [Issue 45, paywall]

  • Somerset farmed venison versus Somerset wild venison [Issue 62]

  • The ‘grain to glass’ philosophy of Somerset’s newest brewery [Issue 65]

And all this for free?

A free subscription gets you, on average, one story in your inbox a month.

For 100% of The WFJ experience (including more stories, recommendations, and such), it’s £3.50 per month, or £35 for a yearly subscription.

Not only does this get you more original insight into Somerset’s food environment, it’s the best way to support local food journalism and ensure its continuation.

Enter your email to pick a free or paid subscription to The Wallfish Journal

Small business supporters

Speaking of valued contributions, the WFJ thanks the following indie Somerset businesses and organisations for their support:

Social enterprise and veg box scheme Root Connections: rootconnections.co.uk

Want to join them on this list? Email hello@hughlthomas.com or sign up for a Small Business Supporter subscription.

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An email newsletter about food, farming, and food culture in Somerset