Fancy some black currant and rosemary fudge? How about bread dipped in lavender infused vinegar? Or maybe a pint of beer with honey? You heard it right, these creative combinations and much more can be sourced from the local UK gourmet food manufacturers. Christmas Foodie Festival in London was a great opportunity to meet them all under one roof.
National food award winners along with enthusiastic newcomers crowded together in the Old Truman Brewery for a weekend, offering their treats made based on elaborated family recipes or just sparked by their creative imagination. Visitors could sample their produce and the chance to stock up on some gourmet goodies was not to be missed.
Making a shortlist of the most remarkable discoveries was not an easy task because of an abundance of delectable things to choose from. Here I’ve done the hard job so you can check out the highlights of the current British food scene.
I have to confess about my weakness for shortbread cookies – crumbly, with rich buttery flavour and usually those found in the UK are pleasing my palate the most. When it comes to shortbread that you can buy in regular stores, there is not much of a variety. The selection I saw at Sawley Kitchen stall was beyond my imagination and so were the flavours: Cranberry & Orange, Double Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Stem Ginger, White Chocolate & Lemon, Apple & Cinnamon and their pride – unbelievably good Rhubarb & Custard shortbread. What could be better with your afternoon tea or coffee?
You can buy individual packets of six shortbread cookies or gift packs and hampers in their online shop.
I had a chance to try cheese with yeast extract when visiting Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company earlier this year, but Lymn Bank Farm Brewers Choice was like a fresh approach to cheese and yeast combination. Very mild and pleasant on the palate, with yeasty flavour hardly present, it was one of the highlights from the huge Lymn Bank Farm’s range of flavoured cheeses. All of their cheeses are conveniently packaged in small slabs and it’s hard to resist the temptation to pick up a few.
Brewers Choice Cheddar along with seventeen other kinds of flavoured cheese can be ordered from Lymn Farm Brewers online shop.
I developed the appreciation for fruit and herb vinegars just recently and now I never miss the opportunity to discover new flavours. Womersley Fruit and Herb Vinegars company uses natural ingredients grown in Yorkshire and the flavours are very balanced. Lime, Black Pepper & Lavender vinegar was my personal favourite, but the others like Blackberry or Golden Raspberry & Apache Chilli were pretty impressive too.
You can buy order Womersley’s produce by calling them directly or order it from these online shops.
All the Honey Bee chocolates are made with French Valrhona chocolate and with honey that is produced by bees in West London. Their signature chocolates are Salted Honey Caramels and Rustic Chocolate Truffles, but Honey Bee chocolatiers are an adventurous bunch, so they decided to experiment a bit by producing a batch of Bombay Madras Chocolate. When you taste it, it does give you an illusion of eating fragrant Indian curry and it’s a great gourmet experience for the unusual flavour seekers like me.
Honey Bee chocolates can be ordered online via their website.
There was a great selection of chutneys, dips and sauces in the food festival and some of them were truly tickling the taste buds, mostly due to their spiciness. What was different about Winnie’s Original Sweet Chilli and Apple Sauce was its simplicity: no crazy kick of spices nor any other exotic ingredients, just a real true apple flavour with a hint of cinnamon in it, making it taste like one of those preserves made by grandma. The producers recommend eating the sauce with baked camembert or pork, but I can perfectly imagine having it with roasted goose or turkey and washing it all down with a glass of Pinot Noir.
Winnie’s Original apple sauce along with their strawberry jam can be ordered online.
There’s no way in the world I’d buy fudge due to its teeth numbing sweetness, but when I tried some of The Wonky Kitchen produce, I got nearly converted. Their award-winning Strawberry & Balsamic fudge was the first I sampled and things went only better when I continued on with the other flavours. Black Currant & Rosemary combination was totally unexpected and it worked miraculously well, but when I tried some of their Christmas Fudge, I nearly heard the bells jingling out of foodie satisfaction. Creamy and not overly sweet Wonky Kitchen fudge is made from fresh cream and natural ingredients and the selection of flavours is pretty impressive.
All the individual flavours as well as gift boxes can be purchased online.
Honey flavoured beer is nothing new to me: I had an opportunity to try it before and it didn’t leave that much of impression on me. That’s because the beer I had previously was flavoured with honey after the fermentation, giving it some haziness and unwanted sweetness. Hiver surprised me with their light lager, which had a fragrant aroma and flavour of honey, but not the sweetness. They achieve it by adding honey during the fermentation process rather than after it. Very soft and refreshing Hiver beer should go perfect with bbq pork or chicken wings.
The manufacturers say that their beer can be found at Wholefoods and possibly some other British retailers.blog comments powered by Disqus