Toppers gives Magna Carta celebrations food for thought

Toppers is running a Magna Carta Munch competition. Pictured: Shop owner David Sherfield
Toppers is running a Magna Carta Munch competition. Pictured: Shop owner David Sherfield
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A sandwich shop in Bury St Edmunds is putting its stamp on history by joining in with the town’s Magna Carta celebrations.

By the time the historical document visits the town in May, two lucky competition winners will be revelling in the glory of having secured 12 tasty rolls or sandwiches and 14 cups of coffee to consume at their leisure during the course of the year.

Toppers, in Buttermarket, has introduced the competition with the 1214 theme in recognition of the significant role historians believe Bury played in the history of the important document.

It is thought the town hosted a meeting in November 1214 at which an oath was sworn to force King John to put his seal to the Charter the following year.

Toppers’ aptly named Magna Carta Munch competition is free to enter and requires entrants to suggest a suitable sandwich recipe to include either rare roast beef or smoked salmon in addition to ‘any other ingredients’.

Once the competition closes at the end of March, Bury Magna Carta 800 Committee member Melanie Lesser and BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy will choose the two winning recipes, one containing beef and the other salmon.

Shop owner David Sherfield, who bought Toppers last August, said: “We will then run the winning sandwiches as ‘specials’ throughout April, and longer if they prove to be popular.

“Clearly we will need to have some wiggle room if pickled raven, wild-boar trotters or deep-fried toad skins are integral elements of the winning recipes, but we will do our best to source the ingredients,” he added.

Mrs Lesser said: “I’m excited about getting people thinking about the Magna Carta and that era and how things have changed since then and how important the Magna Carta was at that time for ordinary folk.”

She added: “I’d like to see a little bit of research into those times and what food would have been around. Have they used herbs grown at the time that were used to keep people healthy, that sort of thing.”

The closing date for the competition is March 31. Entrants can post their recipes in the shop’s postal box, for which Toppers will supply the card, email or send a letter to Toppers, 3 Buttermarket, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1DB.