The parkin, a small brown beast, is found chiefly in the north of England, where it has dwelled for what's thought to be centuries. So secretive is this sweet little creature, those in England's south lands are unfamiliar with it.
No one knows where this distinctive northern dishbake sprang from, but it's often called Yorkshire parkin, which should give you a clue where it's heartland may lie.
It's also mainly found on Bonfire Night - unsurprising really, given it's thick and heavy, and just the sort of thing you need to metric truckloads of to drive out the cold when you're being rained on, waiting for someone to light the Catherine wheel and nursing sparkler-burned fingers!
It's somewhere between a cake and a biscuit, and depending on where the parkin you're eating was made, it may or may not have black treacle in it - apparently Lancashire parkin-makers tend to leave it out. More fool them - it gives the parkin a nice, dark note that sets off its gingery taste a treat. So if you're going to make some parkin, grab some flour, vegan butter equivalent, non-dairy milk, molasses, golden syrup, sugar, oats and dried ginger and you're away.
While it doesn't have an extensive list of ingredients and isn't hard to make - you melt the butter and sugar along with the liquid ingredients then pour it into the dry ingredients and bake - it's still not the easiest thing to create.
You have to hold your nerve. When you take it out of the oven after an hour of baking, you won't be able to tell if it's done. It won't spring back under your touch like a sponge cake, and it may even feel a bit damp. You'll think you've gone wrong. But fear not - hold your nerve.
If you let it cool and then ignore it. Some people will even tell you to leave it for two weeks before eating it (good luck if you can wait that long). It's a strange beast.
Still, if you want to give it a go, here's the recipe I used (swap dairy milk for non-dairy, butter for its vegan equivalent and ditch the egg altogether, or flax it up, if you'd rather.) Once you've cooked it once, you'll want every night to be bonfire night!