I’m always on the hunt to expand my knowledge of delicious products, tasty ingredients and store cupboard essentials. So as part of my food finding mission, I headed to the Farm Shop and Deli Show over the NEC to discover a delectable range of new food highlights.
The show was impressive, with plenty of brands to be discovered and learn more about. It was hard to narrow it down to just a few highlights, but I’ve rounded up my top picks which I’ll share in two posts.
Here’s the first of a very tasty bunch.
The Foraging Fox
The Foraging Fox was on my hit-list to visit at the show as I had seen tonnes of positive reviews about their beetroot ketchup and I wanted to try it for myself. I love beetroot, so much so that I’m always willing to forgive it for leaving your fingers with a lovely purple hue. If you’re a beetroot fan, then this product is for you. Go and buy it immediately! The ketchup had a rich, warm and deep flavour, which will complement so many other tastes (goats cheese springs immediately to mind). And new for this year is the Hot Beetroot Ketchup. Wow. The perfect level of spice to give a zing, but without being overpowering. It’s sure to be a hit and will certainly become a regular feature on my shopping list.
Ross & Ross
Hailing from my favourite part of the country, The Cotswolds, are Ross & Ross. I’d read about their inventive at-home curing kit for bacon and salmon, so I was pleased as punch to be able to have a chat with the guys behind the brand. The curing kits provide you with all you need (except the pork or salmon) to become a culinary master and create your own cured meat or fish. How great is that? If only I was a better baker I could make my own bread to complete my bacon sarnie, but one step at a time! I’m hoping to try out one of kits so look out for it on the blog soon. In the meantime head over to their website to see the great range of products on offer, including food and beer boxes for the man in your life.
I love the story behind this brand, which perfectly describes itself as fun and whimsical. Two Belgian Boys moved to New York and started their own company to bring the snacks and goodies they had grown up with to the US. Good for them! The Stroopwafel (two thin, waffley biscuits sandwiched together with caramelly syrup) are a super sweet treat and definitely reminiscent of the treats you can find on your European jaunts. New for the brand is their range of frozen pancakes and crepes – the mini pancakes were a hit with me. Microwave for just a few minutes and you get little pieces of light and fluffy loveliness. Drizzle with maple syrup they are even more delicious. I’m going to keep an eye on their distribution and let you know when they hit UK stores.
Bramley and Gage
After rejecting gin for many years in my younger days, it is now one of favourite tipples. I definitely prefer more artisan gins over mainstream brands, in terms of both taste and quality. After trying it out at the show, new to my list of must-buys is 6 O’Clock Gin from Thornbury-based distillery Bramley and Gage. A deep, robust flavour without any bitterness, you can taste the love that has gone into creating this gin. Also very impressive is that Bramley and also produce their own 6 O’Clock tonic, and together they are a perfect combination. With distribution at farm shops and delis, as well as Waitrose, keep an eye out for this gin if you’re looking for something a cut above your average brands.
The Spanish Hamper
The Spanish Hamper is just as the name suggests, a delectable range of authentic products from Spain. Available to order online from thespanishhamper.co.uk, you can find classic food and drink sourced from Spanish producers, as well as some products that may well be new for you. My top pick from the show was spreadable chorizo which was a top find. I’ve had nduja before so spreadable meat wasn’t a new phenomenon, but being able to slather a hunk of bread in chorizo is a delightful thought. The smokiness and spicy punch that good chorizo has really came through in this spreadable form, and would make fantastic bruschetta or add a kick to any tomato-based sauce for pasta or meat.
Well, that’s my first delicious selection from the show. Let me know if you love any of these brands and products too? And look out for part 2 coming soon 🙂