THE HISTORY OF ATORA
SUET - ITS EARLY BEGINNINGS...
According to the history books, suet received one of its earliest mentions in a recipe dated 1617. It was noted as the key ingredient for 'Cambridge Pudding' or 'College Pudding', so-called because it was served to Cambridge students in their college halls. This was a suet pudding made with currants and minced dates, together with milk, sugar, eggs and breadcrumbs, which was then tied up in a pudding cloth and boiled.
Green puddings were also a great favourite at this time. These were made from suet mixed with spice and spinach juice, from which they took their colour and were then boiled in broth.
It was not until the end of the seventeenth century that puddings from a suet crust wrapped around a filling came into existence. These often contained whole apples or gooseberries and were also made using finely minced left-over meat, mixed with egg, milk and spices.
As one can imagine, in those days, cooking with suet was a lengthy business because the suet had to be carefully prepared in advance. This involved removing the fat from the meat and then clarifying and chopping it ready for use. Clarifying the suet involved adding water and boiling the mixture. Any impurities were then passed into the water. The fat was then re-solidified by cooking, leaving the fat cleansed.
A FRENCHMAN TO THE RESCUE
Two hundred years later, Gabriel Hugon, a Frenchman who lived in Manchester, set up the first-ever factory to manufacture shredded suet - an act which was to revolutionise suet cooking.
Hugon, who had an engraving business, was one day watching his wife tediously chopping a large piece of suet and had the idea that it would be so much easier if you were able to buy suet already chopped. He subsequently sold his engraving business and in 1893 founded the Atora suet making factory in Openshaw, Manchester, manufacturing ready shredded suet - one of the first 'convenience' food products available. It was the largest factory of its kind in the world.
It is believed that the name "Atora" was derived from the word toro, the Spanish word for bull. This was clearly linked to the fact that suet comes from beef cattle. In fact, between
1893 and the early part of World War II, Hugon used this very fact to publicise the brand. Atora suet was transported around the country in colourfully painted wagons bearing the Atora name and pulled by six pairs of Hereford bullocks. It was known to be one of the best publicity stunts carried out by a British firm in its time - long before 'the marketing concept' was officially discovered! Later the wagons joined the famous Chipperfield's Circus and took part in parades up and down the country.
GOOD ENOUGH FOR CAPTAIN SCOTT
Since then, Atora has always been recognised as a convenient, economical and reliable food. It also has a very good storage life. This is proven by the fact that a tin of suet was one of the supplies taken by Captain Scott on his historic trek to the Antarctic in the early 1900's. It was returned to Atora with the suet contents still pure and intact.
The Atora factory became part of RHM in 1963, and in 1974 production was moved to Greatham, Hartlepool, in Cleveland.
Today, Atora sells more than 2,300 tons of suet in Britain each year - enough to make one million dumplings a day!
While Atora has always been the number one for beef suet, the brand has been extended to include Atora Light. Made entirely from vegetable fats, Atora Light contains no animal products and is thus extremely suitable for vegetarians. In addition, it contains 25% less fat than standard vegetable suet, yet can be used in exactly the same way and gives the same great results.
Atora is now also available in baking mixes to make it even more convenient and easy to use. Herby Dumpling Mix just needs water added whilst Suet Pudding Mix just requires egg and milk to make delicious dumplings and puddings.
To purchase the New Edition of the Atora "Not Just Dumplings" Recipe Book
The new Atora Recipe Book contains our favourite recipes from the website and is available for only £2.50 including P&P.
Write to the address below stating the number of books you require and the address that they are to be delivered to.
Please make cheques or postal orders payable to Atora Not Just Dumplings Recipe Book. Please do NOT send cash.
Price includes postage and packing.
Allow 28 days for delivery.
Offer available in the UK only.
No responsibility accepted for applications lost in the post.
Send To: The Atora Kitchen, PO Box 100, Blackburn, Lancs, BBO 1GR.
(Atora) a trading name of Premier Foods Group Limited
Registered Office :
Centrium Business Park
VAT Registration No.: 421612005
281728 (Registered in England and Wales)