Friday, 26 February 2016

Making Mum’s Day

With Easter being so early this year, it has meant other dates are also moved forward – from Pancake Day to Mother’s Day – potentially catching people unaware!

Make sure you’re prepared for Mother’s Day Sunday 6th March, by stocking up nice and early with gift ideas for your mum. With its roots dating back as far as the 16th century you don’t want to make this the year you forget this special day!

Whether she lives near or far, a hamper is a great idea, and one that’s bound to be appreciated. We can deliver across the UK, so mum can get an extra special treat delivered straight to her doorstep. Why not try the Yorkshire Lass Hamper (link to image)? Jam packed with errr...jam, cheese, biscuits, chutney, chocolates (Whitakers Rose & Violet Cremes are one of our favourites), wine and even some delicious SloeMotion sloe gin, this will definitely be one you’ll hope she shares!

If she has a savoury tooth, you can go for our special Cheese Lovers Hamper (link to image) – with three different types of local cheese, and lots of fantastic accompaniments, including the Fine Cheese Co’s Apricot and Pistachio Toast and Oliver Branch’s Sweet Olive, Fig and Almond Paste.  If she likes things hot and spicy the Chilli Lovers Hamper (link to image) packs a punch! From chilli chocolate and explosive chilli sauce, to Chipotle Chilli Mayonnaise and the wonderful Syms Chilli Bacon Jam, it’s an absolute taste sensation.

All of our hampers can be found here.

If your mum has a sweet tooth, she would love the Butlers Pink & Cream Ballotin Chocolate box, which retails at just £6.65, and comes complete with an assortment of truffles, caramels and pralines. Or our gorgeous Lauden chocolates always go down well – pick your own assortment of her favourite flavours, from Fresh Mint and Marc de Champagne to Raspberry & Rose and Sour Cherry.

The perfect way to show mum how much you care!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Chinese New Year and Pancake Day – foodie heaven!

It’s an exciting week for food, with both Chinese New Year and Pancake Day falling within a day of each other.

Chinese New Year is on 8th February this year and marks the start of the Year of the Monkey. Festivities will have started on 7th and will continue for at least a fortnight – so plenty of time to knock up a couple of Chinese dinners to enjoy (much better than any takeaway, and won’t leave you waking up dehydrated in the middle of the night because of an over-enthusiastic hand with the MSG). One of our favourites we stock is the Hoisin sauce.

There are all kinds of traditions associated with Chinese New Year – including the fact that on the first day of the new year you shouldn’t eat porridge for breakfast. Or wash your clothes. Or do any sweeping. (Actually, those last two sound quite good, less jobs all round!). People born in the Year of the Monkey (which includes 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004) tend to be quick-witted, clever and curious but also have a mischievous side – as you’d expect from our primate friends!

And as if Chinese New Year wasn’t enough of a reason to celebrate, there’s also Pancake Day on 9th February. This year, why not try an alternative flour to make your pancakes? We have lots of different kinds including coconut, buckwheat, rice and tapioca – ideal for those with allergies too. To top them we have to admit to being partial to indulging our sweet tooth with fruit or chocolate sauces, or a spot of syrup – whether that’s date, agave or maple. Yum!

Now, to go away and think of a way to combine the two. Black Bean Pancakes anyone?

Monday, 1 February 2016

The Food Trends to Watch Out For in 2016

Food, like fashion, goes in and out of trends. Of course, theres that jam you love so much you buy it each month, and youd never think of switching from your favourite cheese, but few of us are immune to the foodie fads which come and go. Some just last longer than others.
For example, up until a few months ago no one had ever asked us for pomegranate molasses or za'atar - and although they may not be on every shopping list, we do get a fair number of people asking for them now! You cant go into many British restaurants nowadays without seeing pulled pork on the menu in one form or another - which a couple of years ago was a rarity. In a year or two it will disappear again (at least for a while). And who had heard of charcoal cheese up until recently? Now it flies out of our chiller cabinet!
So what are the food trends for 2016 we should be keeping our eyes open for? Heres some weve heard about...
  • Fermented vegetables - mark our words, you’ll soon be falling in love with sauerkraut and the Korean delicacy kimchi. In fact, Korean food as a whole will be big news.
  • Cauliflower is the new kale - roasted, steamed or riced, the humble British vegetable is making a comeback.
  • Melon juice - move over coconut water, there’s a new juice in town...
  • Good things come in little packages - taster menus and mini everything are definitely en vogue. Why have just one dessert, when you can have a taste of four?
  • Find your perfect Matcha - Matcha is a finely ground green tea powder, which can be added to all kinds of foods and drinks. Gwyneth Paltrow is apparently a fan...
  • Everything’s black - from food scorched over charcoal, to squid ink, rice and specially cultivated vegetables, black is the
  • Sugar alternatives - with many people trying to cut down their sugar intake, alternatives such as agave, date and maple syrups as well as honey will prove more popular than ever.
  • Seaweed - packed full of nutrients, expect to see seaweed popping up in salads, seasonings and snacks.
What new food trends have you spotted on the horizon?