e h T DELICATESSEN JUNE 2017
BRINGING THE INDUSTRY TOGETHER
WE CELEBRATE CARIBBEAN FLAVOURS WITH SABRINA ZEIF, FOUNDER OF KITCHEN THYME UK LTD
SIMPLY GOOD FOOD TV WITH
PETER SIDW ELL
ITÂ´S KITCHEN THYME THE BLACK DIAMOND WE LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FRENCH TRUFFLE AND SHOW YOU WHERE TO GET HOLD OF THE LATEST PRODUCTS!
SP FO ECI OD AL SN F IT EA A Y & K P IR RE 2 FIN VIE 01 E W 7
WE GET TO GRIPS WITH THE BLUE SWIMMING CRAB
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Every day a dreamy espresso.
Tradition, excellence and expertise are the keywords of the world of Pellini. Each blend creates unique aromas and flavours, which mix in an inimitable taste. Thanks to the continued willingness of the Pellini family to achieve excellence, the Italian roasting company offers the pleasure and culture of its espresso coffee also in Nespresso* compatible capsules. Pellini coffee is stocked in the UK from UK wholesaler Gustalia. www.gustalia.com – firstname.lastname@example.org – 01438 812528
Pellini capsules at Gustalia in June.
CAPSULES COMPATIBLE WITH ALL NESPRESSO®* MACHINES. *The brand does not belong to Pellini Caffè S.p.A. nor its affiliated companies.
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SNACKING & PACKING
ONCE YOU POP.... YOU JUST CAN’T STOP! THAT MAY WE’LL BE TRUE, BUT THIS BUBBLE MIGHT BE ABOUT TO POP, SAYS IAN BATES OF FAIRFIELDS FARM PRODUCE LTD
ringles hit the headlines last week following an exposé by The UK Recycling Association stating that this popular pack is the worst example of packaging making it virtually impossible to recycle. The issue concerns the use of multiple materials, which end up in landfill. His Royal Highness Prince of Wales is passionate about such issues and has joined forces with yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur to launch a multimillion-pound competition to encourage the reduction of plastics in the world’s oceans. This initiative might just be the encouragement needed to kickstart engineers, designers and companies into action to find better packaging solutions for products like Pringles. PRINGLES SUCCESS Pringles is an American brand of potato and wheat-based stackable snack owned by Kellogg’s . Over £5 billion of Pringles are sold in more than 140 countries with 2% global snack market share. The snack was originally developed by P&G, who launched the product in 1967 and then sold the brand to Kellogg’s in 2012 for £2 billion. P&G first developed the product in 1966, but it was the chemist Fredric J. Baur who came up with the idea for the iconic tall cylinder. Baur was even buried in one of his tubes in May 2008 after making this request clear to his somewhat bemused family! Because potato crisps and similar products are subject to taxes in the UK, P&G argued in court that Pringles were a “savoury snack” because of the other non-potato ingredients. In 2009 the Duties Tribunal ruled that, other ingredients notwithstanding, Pringles are “made from potato flour and one cannot say that it is not made from potato flour, and the proportion of potato flour is significant being over
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40 percent.” After a series of reversals, the ruling was upheld and P&G had to pay HMRC £123 million in duties.
WHY ARE PRINGLES SO POPULAR? Accordingly to my son they’re totally addictive. The eye-catching, friendly looking graphics of Julius Pringle - the colourful moustached character - seem to help. They’re also a retailer’s dream product because they distribute, store and display easily. In the early days P&G actually struggled to generate interest, but by any measure they’ve become a much loved snack. Once called “Pringles Newfangled Potato Chips”. According to adverts in the 1970’s what made the snacks so special was.... “Everything! They come crackling fresh, unbroken and stay that way - even after they’re open! They fit in cupboards—without squashing!”. DOES IT MATTER THE PRINGLES TUBES DON’T RECYCLE? No, if you’re looking for a tube to
contain your ashes or perform another useful function. Some people pack their clothes in them when travelling which is a pretty novel idea. Others collect them and store pencils and other objects. They’re also a favourite for art and craft projects. However, in these frugal times making a pack in such a complex way from a wide array of materials does not make economic or environmental sense. Given the scale of how many tubes are rolling off the production line every second, Kellogg’s might have to have a rethink and find a more sustainable design. I think this is a good example of why food brands should not become complacent and try where possible to think about the future and what consumers actually want and need. Packaging and product must be one and if retaining brand equity is important to you, getting this right is vital. l www.fairfieldsfarmcrisps.co.uk
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WELCOME From the Editor l Welcome to the latest issue of the Delicatessen Magazine! Time has really flown by lately, and as we now hit the peak food festival season, time will seemingly go even faster. I love this time of year for food and drink, and with lots of new exciting launches and interesting products coming available, there’s much to discuss in the coming months. This last month whilst in the North of the country, I dropped in to visit Peter Sidwell and Vhari Russell (Managing Director of The Food Marketing Expert, whom has recently invested in Simply Good Food TV), at the Simply Good Food TV headquarters. It was a great time to reflect on our favourite ingredients, up and coming brands and talk about what we can do to benefit our audiences. One of the many ideas that came from our meeting was that each month Peter will create a video for the magazine with his round up of ingredients he’s found in the last L TO R: CHRIS MCNEILL, VHARI RUSSELL AND PETER SIDWELL
month and will show you how to cook up something delicious to sell to your customers with them. We also took the decision as a magazine to sponsor Grub Club Cambridge, which is a fantastic food networking group for people in or supplying the food and drink industry. Another new step forward is that we have created a consumer food testing group, from a selection of customers we’ve recruited in delicatessens and will be conducting blind taste tests with this group to gain valuable feedback that we can pass on to you about new products. I hope you enjoy the content within this next issue, and look forward to bringing you more interesting brands and products next month!
Contents Cover photo: SABRINA ZEIF, FOUNDER OF KITCHEN THYME UK LTD
Page 5: Ian Bates: Once you pop.... you just can’t stop! Page 6: It´s Kitchen Thyme Page 8: Deli Profile
Page 10: Peter Sidwell: Simply Good Food TV Page 12: Shropshire Spice
Page 15: The Perfect Storm Page 16: The Cheeseboard
Page 18: Crabsolutely delicious!
Page 21: Vhari Russell: Maximize those summer sales Page 22: Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2017 sneak preview Page 24: Paying homage to the golden age of tea Page 26: Sloely does it
Page 29: Fairfields to go!
Page 29: The Food Marketing Expert invest in Simply Good Food TV Page 30: The Black Diamond
Page 34: Salt cod from the beautiful Shetland Islands Page 36: Still grinning
Page 38: The Aabelard apron - a proper piece of kit! Page 40: The Real Coffee Bean Co
Page 42: Sally Assinder: Rules for cooking pasta
EDITOR Chris McNeill E: email@example.com
Chris McNeill, Editor & Publisher of The Delicatessen Magazine, CJM Media
ASSISTANT EDITOR Dave Eastman E: firstname.lastname@example.org FREE-FROM FOOD WRITER Victoria McCormick E: email@example.com DESIGNER Sharon Larder E: firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT US: T: 01206 240 798 E: email@example.com PUBLISHED BY: CJM MEDIA LTD HEAD OFFICE: 58 MUMFORD ROAD, WEST BERGHOLT, COLCHESTER, ESSEX, CO6 3BL PRINTED IN THE UK BY: S & G PRINT GROUP GOAT MILL ROAD, DOWLAIS, MERTHYR TYDFIL, CF48 3TD T: 01685 352058 W: www.stephensandgeorge.co.uk
The Delicatessen is published monthly.
The Publisher cannot accept any liability for transparancies, disks or any written material submitted for publication. Reproduction of any written material or illustration wholly or in part for any media is expressly forbidden without prior consent of the publisher.
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THYME! WE RECENTLY MET SABRINA ZEIF FOUNDER OF KITCHEN THYME UK, TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FLAVOURS OF CAJUN, TRINIDADIAN AND CARIBBEAN COOKING
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hen most people think of Caribbean flavours, the first thing that springs to mind is Jerk Chicken. Whilst this is a well-known Caribbean dish, this is just one small example of what is a hugely varied and fascinating culture and cuisine. Admitting to Sabrina that I didn’t know much more about Caribbean food than Jerk Chicken seemed rather embarrassing at first, until this was met with her empathy and then humour and this is to be how our conversations went there on, no more than a few minutes without a good laugh, but coming away learning a great deal and wanting to come back to learn much more! Sabrina herself has had a very interesting life and one that not many others could say would compare. It was fascinating to find out more about her background and all the more inspiring to realise why she founded Kitchen Thyme UK. Born in Trinidad and moving to
America, living for a time in New Orleans – she quickly became a connoisseur of the local Cajun style of cooking. Then having also lived in San Francisco and Texas, this fuelled her culinary desires. Having then lived in Switzerland and finally residing in the UK, Sabrina was working within the pharmaceutical industry where innovative education is key. It was at this point she took the decision to change course and use her background and knowledge to educate us on such an interesting cuisine. To Sabrina, her initial upbringing with the Trinidadian culture where
food and socialising are incredibly important realised that now was the time to show the UK what we are missing out on. The determination to drive us toward understanding her favoured cuisine and culture have seen Sabrina hit heights that she should be proud of, yet her determination and attitude that her work is no way near done is awe inspiring. Sabrina has appeared on the radio alongside Nigella Lawson, run cooking demonstrations at large events, created a series on Simply Good Food TV, plus has many other exciting projects in the pipeline! Sabrina says: “Fabulous Creole food is part of Cajun culture, and Trinidad has an exceptionally diverse international cuisine due to the mixed population. Both cultures are rooted in sharing good food and socialising. The aim of Kitchen Thyme is to bring the best of Cajun and Caribbean traditions to create a culinary experience different to any other cookery course.” Trinidadian cultural heritage is mixed, including the cuisine, which embraces a fiery fusion of Indian,
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SPICES AND RUBS RANGE Chinese, African, Portuguese, Spanish, British, Syrian, Lebanese, South American and Creole cultures, and cuisines. These flavours mix together to create pure culinary delight amongst those who are willing to get involved and learn to cook and appreciate them. KITCHEN THYME! Kitchen Thyme is as a business that offers bespoke culinary experiences and as the business grows, so does the offerings available. Sabrina offers everything from Corporate events, supper clubs, private dining to chef’s demonstrations at events, right through to make & taste sessions where you can uncover the secrets of Cajun-Caribbean dishes influenced by global cuisine. Learning how to blend and infuse spices and herbs in true Cajun and Caribbean style. CARIBBEAN NIGHT? Many delicatessen and farm shop owners are looking to find revenue and increase interest from consumers in many other ways. One of the ways we’ve seen our readers be successful from is hosted nights and tasting sessions. It is well worth mentioning that hosting a Caribbean night in your delicatessen would be a great way of not only having a great fun evening, but also to give the customers an experience they would likely have never had before! Sabrina adopts a typically Caribbean approach to cooking,
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which is all about injecting fun, laughter and passion into the cooking which in turn creates an excellent event that people remember for all the right reasons. Sabrina’s infectious laugh and attitude of not taking life too seriously really put us at ease and we would say that this is the recipe for a great night of cooking, eating and having a great event with a cuisine and culture which is little understood here currently in the UK. From coconut beer prawns with a tamarind salsa, grilled rum plantain spirals to a Cajun Gumbo Ya Ya, which is a chicken and smoked sausage on a bed of basmati rice, there are many dishes I have not tried yet suddenly want to. The flavours of this contemporary cuisine are intriguing. Albeit some of the flavours separately are familiar to us, the way they are put together by Sabrina is something in which people really must try!
For years, Sabrina has used her own personal blends of Caribbean Herb Rub, Cajun Seasoning and Pulled Meat Rub. However, with the growing popularity of this cuisine, many supper club customers enquiring and to make it much easier for consumers to prepare dishes with excellent flavourings, Sabrina has brought these rubs and spices to market.
CARIBBEAN HERB RUB l Caribbean flavours in a bottle! Rub this onto meat, fish or seafood at least 30 minutes before cooking. For extra flavor leave marinating overnight. Add to vegetables or pasta. It’s good with everything, it will liven up your dish CAJUN SEASONING l Use like an all purpose seasoning on meats, seafood, pasta and vegetables. It’s a staple in Gumbo and Jambalaya in New Orleans.
PULLED MEAT RUB l Spice up any meat or vegetable dish with Pulled Meat Rub. Originally blended for Pulled Pork, Sabrina uses this on BBQ meats, vegetables and even pasta when a smoky flavour is desired.
If you would like to get in touch with Sabrina Zeif to find out more about Caribbean and Cajun cooking and how you can get involved, please do get in touch with her from the below details: Website: www.kitchen-thyme.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07855 341 516
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Deli Profile A
fter opening in November last year, Owners Hannah and Joe are providing their customers a fantastic selection of goods, celebrating Great British Produce with a Great British lifestyle. Offering a specially selected selection of cheese, charcuterie, pickles, jams, chutneys and honey, alcohol and more, their deli has fast become a success to be proud of, and one that we just had to report about. Aside from great food, they also stock an impressive range of interesting lifestyle items such as soft home furnishings and Welsh slate cheeseboards, beautiful wooden boards, Dartington handmade British crystal and pottery from around the UK. It’s a real pleasure to interview Hannah to find out some more!
WE MEET THE PROUD OWNERS OF THE YOUNGEST AND FASTEST GROWING DELI WE’VE FEATURED YET – THE DELI AT NO.5! Thank you for being this month’s Deli Profile! So, tell us a bit more about the Deli at No.5? It began in Ibiza when we were in this restaurant but it had clothes, home ware and props, garden furniture it was really quirky. At the time we were both disillusioned with our careers and we wanted to do something meaningful for ourselves. There was a long process of looking at taking over a business or starting from scratch and we toyed with various options farm shops/pub/cafe and it developed from there. We started travelling around the UK to trade shows and farmers markets etc and the UK has such amazing produce and products we wanted to fly the flag and source everything from around the UK and make a little taste of Britain in one place. We are a specialist food shop with alcohol as off-licence (but we are changing our licence to do wine, cheese,
and gin tasting and a pop up wine and gin café) some home ware and gifts. We source everything from around the UK. We are all about Celebrating Great British produce with a Great British Lifestyle. We are getting more and more locally produced products in now too which are fantastic. We love taking requests we will do our up most to find the product as long as it is British or we are quite happy to find a British equivalent if we can. We are happy to take cheese orders and find that particularly gorgeous British cheese you have found either on your travels around the UK or eaten all your life. Being fairly new to Deli ownership how have your found it so far? It has been wonderful we get to try products we didn’t know even existed. We have met some fabulous people and producers who are very talented people along
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the way. We still have many quality British products to find so it’s a journey we will be on for a very long time. It will be ongoing. How has the reception been from the local consumers to your deli? We are settling in well some of our customers know us by name now and we love that. We want to be a part of the community and work alongside the prosperous businesses around Thame and help others where we can. We want to give a nice shopping experience for the people of Thame and be as helpful as possible. We are open to finding products and taking requests. We want to give the people of Thame and local areas what they want. We are always very appreciative of feedback on produce and products so we can fine tune so we are achieving the best shopping experience possible for our customers. We have had some wonderful feedback from our customers and we want to build on this as we are only 8 months in since starting trading. We notice you also do events from the deli, how has this helped with the business? We haven’t started the tastings and pop up wine /gin café in the shop yet as we are changing our alcohol licence at present. We have however done a few private wine and cheese tastings outside of the shop which we felt were very successful. We love to do tastings and pairings as myself and Joe are passionate about the quality products Great Britain has to offer. We feel doing events in the shop will be also another way to promote the shop and all the products we sell as it is an opportunity to come and try products before you buy a bottle of English Sparkling Wine for example.
use a wholesaler seeing if it would work for us to order through them this can be difficult as the wholesaler may not have enough products you want to fill a minimum order so it can be a tough call sometimes. We hear you particularly like your cheeses! Where do you source your different cheeses? Cheese seems to be a real draw for customers. We sell a lot of cheese made by The Oxford Cheese Company which are very local to us. The Oxford Blue and their Goats cheeses Alice and Woodstock are all very popular. The Rollright cheese is beautiful and creamy which is from The King Stone Diary in Oxfordshire too. We have a wonderful cheese wholesaler that really go out of their way to make sure they stock the local cheeses as well as the staples and other cheeses from all over the UK. But we use a couple of wholesalers. We also go direct where we can but it’s not always possible if they only use a wholesaler. We usually stock around 50 cheeses with 10-15 being guest cheese that week. We are always looking for the British equivalent and we can always find one. Britain makes up to 700 cheeses now which is just so exciting.
We love that you separate your products into ‘Local, Near by, and Other British Producers’ can you tell us a bit more about how this started? This started from the beginning we always wanted to explore what products there were being made locally as well as from around the UK. Whilst we have been open we have come across and been approached by more and more local producers which is How do you select which just brilliant. What we wanted to products to stock in your deli? do was make it easier for people Like I mentioned before Travelling to have the opportunity to buy around the country we go to trade quality products that are not in shows, farmers markets, farms the supermarkets. Most products and food festivals it does open you would not realise they were up doors to finding other made locally in less you picked products. We always try up the product and the products out first read the packaging. either on their own It’s great to be or use them within promoting small If you would like to a recipe. Then producers that we either go to need far more feature your deli in the the producer recognition for Delicatessen Magazine direct or if they what they do.
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We notice that you have a fair selection of gins, this is obviously a huge area at the moment, how do you decide what takes up your valuable shelf space? It would have to be taste decides! We love a Gin and Tonic at No.5. Shelf appeal is very important too, the shape of the bottle says a lot. We came across some gins when we were travelling around we spent a lot of time in Cornwall and the Southwestern Distillery’s Tarquins Gin is fabulous and a Gin staple. We have recently come across just how many distilleries there in and around the Cotswolds which has opened up more tasting for us which we don’t mind at all. The Cotswold Distillery gin is wonderful too. It’s a big challenge keeping up with all the gin producers at present so it’s going to be an ongoing project finding them. Gin has made a huge revival and it is very exciting. We stock 14 gins at one time but they do change frequently. Have you encountered many challenges since opening that you didn’t foresee? I think our main challenge was what people want and how much stock you are going to need to fill a shop. We are only a small shop so it is so important to not waste the space and utilise it as much as possible. It has taken us 8 months but we are finally getting there. Again you need to keep your eye on the ball to see what new products have come out and what’s trending. Where do you see the future taking the Deli at No.5? We are currently building a shop on to our website which is very exciting. We are starting our pop wine café and gin café. As well as private tastings in the shop. We also have our canapes and charcuterie and cheese boards for events which we are also developing at the moment. Who knows we don’t want to run before we can walk. We are ever evolving and would love to develop further in the future but we really want to fine tune and make sure we get it right in the first establishment and keep our customers happy. www.thedeliatno5.co.uk
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SIMPLY GOOD FOOD TV
PETER SIDWELL’S DISCOVERY COLUMN
T PHOTO: JAMIE HARRIS
his month’s discovery column from me Peter Sidwell, is all about finding new and exciting products and sharing my thoughts and ideas with you. I live and breathe food both with my media company and through my cookery school. We are constantly finding and tasting new foods. Each month I am going to share my foodie finds and views with you. This time of year for me is all about getting out outside and cooking on the BBQ or with the pizza oven and enjoying delicious products such as Yorkshire Wagu beef combined with Ross and Ross BBQ charcoal salt. I am always looking for great ways to cook simply and delicious meals and this month I wanted to talk about five
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products and ingredients you need to stock and share with your consumers. If we can feed consumers’ minds we feed their appetite and increase sales. Each month I am going to create a video using some of the ingredients I have found that month, showing you how easy it is to create delicious mouth water dishes to sell to your customers. If you are inspired by what you see, please get in touch, as we would love to share the recipes and images with you to help you boost your sales. PIADA CLASSIC FROM CROSTA & MOLLICA Firstly, let me introduce you to the Piada Classic, brought to the UK by Crosta & Mollica. The Piada is an Italian flatbread. Great packaging, and overall a beautiful product. LAVERSTOCK PARK MOZZARELLA This is fantastic. I lived in Italy for 6 months and since coming back have found it really hard to find a mozzarella as those in Italy, until last year when I met Jody Schekter at CarFest south, who gave me some of the Mozzarella. This doesn’t want to be cooked with just tare it with your hands and serve it. POMODORINA SAUCE FROM IB FOOD LTD This is the most incredible tomato sauce I have ever come across. It’s made in Italy for just one month a year! When the tomatoes are ripe, they harvested and make this incredible sauce. It comes in either 410g tins or 2.5kg food service tins too.
YORKSHIRE WAGU BEEF This is an incredible beef, and probably the best beef I have ever tried. The farm has great province and offers a great opportunity for farm shops and delis, to stock a range of beef products offering great meal solutions all year round. ROSS & ROSS This company has a wonderful range of products, many of which are perfect for this time of year and alfresco cooking. l
Check back next month for another roundup of my must-haves from the Simply Good Food TV Kitchen. Take a look at www.simplygoodfoodt.tv for more great products and recipes.
THIS MONTH´S VIDEO
This month’s video covers the above products in more detail, but also shows you an alternative way to use them to gain more profit, especially as they reach the end of their shelf life, or alternatively I hope that this video inspires you to get your apron on and get cooking! You can watch this video by either going onto my Youtube channel (Peter Sidwell) or alternatively the direct link is: youtu.be/LpBXfJvCbSs This video will also be available on the new Delicatessen Magazine Youtube Channel too.
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WE MEET SHROPSHIRE SPICEâ€™S OWNERS FIONA AND ROBERT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW THIS GREAT COMPANY STARTED AND HOW THEY CONTINUE TO INNOVATE
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et’s take a journey back to the 1970’s, in the deepest most rural part of Shropshire, the town of Clun to be precise. A group of locals met in the pub to think up a new business venture, as work wasn’t easy to come by in this part, they decided to take matters into their own hands. It’s true, and interestingly, a lot of good business ideas have been designed on the back of a beer matt. Perhaps it’s the alcohol that helps get the creative juices flowing. They came up with the idea to create herbs and spices that would be light enough to send through the post. Taking over a run down Victorian Methodist Chapel, and employing three local ladies, Shropshire Spice Co was born. Fast-forward to today, and Shropshire Spice Co is owned by Fiona and Robert, who are just as deeply committed to not only offering employment for local people, but also offering high quality speciality products for amateur and professional cooks alike. Shropshire Spire Co is probably best known for their range of stuffing mixes. Boasting both imaginative blends as well as family favourites, these stuffing’s grace the shelves of many shops and continue to sell well. However, this is just one small part of a much larger fantastic range of products that we will delve into more over the coming issues.
NEW GLUTEN FREE STUFFING RANGE There are a lot of consumers out there who are eating gluten free, some by lifestyle, but also there are a lot who simply can’t tolerate gluten. For some this isn’t a serious issue, but for coeliac sufferers, gluten is no joke. Coeliac is an autoimmune disease and having even a microscopic amount of gluten can cause a wide range of illnesses for a longer period than most would imagine. It’s a good idea to stock gluten free products for consumers, however what is even better is when you find a product that is applicable to all of your customers, yet you can specifically also market this product
to the gluten free consumers you may or may not already have. After already turning all their products in the ‘So Simple’ range gluten free due to customer requests, the Shropshire Spice Co went another step forward by releasing a Gluten Free Stuffing range! This is great news as stuffing is something many coeliac sufferers will regularly miss out on. We’ll be testing these out very soon and reporting back, however Fiona tells us that non-coeliac sufferers who have already tried these cannot tell they are gluten free. SO MANY PRODUCTS TO CHOOSE FROM Shropshire Spice Co has a large selection of products, from Breadcrumbs, Spice Infusions, White Crumb Stuffing Blends, Wholemeal Classic Stuffing Blends, The So Simple Range and Sauces! Fiona explains the constant strive to innovate and bring out new and better products in an ever changing market. What is nice to see however is that albeit new products hit the range regularly, the older products aren’t
left behind to gather dust; they are constantly improved and revamped too. Over the next few issues we’ll go into more detail on the ranges, but for now, we wanted to give a special mention to the Bread Sauce and the Stuffing Mixes. As a big fan of game meat and roast dinners, I’m always on the hunt for a good bread sauce. The Shropshire Spice Co’s hand blended bread sauce mix is a truly great product. With a hint of cloves and garlic this is ideal with any meat or vegetable dish, moreover goes great with game too. For some home cooks, knocking up a bread sauce would be fairly simple, and I should really be able to cook up a good one myself. However, I find that kits like this offer convenience, consistency and overall good taste to add to a meal when there is already so much going on. Moving on to stuffing’s, there is an interesting selection of flavours from Shropshire Spice Co, including ‘Sage, Lemon and Chestnut’, ‘English Sage and Roast Onion’, ‘Parsley and Thyme’ or ‘Roast Chestnut, Cranberry and Apple’. These flavours are all tried and tested and are brilliant to add to a meal, especially when a mix like this is so easy to make into a brilliant stuffing! These would make a perfect shelf stocker to mention to customers about when they buy meat in the shop! l Tel: 01508 640100 Email: email@example.com Web: www.shropshire-spice.co.uk
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WE INTERVIEWED FIONA TO TELL US MORE So, Fiona, tells us a little bit more about how Shropshire Spice started? l The Shropshire Spice Company began over 40 years ago in the picturesque village of Clunton. It started as an idea in the pub to create work in the local area and began trading in the Victorian Methodist chapel staffed by three local ladies. The aim was to make high quality foods that could be sent cost-effectively through the post. Herbs and spices were lightweight and growing in popularity for use in home cooking as people had experienced them on holiday. Lifestyles have changed so much during the decades since the company began and The Shropshire Spice Company has developed blends to suit today’s families.
How has the reception been from the local area since you took over? l We have always had a great reception from the local community as we have always held onto our original mission to provide work for local people. Our products are still hand-packed and we develop products that make the best use of this capacity. Our team takes such pride in what we produce and take so much interest in the new recipes we develop. Everyone gets involved, especially when there is sampling to be done! How do you find your products sell within delicatessens and farm shops? l Sales within the delicatessens and farm shops are the lifeblood of our company. They sell very well because our customers identify that the products have been developed with such quality and care. The customers know that there are real people behind the product and often write in to give me their thoughts on the flavours and packaging. As a small company, we are able to take on-board their suggestions and keep on improving what we offer.
Your new Gluten Free stuffing mix is a great idea, how did you think of this? l I’m not sure I should be taking the credit for this. When we originally developed our ‘So Simple’ range of spice blends, I received an email from a lady asking whether there was any chance we could replace the flour we were using with another such as rice flour or corn flour. She explained that she was Coeliac but wanted to use our recipes. I’d replied within minutes that there was absolutely no reason
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why we couldn’t do this and got onto it immediately. All of the recipes worked perfectly with rice flour! We were even more delighted to find that the change had no affect on the cost of the product so the price didn’t go up! As we know, gluten free products can be very expensive. The gluten free stuffing range was a natural progression – again in response to the many requests our customers were making. We always want to offer more than the standard choices. Sage & Onion stuffing is always a firm family favourite but Cranberry, Apple & Roast Chestnut with Bread Sauce makes it an occasion! I am convinced you couldn’t tell they were gluten free products!
How do you get the inspiration to create your products and recipes? l My inspiration is everywhere. We are surrounded by fabulous ingredients and images of wonderful parts of the world. If there is a recipe that I can create that offers something different and special, we’ll launch it. As a busy working Mum, I need all the help I can get especially when looking for inspiration in the kitchen. We want to eat a quality meal at the end of the day but I don’t have hours for preparation. The ‘So Simple’ range was created for just this reason. Simply add to your choice of meat, poultry or fish with a couple of store cupboard ingredients such as coconut milk and tinned tomatoes and the meal is ready! All of the recipes were designed to have family appeal so none of them are too hot and spicy.
As a magazine dedicated to reducing food waste and promoting game meat, what products would you suggest we pair with our game meat dinners this year? l Game meat offers us so many wonderful choices and is often under valued. With the fabulous Grouse season almost upon us, our Bread Sauce would be the perfect accompaniment. Unlike other products on the market it is a traditional spooning sauce with a delicate hint of cloves and garlic. It would also be great with a simply roasted chicken, guinea fowl or goose. Roast Duck tastes so good with our Plum & Ginger stuffing and Venison is perfect with our Sage, Red Pepper & Shallot Stuffing.
What is your favourite out of your product range and what do you do with it? l It has to be my ‘So Simple’ Swahili African Curry. It’s where my inspiration came from to launch the range. I had been cooking this recipe for family and friend for years and suddenly realised that I was starting with a blend of dry spices as the base for the meal. ‘Light bulb moment’ we have a business full of herbs and spices, why am I not offering this to my customers. We often use this recipe to sample at the food shows and every age loves it! Its delicate and aromatic and gives a gentle warmth so it appeals to everyone. Preparation takes minutes. Simply add chopped chicken to your pan, let it change colour, add the Swahili blend for a few minutes and add a tin of chopped tomatoes and coconut milk. All of the recipes are this easy. The fact that your products are made by hand in the UK is a great accolade, do you find this being increasingly important to your customers since the talks of Brexit? l I think it is becoming increasingly important to our customers. People are much more knowledgeable about food today and their choices are informed. As a small family business, it matters very much that we have the support of our customers. It is not an easy business to be in and there are a lot of big brands out there trying to look local and homemade.
Have you any plans for any more new and exciting products? l We are always innovating and I am constantly looking for new ideas. The Gluten Free market is any area of much importance and is where our focus will be for the near future.
Where do you see the future taking the Shropshire Spice Co? l We have grown steadily over the last few years and expect this to continue into the future. Our brand is trusted and established and customers have come to expect high quality when they see our logo. This is a firm basis for expanding any business. I am looking forward to extending the brand further whilst retaining our core values.
Storm AFTER EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF ABSENCE, ONE OF THEIR BEST SELLING CHEESES IS MAKING A GALE-FORCE RETURN TO THE SHELVES THIS AUGUST!
etailers up and down the country should keep a close eye on the horizon in light of the latest meteorological forecast from Snowdonia Cheese Company. After eighteen months absence, one of their best-selling cheeses, Red Storm is set to make a gale-force return to shelves this August.
A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH
Championing serious vintage credentials, Red Storm has been undergoing the long maturation process before becoming available to retailers and foodservice customers. Typically aged for 18 months, the result is a complex and intensely flavoured cheese with a satisfyingly crumbly texture. Capturing rich
caramel notes and the sweet, nutty essence of a traditional Red Leicester cheese, Red Storm is a versatile addition to Snowdonia’s family of ten premium cheeses.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
Commercial Director for Snowdonia Cheese Company, Richard Newton-Jones, explains the enforced absence and happy homecoming; “Red Storm has been conspicuously absent from the Snowdonia range and it will be a real triumph to have this powerful performer available again, particularly as the demand for Snowdonia Cheese is higher than ever. Entirely beyond our control an unstoppable ‘force majeure’ has meant that we’ve had no mature stock of Red Storm since the middle of 2016. Formerly one of our best sellers, the re-emergence of this award winning scarlet truckle is hotly anticipated by the food and drink sector and I’m sure that the new cheese will surpass expectations.”
THE TASTE TEST
As part of a growing magazine, we constantly strive to find new ways to impress, and our latest idea we feel is onto a winner. We’ve started to run taste tests amongst a collection of foodies who actively buy from delicatessens that we’ve found during our travels. We started this month by trialling the Red Storm with a few cheesebuying enthusiasts. Next months edition will feature the taste tests of many products in more detail, but we felt we should use this opportunity to say that this cheese went down a storm with our testers! The overall feedback was that it was creamier than they thought, which was to be a great accolade and the maturity was well noted and not overpowering with a lovely aged feeling and character running through. Make sure to read the next issue for full testimonials from our taste testing team! l www.snowdoniacheese.co.uk
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A CHEESBEOARD TAKEOVER FROM ONE OF THE EDITORS FAVORITES, INTRODUCING THE SNOWDONIA CHEESE COMPANY! l Nestled within beautiful North Wales amidst the fresh sea air and flowing water, the Snowdonia Cheese Company was established in 2001, with the aim of creating a new and premium product – a luxury range of cheeses. They nurture the cheese brought down from the valley, and with the finest ingredients and care, they produce a range of delicious award-winning truckles. There hasn’t been a Christmas for many years where Snowdonia Cheese hasn’t made it to my personal cheeseboard. The Black Bomber being my weapon of choice to bowl over the table guests after they’ve had their fill of dinner. I’m a time-tested fan of this great brand, and am always as excited as ever about a new release, and it’s an honour to have Snowdonia Cheese participating in a cheeseboard takeover.
Where Cheddars are concerned, the multi-award winning Little Black Bomber® is a modern classic. Their flagship cheese marries a delicious rich flavour with a smooth creaminess, lasting long on the palate but remaining demandingly moreish! Black Bomber® has won awards at The Great British Cheese Awards, Nantwich International Cheese Awards, the World Cheese Awards and a Super Gold at Mondial Fromage in France.
Green Thunder® represents a real achievement in cheesemaking that any cheese lover will appreciate – striking the perfect balance of complementary but powerful flavours to create a singular, delicious savoury experience. Green Thunder® is a Gold medal winner at the Global Cheese Awards.
Rich creamy Cheddar is perfectly complimented by the indulgence of the finest crystalised ginger. A perfect dessert cheese, and with its bright orange wax a real stand-out addition to any cheese board. Ginger Spice® is a firm favourite
with both Snowdonia fans and cheese judges, winning Gold at the Nantwich International Cheese Awards.
A judicious hit of chilli is the perfect foil for the rich savouriness of Red Leicester in this popular member of the range. As with all of their cheeses, Red Devil® is delicious enjoyed simply, but this one really comes into its own when melted over nachos, tortilla chips and barbecued burgers. It adds a depth of flavour and an intriguing heat. Red Devil® is a Gold winner at the Nantwich International Cheese Awards.
The smokey peat tones of Scotch whisky combine with the mouth-watering mature Cheddar to create the perfect ‘grown-up’ pairing. Ideal with a tipple at the end of the day or for moments of contemplation. Amber Mist® is a Nantwich International Cheese Awards gold winner.
A more recent addition to the family, with it’s rich purple wax, is Ruby Mist® – a cheese with a sophisticated taste for those with a sophisticated taste in cheese. A silky smooth mature Cheddar delivers the warmth of Port and Brandy for the ideal evening accompaniment. Ruby Mist® is a gold winner at the British Cheese Awards.
A perfect sweet addition to a cheese board with bursts of real cranberries throughout, it’s creamy, light and fruity. Bouncing Berry® bounced it’s way to a Silver at Nantwich International Cheese Awards.
A recent addition to the range, and smartly dressed in vivid red wax, Red Storm® boasts serious vintage credentials, aged for typically 18 months creating an intense flavour and refined texture. Red Storm® has already made a name for itself, winning a Bronze at the Nantwich International Cheese Awards.
With its gently nutty texture and subtle smokey hues, our naturally smoked Beechwood™ cheese really captivates, with mellow depth and warmth. Underlining its growing appreciation within the cheese fraternity, the Beechwood™ is a Great Taste Award winner as well as a Global Cheese Awards and British Cheese Awards Gold medal winner. l www.snowdoniacheese.co.uk
Inspired by the traditional British Ploughman’s Lunch, Pickle Power® is just begging to be taken on a picnic. The rich mature Cheddar and pickled onion tang the palate in unison, giving a fresh savoury flavour that’s best enjoyed outside. A popular choice in Britain, Pickle Power® is a Bronze medal winner at the British Cheese Awards.
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o trip to the Cromer seaside would be the same without seeing the huts selling traditional Cromer Crabs. This is something that I enjoy seeing, but being totally honest, don’t really enjoy tasting. I’ve never been a fan of crab meat found in Britain, however David Miller, Sales Director of Strike The Gold Foods assured me that the Blue Swimming Crab meat would be different. So, on a nice summers day, I head off to meet David and am ready to learn. Firstly, the Blue Swimming Crab is caught in and around the estuaries of Indonesia. The Blue Swimming Crab is a top feeder, spending most of its life swimming in warm waters and not on the seabed. This means that the Claw Meat is pink in colour and sweet in taste, whilst the Lump Meat, which comes from the head of the crab, is white in colour, with a rich taste. This is much different to the crabs we have around the UK which are bottom feeders and whose meat is brown and white (Lump being brown and the claw meat being white).
THIS MONTH WE MEET DAVID MILLER OF STRIKE THE GOLD FOODS LTD, THE UK DISTRIBUTORS OF BLUE STAR CRAB MEAT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BLUE SWIMMING CRAB
WHERE IT ALL STARTED Literally in the kitchen! John R Keeler, founder of Blue Star’s kitchen to be precise, in 1995. Very quickly gaining traction and popularity, 4 years later Blue Star was named one of the 500 largest Hispanic privately owned companies in the USA by Hispanic Business Magazine. Moving to 2003, Blue Star had their Eco-pouches patented in Asia and Europe and revolutionised how crab meat can be stored and transported saving many tons of waste and fossil fuels. As the meat is pasteurized during the packing process, the shelf life of
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a packet is particularly impressive (up to 18 months!). A little know fact that is worth exploring more is that chefs tend to favour using the Blue Swimming Crab when cooking, as the meat stays together well and doesn’t go mushy like the UK equivalent. As a magazine, we like to champion artisan and British products, however in some instances it is important to explore products from elsewhere, especially when they are such a quality and as consistent as Blue Star Crab Meat!
HEALTHY EATING If you are looking for a low fat, nutritious and delicious meal for your dinner table, Blue Star crab meat is a great choice. We have been eating this crab meat for a while now since meeting with Strike The Gold Foods, and it has made for an excellent addition to salads, crab cakes and other meals. Crab meat contains protein and essential vitamins and minerals, including cancer fighting selenium and chromium, which lowers the risk of heart disease and stabilises glucose levels. Crab meat also contains important quantities of Omega 3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous; all of which are components of a heart-healthy, wellbalanced diet One serving of crab has a whopping 20 grams of protein with no carbs. The high levels of protein make crab an excellent choice for athletes and body builders. Also, with only 0.2g of saturated fat per 85g serving, this is a very smart and heart healthy component to the diet. As per other seafood’s, crab meat contains Omega 3 fatty acid, which help lower the blood pressure and triglyceride levels, which in turn reduce the rick of heart disease. Crab meat is also particularly high in vitamin B-12, zinc, and copper. Overall, it’s fair to say that crab meat is a healthy product and a worthy addition to many meals, and a tasty one at that! SUSTAINABILITY When David mentioned that the crabs are caught in Indonesia, I suddenly had the overwhelming urge to ask about sustainability came over, and as quick as I was happy to ask it, David was happy to answer, and no doubt why!
BLUE STAR CRAB FEATURE.indd 3
that use environmentally friendly fishing practices. This in turn is less intensive and less stressful on the crab population. l They only support fishermen using safer crabbing equipment, which allows juvenile crabs to escape l Respecting pregnant crabs, which allows the species to breed and replenish the population.
At Blue Star, they define Sustainability as “The ability to meet our needs today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.” This is akin to the standard definition of sustainable development and covers many topics. A hugely interesting point that David was discussing is that Blue Star have invested a lot to put the youth through education in the local communities where they catch their crabs, and now all these years later, some of them are coming back as managers within the manufacturing plants. This is true sustainable development in action and a real good news story in an area that thrives off of the business. Blue Star are deeply committed to sustainability and through constant efforts, have become a leading voice for ‘green’ in the industry. They only promote responsible seafood sourcing and they have revolutionized ethical packaging. Also, they continuously work to minimize their waste output and carbon footprint.
SUSTAINABLE SOURCING FROM SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES l Blue Star exclusively uses blue swimming crab, which is not an endangered species. l They only support local fishermen
ENERGY AND WASTE REDUCTION VIA ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING Blue Star is committed to reducing energy and waste through innovative packaging and has led the way in ethical and sustainable packaging since the introduction of its EcoFresh foil pouches in 2003 These Eco-Fresh pouches require some 45% less energy than cans to produce. Also, being a more compact size and easier to store, they take up less fossil fuel and energy in transport and storage. David explained that the green criteria of their packaging has meant they have saved over 866 tons of metal, or 380 tons of plastic material that would have been required otherwise.
THE COMMUNITY Blue Star is a member of the Executive Committee for the Crab Council, which is a non-profit organisation dedicated to education about seafood safety, sustainability, and nutrition. Blue Star is also BRC accredited and is one of the founding members of the Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab Association and a member of the Philippine Association of Crab Processors, Inc. This allows Blue Star the ability to share best practice and ensure that standards are kept and sustainability remains at the forefront. The also regularly present or sponsor workshops about maintaining the blue swimming crab population.
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THE RANGE CLAW MEAT
Claw Meat is carefully hand picked whole and shredded pieces of the sweet dark meat from the legs and claws of the crab. Considered by many to be the most flavoursome part of the crab, claw meat makes a bold addition to soups, dips and sauces. Available now in 142g (retail packs) or 454g (food service industry) packs. l
l Lump Meat is a blend of smaller pieces of Super Lump and Special Lump. Lump meat is consists of lean handpicked pieces of white meat and is therefore highly versatile, accommodating a wide variety of recipes. Available now in 142g (retail packs) or 454g (food service industry) packs.
SPECIAL LUMP MEAT
l Special Lump Meat is a blend of the smallest Lump pieces and finely shredded, flaky body meat. Special Lump will add texture and rich flavour to any dish and perfectly suited to a wide variety of recipes, including crab cakes, soups, dips and sauces. Available to order in 142g (retail packs) or 454g (food service industry) packs.
JUMBO LUMP MEAT
l Jumbo Lump is comprised of thick white meat handpicked from the crab’s two swimming fins. Each piece is distinctly tender and sizeable. Jumbo Lump is ideal for sautes, crabmeat cocktails and crab creviche. Available to order in 142g (retail packs) or 454g (food service industry) packs.
l Imperial Crab Meat is Blue Star’s most exquisite. Each massive piece is white and firm, handpicked from the two swimming fins of the largest crabs they catch. Imperial Meat’s world-class taste is ideal for gourmet presentations, where the savoury flavour of the crab meat is foremost. Available to order in 142g (retail packs) or 454g (food service industry) packs. l
Tel: 0800 987 5431 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.goldfoods.co.uk
SUPER LUMP MEAT
l Super Lump is a blend of smaller pieces of Jumbo Lump along with handpicked pieces of long, white meat from the crab’s backfin muscles. Super Lump is an original Blue Star creation and is perfectly suited for soups, dips and crab cakes. Available to order in 142g (retail packs) or 454g (food service industry) packs.
l Well, being that I am not a huge lover of UK crab meat, I was a little sceptical at first, but spurred on by David’s endorsement of the quality and difference that Blue Star crab delivers, I set about making some dishes with it. My first was a crab salad, mainly so I could really appreciate the crab meat without having to add much flavouring. My initial thoughts were that it was sweeter
than I remembered, but a really nice taste. Within minutes I was enthusiastically hunting out pieces of the lump meat I had used and was rather disappointed when left with an empty bowl. Being that the salad went down rather well and quickly made me enthusiastic to start using the crab meat in different recipes. Since that first salad, I’ve had crab cakes, tempura battered crab, a nice claw meat chowder and the meat has lent itself well to a risotto or two!
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MAXIMIZE THOSE SUMMER SALES
his month we all wanted to share tips to maximize those summer sales and sometimes summer can feel all too short due to the lovely British weather! But this summer don’t let the weather put you off maximizing those summer sales. It is key to know the weather and play to it. So look ahead as to what the long range forecast is. Create eye catching displays around key opportunities such as: • BBQ • Salads • Picnics • Summer Desserts • Wimbledon must haves • Seasonal produce • Drinks both alcoholic & non-alcoholic • Parties • Tourists • Camping
For each display think as wide as possible in terms of versatility both meat eaters and veggies, side dishes, puddings, drinks. Ask your producers to come instore and sample their products to your customers as this is a great way to increase sales. Share great recipes on your newsletters and social media to feed your customers imagination. Your newsletter is a vital way of driving more customers into store either your physical store or online. Ensure you have regular social media content being posted sharing great recipes, dining suggestions, if you sell nonfood products such as napkins or plates etc., share alfresco dining images with them. It’s all about sharing suggestions and ideas, as a nation we are time poor and customers want to be given ideas and easy suggestions.
BBQ It is great to be able to offer your customers easy solutions to the BBQ season and fire up their imagination. Why not check out these two new products to the market. Hari Ghotra’s spice kits these are great
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THIS MONTH, VHARI RUSSELL - MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE FOOD MARKETING EXPERT, GIVES HER TIPS FOR MAXIMISING YOUR SUMMER SALES for BBQ and quick curry’s they RRP at £3.99, cost £2.59 what this brand has created so successfully is create eye catching packaging and beautiful displays, the products are available in 6 variants Bhuna, Korma, Madras, Makhani, Rogan Josh, Tikka Masala. SALADS Great a great display of dressings and ingredients to make dressings such as fruit vinegars, Balsamic, mustard, salt, oils.
PICNICS Offer a great array of easy to pack items such as crisps both potato, vegetable and fruit, nuts, dried fruits, sweets, cheese, pork pies, drinks, cakes. Many people will want to purchase some easy to pack items to add to their picnics. Check out the Cheshire Cheese Black Bob Cheese - a big hit for a picnic. RRP £4.50 and cost of £2.60 per truckle. SUMMER DESSERTS With such a great array of fresh produce available at this time of year and alfresco dinning it is a great time to stock up on sauce, ice cream, meringues, waffles cones, sprinkles, cream, coulis and curds. It is hard not to love a pavlova or eaten mess.
WIMBLEDON MUST HAVES Stock up on Strawberries, cream, Pimms this is a great British tradition and even if your customers haven’t got tickets to attend SW1 in person they can enjoy it in the comfort of their own home.
SEASONAL PRODUCE It is always great to have a seasonal fixture, if possible also try and keep it local. Customers often like to buy local.
DRINKS BOTH ALCOHOLIC AND NON-ALCOHOLIC We such a wonderful array of new drinks brands on the market this is a great time of year to promote them and share new and local ones.
TOURISTS Many retailers see the tourists in their shops and this is a great opportunity if it is overseas visitors they maybe looking for local treats, or brits on stay-cations looking for delicious food to enjoy on holiday. This is also a great marketing opportunity to work with local holiday cottage companies, sharing offers with the properties and guests.
CAMPING If you are near a camping hotspot make sure you have a great selection of products for those campers who won’t have a huge kitchen to be able to cook in, but who are still looking for delicious foodie treats. PARTIES Why not create a display around parties with elements for both adult and kids parties, suggestion for party bag fillers, the must have party food. It also a great way to share your freezer range if you have one, items such as frozen homemade sausage rolls, or desserts and ice-cream. These star lollies from Original Candy are a great party bag filler. RRP £ 1.99 Cost 64p 60g. l
The Food Marketing Expert is a small team of dynamic food marketing agency that transforms ambitious food & drink brands into thriving businesses. We like to think we can fatten up your sales faster than you can say: ‘The Delia Effect’.
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SPECIALITY & FINE FOOD FAIR PREVIEW 2017
ensational aromas, opulent displays in a myriad of dazzling colours and great taste after great taste, this is a trade show for all the senses. For three days in September, the Fair will showcase the very best food and drink that the speciality sector has to offer. A marketplace like no other, it will feature more than 700 carefully curated speciality producers - some of which are decades old and others which are just starting out on their food and drink journey. The brands and their products are as eclectic as they are exciting - sugar free chocolate, wellbeing teas, all natural condiments, raw foods, high protein snacks, free from popcorn, handmade confectionery, British biscottis, vegan Turkish Delight, gourmet ready meals, small batch spirits, breads and cheeses. The 2017 line-up includes: Augustin’s Waffles, Baru, Biddenden, Billington’s Gingerbread, Brown Bag Crisps, Burts, Chaigaram, Collagin, Cacao di Vine, Cawston Press, Chase Distillery, Chunk of Devon, Devon Distillery, Districts of Italy, Easy Bean, The Great British Biscotti Company, La Chiva, Labi Beer, Manfood, My Botanicals, Olly’s Olives, Brindisa Spanish Foods, Kingfisher House Foods, Mydorable,
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VENTURE INTO THE ALADDIN’S CAVE OF SPECIALITY & FINE FOOD FAIR 2017 WHERE A WORLD OF GOURMET FOOD AND DRINK AWAITS Wild Drinks, Portgourmet, The Sweet Beet, Savoursmiths, Ten Acre, Tigg’s, Truede, Tyrells, Sloemotion, Warner Edwards and World of Zing.
A NEW CHAPTER Speciality & Fine Food Fair has been given a fresh look and feel for 2017 to reclaim the intimate feel it has long been renowned for. That includes a new-look line-up of attractions; featuring a Discovery Zone to showcase the finest artisan gems from businesses that are under 36 months old, and a host of new up and coming brands. The spotlight will shine on: Bath Water, Amazing Forest organic birch water, Cindy’s Teas, Eat Your Hat, Flower & White, Explosive Spirits, Gourmade, Kitsch All Natural Soda, La Befana Beer Bread, Love Cheesecakes, Nuts Original, Hay Wines, and Popcorn Shed. Speciality Chocolate Fair has been merged into the main body of the Fair, and instead visitors will tread the Speciality Chocolate Trail to explore the very finest gourmet chocolate and confectionery. Perfect for those looking for new flavours, certified chocolate or premium indulgence. Joining the trail will be: Amelia Rope Chocolate, Bean & Pod, Beech’s Fine Chocolate, Chief Chocolate Officer, Choctails, Clarence and Bean, Coco Chocolatier, Dragees Reynauld, J Cocoa, Milkboy Swiss Chocolates, Kanmi Chocolate, Kernow Chocolate, Lauden Chocolate, Love Cocoa, Raw Halo, Simply Chocolate, The Chocolate
Smiths, and Zotter. Alongside a showcase of thousands of products, the Fair will host a full range of refreshed visitor attractions. They include Savour the Flavour: Live Kitchen, featuring practical tips and advice from some of the industry’s most experienced chefs and personalities. Buyers and operators can also discover what flavour trends and menu design styles are emerging and gain insight into key issues such as sustainability, and health and well-being. Food for Thought will offer visitors workshops on trending topics, product innovation and much more. They will also have the chance to be amongst the first to source a host of stunning Great Taste award winning products - with the Top 50 finalists and overall champion, on display in the Great Taste Deli. Kara Bowen, Event Manager, said: “For buyers and decision makers from farm shops, delis and independents, the Fair provides an unrivalled and exciting platform of discovery and inspiration for their shelves; whether that is premium snacks, drinks, chocolate, condiments or gifts. This year nearly 200 producers who have never exhibited before will be showcasing their products; a wealth of new opportunities for retailers. The Fair will also have an exciting, fresh new feel this year, re-affirming our pledge to provide an unique showcase of the very best this dynamic sector has to offer.”
NEW RANGE Ahmad Tea - Stand 1012 ahmadtea.com British tea company, Ahmad Tea, are launching a new collection - Dessert Teas - which are inspired by sorbets, cakes and soufflés. Available in boxes of 15 loose leaf pyramid teabags. NEW PRODUCT La Mortuacienne - Stand 1930 empirebespokefoods.com French brand La Mortuacienne have launched a new addition to their range of authentic lemonades with a limited edition flavour for Summer - Mint and Lime. Their drinks are made to a traditional French recipe, with local water, natural flavourings and high quality sugar. Available in iconic swing-top old style 1L bottles.
NEW PRODUCT Love Cocoa - Stand 2804 Discovery Zone lovecocoa.com Set up by descendants of the Cadbury family - Love Cocoa produces organic chocolate bars free from refined sugar, and gluten. Already available in 80g bars, they are launching new 30g bars which take on classics with a contemporary twist.
NEW BRAND Ntsama’s - Stand 3076 Discovery Zone ntsama.co.uk This family business creates fusion oils and sauces based on old Cameroonian recipes, using the finest hottest Scotch Bonnet Chillies. Flavours include Garlic & Ginger and Lemon & Thyme. The sauces are available in 180g jars and the oils in 100ml bottles. NEW BRAND Bean & Pod - Stand 1318 beanandpod.co.uk New premium chocolate brand Bean & Pod have launched a select range of gourmet chocolates in stunning gift boxes. Available in the finest milk, white and dairy free dark chocolate, every mouthful has been handcrafted in the UK. Available in boxes of 7, 18 or 28 chocolates.
NEW PRODUCT Flower & White - Stand 3339 Discovery Zone flowerandwhite.co.uk Flower & White have launched a range of new Merangz Meringue Drops. Handmade, Swiss-baked meringues in a kaleidoscope of glorious colours and natural flavours. Available in three varieties - Rainbow Fruit, Chocolate, and White Chocolate & Raspberry, in 100g boxes. NEW BRAND Gourmade - Stand 3121 Discovery Zone The Fair will see the launch of Gourmade’s readymade meals that aim to make frozen food cool again. Developed for time-starved consumers with no desire to compromise on taste; this exciting new brand provides a ‘no fuss’, high quality alternative to meals made at home from scratch.
FIRST TIME EXHIBITOR Mydorable - Stand 3282 NEW BRAND Discovery Zone The Sweet Beet - Stand 3071 Discovery Zone mydorable.com thesweetbeetuk.co.uk Producers of traditional The Sweet Beet will be launching their range of handmade French handcrafted condiments and sauces focused on Confectionery, challenging perceptions on how condiments Mydorable, will be showcasing their range THE SPECIALITY & FINE can be used. Developed to introduce the of handmade chocolates and sweets FOOD FAIR 2017 UK to authentic Texas flavours, the range which includes gluten free and vegan Takes place at Olympia National, London. includes Maple Bacon Jam, Habanero options. Sample their bestseller The show opens on September 3 from Lime Jelly, Oak Smoked Apple Butter, ‘Mydorable Pebbles’ - salted caramel 10am until 17.30pm and September 4 Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce and wrapped in milk chocolate and and 5, from 9.30am until 17.00pm. Texas Beer Jelly. Available in 195ml jars. enclosed in a sugar shell. www.specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk Registration for the Fair is now open and is free in advance for trade visitors.
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PAYING HOMAGE TO THE GOLDEN AGE OF
TEA THIS MONTH WE MEET DRAGONFLY TEA, A FAMILYOWNED BRITISH COMPANY WITH A WONDERFUL HISTORY, A CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WITH A SUPERB RANGE OF TEAS!
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t is always a pleasure to see a tea company exhibiting at a trade show. After trying many samples and long conversations with many vibrant companies at a fast paced busy trade show, there is little that could be better than stopping for a nice brew! This is exactly what happened earlier in the year when we met Dragonfly Tea at the Farm Shop and Deli Show at the NEC in Birmingham where we got to trial a few out of their range on the stand. What was interesting about the Dragonfly range to us was not just the sheer amount they stock and the flavours, but also their commitment to sustainability and long family history of growing, making and sourcing fine teas. Typically, I have always been an ‘English Breakfast’ man, or Earl Grey. However, of late I have spent more time enjoying interesting flavours, especially being that Dragonfly Tea sent a few over for us to get acquainted with! What was most surprising was that now not only do I feel enlightened, yet I also now feel the need to delve further into the range and start learning more about tea, from this brand – a brand who really know their tea!
THE RANGE Boasting teas including black teas, greens teas, white and herbal, you can already tell there is going to be a pretty big range! Dragonfly were in fact the first to introduce rooibos tea, honeybush, chai and many green teas to the UK market and continue to offer a quality selection of fine teas with their Loose Leaf and Organic Speciality ranges and their new Tea House Collection. The new Tea House Collection was brought out to celebrate the fifteen years of Dragonfly Tea. The collection pays homage to the golden age of tea, and celebrates some of the highest quality and authentic teas from around the world.
SUSTAINABILITY & CONSERVATION Dragonfly Tea believe that the modern era of fast food and mass production has resulted in lower standards to the detriment of both the land and the local inhabitants and then of course, the standard of the final product. They are committed to traditional and sustainable methods of tea cultivation and processing which they seek to preserve for future generations. This is especially important
now days as we move forwards understanding more about the footprint we leave behind and a company like Dragonfly Tea is one that really understands this and is doing their bit to help.
MAKING ‘TEA FRIENDS’ The Chinese use the term ‘tea friends’ to describe the cultural importance placed upon relationships within the tea industry. Dragonfly Tea has spent decades building relationships with growers and master tea-makers in the subtropical highlands and mountains of China, India and Africa. This means in reality that they have been able to access those little-known, small, and often remote locations, which can offer the most desirable, sustainable and fairly traded harvests. We feel that it is great to see a company so committed to sustainability and quality, especially a British Family company who actively support small-scale production and personally taste tests each harvest to ensure the taste is ‘just right’. Dragonfly Tea never uses artificial flavours colourings or preservatives. Their teabags are chlorine free, biodegradable and even compostable which makes a real difference. l
WE TESTED A FEW OF THE TEA HOUSE COLLECTION WHICH INCLUDED: ENGLISH BREAKFAST
A full-bodied bright and satisfying tea with hints of malty sweetness. We especially enjoyed this English Breakfast and felt it was very drinkable and was genuinely disappointed to run out – this is a really good English Breakfast and now on the editor’s shopping list!
GARDEN MINT & VERBENA
This is an aromatic, refreshing and sweetly herbal tea, with a gentle citrus finish. Our editor is slightly sceptical about mint teas usually after many disastrous attempts at making his own. However, the refreshing nature and subtle tastes of this gentle tea really was something special. There is a citrus background to the taste here and overall a really nice experience.
JADE ORCHID GREEN TEA
They label this as ‘seductive and smooth, opulently scented with ‘Jade Orchid’ petals. We’d simply just label it as ‘truly outstanding’. We loved this tea; a really nice tea drinking experience was had with each sip of this unique and interesting flavour. The delicate scenting with the Yulan (Jade Orchid) petals really gives this drink a flavour that makes you want to come back for more each time.
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SLOELY DOES IT
t’s a cold, crisp January morning, and after a terrific morning on the local game shoot, it’s time for the traditional elevenses. Before my eyes is a plethora of interesting foods and whilst recounting stories of the morning’s action amongst the other participants, I am handed a glass of sloe gin. There is little that can beat the warming nature of a good sip of sloe gin on a cold day, and whilst sipping away on sloe gin in the middle of the British Countryside back in January 2016, the idea came to me that albeit there are many of us in the UK that enjoy game meats, there’s many more who don’t eat or haven’t tried game. Fast forward to later in the year and after launching the pilot event ‘The Great British Game Food Festival’ and I manage to persuade Nick Radclyffe to come exhibit the Foxdenton Estate brand at the show. Naturally, with having such a great range of gins and with the fantastic paring between the humble Sloe gin and game meats, Foxdenton have a great time selling their gin to the masses! Fast forward again to the Farm Shop and Deli show back in April and to my surprise, I see a Foxdenton Estate stand, and naturally I’m over in dash. Nick tells me that they have a growing set of retailers who stock their gins, and what happened next was to interest me for the rest of the day.
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WE MEET NICK RADCLYFFE OF FOXDENTON ESTATE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE RANGE AND THE WONDERFUL HISTORY BEHIND THE FOXDENTON ESTATE BRAND
All of a sudden, a faint “Oh, are you the ones with the rhubarb gin I’ve heard about?” comes from behind me towards Nick, whom with skill, manages to pour and pass a small glass of this now highly sought after liquid to the lady in one swift motion. This same occurrence happened time and time again for the next hour and it was hard to try to get a word with Nick in between all the deli’s and farm shop’s coming in to try the range and give Nick their details. THE ROYAL SEAL Whilst discussing the range with a rather prestigious delicatessen, both the deli buyers and myself were wowed whilst Nick showed us the pictures of the bottles that Foxdenton Estate was commissioned to make for the King and Queen of Holland (for the second Christmas in a row!) Foxdenton Estate also provided a case of bespoke labelled sloe gin for the Duke of Edinburgh’s 90th Birthday shoot, such is the prestige of their brand. BIGGER THE BETTER One of my favourites within Foxdenton Estates range is the aptly named ‘Goliath’. This behemoth of a bottle, carrying a gallon (4.5 litres) of either Sloe, Damson, Raspberry or
Plum gin is a crown pleasure. Nick had placed one of these Goliaths on the stand and it was amusing to watch nearly every passer by stop and stare at it, some even taking photographs of it or with it. Shamefully I also have a photo with this Goliath too… The Goliath may be a huge bottle, however, sales of this are strong. Retailing at £175 a bottle with a healthy margin, these bottles are good value for the amount you get within and do sell well. Foxdenton say that these are a great gift for someone who ‘already has everything’. I’d also say that this would be a remarkable gift to turn up to a party with, one which would trump all other bottles presented to the host! They’d even need a fairly good set of muscles to carry it! Joking aside, buying in a Goliath or two for your shelves is a clever idea in my eyes. This visually would have people stop and stare and is a conversation starter. Please do consider stocking the ultimate attention-grabbing bottle of gin on the market currently. l Tel: 01280 824855 Email: email@example.com Web: www.foxdentonestate.co.uk
THE ORIGINAL 48 – LONDON DRY GIN
Coming in at 48% abv, this multi award winning London Dry Gin is exceptional; if you enjoy a London Dry then this should be on the list! Here’s the tasting notes from the 2011 IWSC: At which they won a Silver Medal and Best in Class
“Big, booming nose that gives everything a London Dry should do but more at the strength. Super active entry into the mouth yet gorgeously deep and mellow. All the flavour you could want in wonderful integration. Complexity gives super smoothness and velvet flow while retaining the lively character. Complex, long, refreshing finish. Aftertaste lasts for ever !”
Using the finest Damsons from Kent, Foxdenton Estate’s Damson Gin is rich and jammy with lots of ripe berry on the nose, giving way to almond, allspice and juniper on the palate. Delicious neat or mixed with champagne, where it becomes the ‘Damn Shame’.
Foxdenton Estate’s latest flavor, hugely popular and selling very well. The perfect English summer flavor - an amazing mix of sweet and tart, just like the best rhubarb and custard pudding.
Stronger, paler & drier than your average sloe gin, this is a classic hip flask-filler is full of juniper on the nose giving way to plum sweetness before a long, crisp finish. Sloe gin can be enjoyed straight, such as from a hip flask whilst enjoying the outdoors! This isn’t the only use for this fantastic drink. Sloe gin can also be enjoyed all year round topped up with sparkling wine, bitter lemon or with tonic water.
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Foxdenton Estate’s Winslow Plum is named after the town they live in, rather than a variety of Plum. This liqueur is made from Plums from their garden and the gardens of their neighbours who kindly sell them their excess crop. Needing even more plums, they also are lucky that about 15 miles from their headquarters, there is a Religious community who grow lots of fruit. Interestingly everyone in their community earns the same whether a picker or the finance director and all the profits they make go to helping homeless people in a number of cities across the country. You will be surprised at how strong the flavour of plum comes through in this drink. A really nice gin to sip and appreciate.
GOLDEN APRICOT GIN RASPBERRY GIN
Made in the same way as the Sloe Gin, by adding Raspberries and sugar to London Dry Gin. This is the sweetest drink in the range, with the sweetness coming from the wonderful Raspberries. A great summer drink to be enjoyed in many ways including on the rocks.
A Gin that changes with each harvest, a very interesting flavour profile, and one that is incredibly popular. The last batch was made with a slightly later picked harvest of Apricot giving off more flavour and colour than normal. The nose full of almonds and there is a soft marzipan smell, yet the taste is of lovely sweet apricot – a brilliant flavour within the range!
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INTERVIEW WITH NICK RADCLYFFE So Nick, we love your gins! Can you tell us a little more about the background of the brand? l Foxdenton as a company was started in 1935 by my grandfather and in the early 2000s I took over the company. We decided to focus on products that we made ourselves at home. We, like everyone else interested in field sports, made our own fruit gins and quite some time before the current boom in interest in gins we decided to focus on these products as our main business.
Your products, especially the sloe gin are very popular amongst the country sports and shooting fraternity, why do you think this is? l Firstly it is because that is where we started our business. I had taken some plum gin on a shoot and a friend of mine had said that we should sell this as it was so good. I felt right from the beginning that if we offered a bespoke label service for shoots that we would get interest. In addition we focused really hard on the taste of the products so that people would notice the difference. We also were lucky that a number of very large shoots started to take our gins right from the early days. Can you tell us a bit more about why sloe gin is important on a game shoot or is associated to the country sports sector? l Sloe Gin is the most traditional drink when out shooting or hunting and is served at elevenses in small shot glasses. Despite the wide range of different fruit gins that we currently make Sloe gin is still our biggest seller, which reflects the importance of the shooting market.
We were captivated and drawn to your stand by the huge ‘Goliath’ of sloe gin! What gave you the idea to bottle this large, and do they sell well? l Strangely enough the idea for this came from a Frenchman. I teach a small course at a French Wine and Spirit MBA College and used to take interns as part of the process. One of the interns suggested that we should have a giant bottle for marketing purposes and he also came up with the name “Goliath” as lots of the wine bottles have biblical names. In the end the reaction to the first few bottles was so strong that we decided
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to import pallets of these giant bottles and these have been major sellers for us ever since.
During Farm Shop & Deli show it was interesting to see how many retailers flocked to your stand to try your rhubarb gin, why do you think this has been so popular? l It is hard to say but Rhubarb seems to be the flavour of the moment and we were lucky that we developed this a year or so ago and it has suddenly exploded in terms of sales. It has been hugely successful for lots of our retailers.
We were amazed at how many notable delicatessens and farm shops came by in the short time we were with you on your stand, did the rest of the show go well for you? l Indeed very well. This was the first time that we had done this show and we did not quite know what to expect. We shall be back again next year! The gin market is seemingly ever growing, what do you think that you do that makes you stand out? l Whilst most of our competitors have focused on London Dry Gin and the growing trend in gin drinking in
bars we have maintained our strong presence in the fruit gin side and this has allowed us to stand out. Also whilst the boom in gin drinking is real there is always an interest in lower abv drinks with a sweeter, fruitier flavour profile and we make both a great tasting product as well as a good looking product that makes a beautiful gift for those looking for something different.
Albeit you have a plethora of flavours to choose from, are you planning any further products in the future? l Our current new product developments are focused on unusual distillates rather than new fruits. Watch this space for some very different new ideas.
Lastly from us, what would be the best way of getting hold of Foxdenton gin this year for our readers own delicatessens? l The easiest and most direct is to contact us directly. We service nearly all our trade customers directly and deliver via courier on a next day service. For those looking for very small quantities then Craft Drinks are our only current distributor.
FAIRFIELDS TO GO! WE TEST OUT THE NEW INNOVATIVE SNACK AND DIP COLLABORATION FROM FAIRFIELDS FARM
eaming up with Scarlett & Mustard, Fairfields Farm has created a new co-branded onthe-go crisp and dip pack. This range launched at Farm Shop and Deli show back in April, and we got our hands on one to see what all the fuss was about!
NO MORE SALTY SLEEVE! As an avid complainer about most things, I can find a negative in any situation, and one of my many ‘pet peeves’ is ‘salty sleeve’ as I have named it. This is the effect of wearing a nice shirt and trying to eat a packet of crisps. If you want to enjoy the last crisps in the pack, you sometimes have to sacrifice your sleeve. Not great when you are on the go and wanting to remain clean! A while back, I was recounting a story of this situation to Fairfields Farm’s Ian Bates, who amongst his many great accolades commands a generous knowledge of the packaging industry. Ian smiled and said that given a few
weeks, they’ve got just the thing for me. Then came along the recently launched ‘Fairfields To Go’ range.
DIP YOUR CHIP! Then, even more recently, the newly unveiled Fairfields To Go with Salsa Dip boxes are launched, and I am in awe of the genius behind this idea. Such a simple idea, but making life much easier for many, plus adding to this a salsa dip? – Genius. This new product will appeal to many, from the travel industry, retail, hospitality and even hamper companies who are looking for a more premium option. “These new crisp and dip packs are a whole new area for us and a really exciting product to bring to the market,” explains Robert Strathern, founder of Fairfields Farm. “They are an extension of our newly launched Fairfields To Go brand, which has already proven to be hugely successful. We anticipate that the addition of a dip will make them even more desirable with buyers who are always looking for innovative new
snacking solutions,” he adds. We’ve said in this magazine many times how there isn’t much better than the taste of a crisp that has been generously dipped. Combining dips from Scarlett & Mustard, who we are big fans of, with crisps that we are also big fans of, is to be a relationship to be made in heaven.
We feel this new product is a great new range for delicatessens to stock. The ability to stack these in a different way to other crisps, and the combination of dip and crisps makes for a combo that would be hard to beat, conveniently in a box. Moreover, the ability to take one of these boxes of joy and enjoy the contents without covering your sleeve in salt is a revelation. Whether to enjoyed in front of a film, or in the park or on the train – the new Fairfields To Go is perfect all round.
THE FOOD MARKETING EXPERT ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT IN RISING STAR SIMPLY GOOD FOOD TV n
Due to an increased consumer appetite for foodie content, the B2B relationship of Simply Good Food TV and The Food Marketing Expert has entered into a new collaborative partnership with investment from The Food Marketing Expert in Simply Good Food TV. This will enhance the growth of both businesses, benefitting their respective clients hugely. Simply Good Food TV has seen rapid growth since its launch just under two years ago and this is showing no signs of slowing. They are on track to have over 1,000,000 users of the platform by the end of 2017, and new food and drink businesses are keen to become part of the family each month. The Food Marketing Expert, lead by Vhari Russell, started in 2012 a sales, marketing and PR agency.
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“We are delighted to have invested in Simply Good Food TV. It’s a natural partnership that will really help grow our customer’s businesses increasing their sales and brand awareness. Fresh and versatile content is a key factor in growth, as you can drive usage of the products and in turn increase sales”.
- Vhari Russell Managing Director of The Food Marketing Expert. “I am thrilled to be establishing a new collaborative working relationship with The Food Marketing Expert. By working together, we are offering brands and chefs a one stop professional solution in this complex digital marketing age”. Peter Sidwell founder of Simply Good Food TV. This partnership is an exciting opportunity for businesses and individuals in the food and drink industry to centralise their requirement for fresh content driven professional marketing. With its committed and collective resources, that play straight to the consumer, it is a winning combination, made with a view to building long-term, successful relationships with their clients.
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THE BLACK DIAMOND
ruth be told, I’m no expert when it comes to Truffles. I like truffle products and I like truffle as an ingredient, but I don’t know much more about what is likely the most expensive type of fungus around! France Truffes is a company who is made up by the very people who farm and collect the truffles themselves. This gives them the real advantage in that they really understand their products and the quality from them is simply exquisite.
THIS MONTH WE GET TOGETHER WITH PHILIPPE LISSART FROM FRANCE-TRUFFES TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FRENCH TRUFFLE!
JUST AN AROMA? Most products on the market will have ‘truffle aroma’ written on the ingredients, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have been made with real truffles and in fact there are many cases where this isn’t the case. Even if it is with real truffle, the percentage is low and sometimes vague. One key point about France Truffes is that their products are made with real truffles, handpicked. Also, they proudly display the percentage of the amount of truffle in a product too.
COMING TO THE UK The best news is that you can already start buying in France Truffes products, and stocking authentic French Truffle products for a good price and fantastic quality. Also, France Truffes may look to have a UK Distributor, however in the mean time, please do get in touch with them directly, you won’t regret it!
GENERATIONS PAST AND FOR THE FUTURE Truffles to France Truffes are more than just a business, they are a way of life and have been for their ‘Trufficulteurs’ and their families for centuries. It was a real pleasure to learn more about this side of how we find ourselves enriched with the taste of truffle, and this shows the pure passion and determination for the way of life that the Trufficulteurs follow.
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it weighed 90 grams and carried an odour that is not found anywhere else… only happiness. It’s peridium was made up of magnificent diamond tips, and after canning it, it’s black gleba showed superb white veining. We transformed and tasted it as a butter of truffle with several friends”
Working the land that has been part of the Rosa family since May 1610, writings depict how Jean (born 1797 and Anne knew how to endure the family tradition - to live off the nourishing earth that brought them so much. The place where the Rosa family reside is called Bosquet, which has a collection of trees and environment that is favourable to the truffle, which Bernard’s Grandfather started to discover in the 1930’s alongside his companion, Quiqui the pig. Bernard himself started in 2002 by planting a collection of trees, the first crop to pick wasn’t until 2007. This shows the level of patience and determination from the humble Trufficulteurs. Now, Bernard has planted over 4800 trees on the land and continues to be successful.
Alain became a Trufficulteur in 2005 and makes up part of the France Truffes team. After joining the Association of Trufficulteurs of Lot et Garonne, and after several educational gatherings around the ‘black diamond’, Alain decided to plant his own trees. Seven years later, Alain picked his first truffle – he recounts “It was a beautiful one of course! Very beautiful...
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JOEL & DANIEL SIMONET
Farmers since 1869, the Simonet family has worked the land in the town of Tournon D’Agenais, one of the most beautiful bastides of the Lot et Garonne. The family farm is located in the valley of Boudouyssou, whose name comes from the stream that crosses it, and extends to the top of a hill where for five generations they have found truffles. Joel, who is now 50 says - “Having started my own family, I waited for my son to be seven years old to pass on to him this wonderful heritage of discovering the truffle. It is at this precise moment of our life that we contemplated for the first time the beauty of this magical place, the valley of Boudouyssou and the bastide of Tournon, hoisted on its rocky peak.” Joel’s son Daniel, now 22 said “As his ancestors did, my father passed on to me the passion of the truffle. At the age of seven, I followed his steps in search of this precious fungus. He taught me to recognize and observe the suillia gigantea, a fly attracted by its very peculiar perfume, peculiar to the Périgord diamond. Being both amazed by this splendor, the idea has come to us to plant our first trees together, to be able to later pass on our common passion to our future generations.” l To get in touch with France Truffes, please go to www.france-truffes.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
HISTORY OF THE TRUFFLE l The truffle is a fungus of the tuber type, known and consumed for many centuries. Unlike a majority of fungi, it is the result of an underground fructification. It is called a hypogenous mushroom. The other fundamental feature of a truffle is the relationship it maintains with a tree. The truffle is the fruit of the mycelium living in the soil in connection with a tree. This mycelium is attached to the roots of the host tree by mycorrhizae. This relationship, called symbiosis, is beneficial to both partners: the tree gives the truffle the carbon it needs, the truffle increases the supply of mineral elements to the tree and helps it to withstand drought. From a biological point of view, the truffle is also referred to as an ascocarp. The latter is composed of an envelope forming the bark or ‘perdium’ and surrounding the flesh or ‘gleba’. The appearance and colour of the perdium, the colour of the gleba, and the smell of the truffle are the main criteria for identifying the different species of truffle. The inventory of species of hypogeal mushrooms was carried out by the Italian botanist Vittadini in 1831. This was completed by an Italian colleague, Mattirolo, in 1933. A total of more than 100 species of truffles were inventoried. Most of them have no gustatory interest. Among the species present on the French soil, seven species have appreciated aromas. The truffle of Perigord (Tuber Melanosporum Vitt.), Truffle brumale or musk (Tuber Brumale Vitt.), Truffle of the Saint John (Tuber Aestivum Vitt.), Truffle of Burgundy (Tuber Uncinatum Chatin), white truffle (Tuber Borchii Vitt or Albidum Pico), white truffle of Alba (Tuber Magnatum Pico) and mesenteric truffle (Tuber Mesenterium)
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FRANCE TRUFFES TRUFFLES BLACK PÉRIGORD TRUFFLE (TUBER MELANOSPORUM) SEASON Mid December to end of March
l Tuber melanosporum, more commonly known as the black truffle of Périgord , Tricastin, Norcia or Rabasse in Provence, is considered the queen of truffles. Its host trees are oak and hazel. Its dimensions can vary from those of a golf ball to those of an orange. Some specimens may nevertheless be much larger. The gleba is black with very fine marbling and very close. Its perfume is complex, rustic at the same time as subtle, powerful and of an extraordinary persistence. Its peridium is black, with shades ranging from brown to rust. Its outer envelope is covered with asperities whose regularity of angles makes one think of the facets of a cut diamond. For this aesthetic particularity as well as for its exceptional gastronomic qualities, Brillat-Savarin gave the name of “diamond of the gastronomy” to the black truffle.
TRUFFE BRUMALE (TUBER BRUMALE) SEASON Mid November to Mid March l Also known as musky truffle, it is
very similar to tuber melanosporum, with which it is sometimes confused. It rarely exceeds the size of an egg. Like the black truffle of the Périgord , the brumale loves limestone soils and grows in symbiosis with green oak, pubescent oak, hazel, but also beech, linden or charm. Much less sensitive to drought than its prestigious big sister, brumale is less rare than tuber melanosporum. Unlike the black truffle of the Périgord, its blackish peridium is never reddish before maturity. Diamonds, which are smaller, can easily be removed by brushing or nail-ing. Mature dark gray gleba has more marked and fewer white veins
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than tuber melanosporum. It has a very strong perfume and a very nice unique flavour. Tuber brumale is very appreciated by the pork butchers and for the manufacture of sauces and other truffled pâtés. TRUFFLE OF THE SAINT JOHN (TUBER AESTIVUM) SEASON June to the end of August
l The tuber aestivum, commonly called truffle of the Saint John or summer truffle affects the same soil as tuber melanosporum. It is very similar to the Burgundy truffle. The tuber aestivum grows in symbiosis with hazel, green oak, pubescent oak, charm, beech, linden and pine. The dimensions of the summer truffle vary from that of an egg to that of a large apple. The peridium is black with diamonds much more marked than those of the black truffle of Périgord . The gleba is hazel-coloured and marbled with white veins.
TRUFFE BLANCHETTE (TUBER BORCHII) SEASON February to the end of April
l Tuber borchii or tuber albidum is a species of truffle widespread in the south-western area in the wild. To grow, it chooses semi-covered environments and associates with trees like oak , beech, charm, hazel and lime... Little known to truffle growers, it begins to be cultivated in Aquitaine thanks to the insight of a great nurseryman. This truffle is widely used in international gastronomy for its characteristics very similar to the white truffle of Alba.
TRUFFE BLANCHE D’ALBA (TUBER MAGNATUM) SEASON Early October to the end of November
l The white truffle of Alba is traditionally harvested in Italy as the name suggests. But in autumn 2011, an exceptional discovery was made in Drôme: the tuber magnatum would be present in the French forests! Tuber magnatum can be found in sandy clay soils between 100 and 600 meters above sea level and near a river. It is to the doctor of Pico that we owe his botanical description. The white truffle of Alba lives in symbiosis
with poplars, willows, oaks and lime trees. Its weight oscillates between 50 and 500 gr. Its peridium is smooth and soft, yellowish in colour. Depending on the tree with which it grows, its flesh, crossed by fine white marbling, evolves from white to dark pink to brown hues. The tuber magnatum has a characteristic odour of garlic, shallot and cheese ... The specialists in gastronomy believe that the white truffle comes close to perfection with a gleba marked with rusty colours and an exceptional fragrance. It is a relatively rare truffle, hence its high price. TRUFFLE OF BURGUNDY (TUBER UNCINATUM) SEASON Mid September to mid December
l Also called truffle of Burgundy because of its main geographical location. The tuber uncinatum is very similar to the tuber aestivum but with a more pronounced odour and taste. It is a forest truffle and therefore more widespread. It is in symbiosis with a great variety of trees: oaks, hazels, charms, beeches and pines. It is also less demanding in terms of heat and soil quality. The peririum is black, the warts are less marked and the form is more regular. The colour of the gléba goes, depending on the ripeness, from brown to chocolate marbled with white. The taste of the tuber uncinatum is pleasant and is close to that of hazelnut with pronounced notes of undergrowth. Its qualities and its aroma make it a sure value in gastronomy.
MESENTERIC TRUFFLE (MESENTERIC TUBER) SEASON Early October to mid January
l The mesenteric truffle, truffle of Lorraine or Meuse is very black, of small size and includes a fairly marked dimple. The peridium is smoother than tuber incinatum. The flesh is chocolate-colored with white veins. Tuber mesentericum has a very characteristic odour, very strong and pronounced ranging from a bituminous scent especially before maturity to phenolic. After maturity, this truffle releases very powerful aromas of bitter almond or apricot kernel. Appreciated for its strength and character, it requires a precise dosage to scent terrines and sauces.
FRANCE TRUFFES RANGE
l As you can imagine with such a range of truffles from an incredible group of truffle farmers, there is plenty of products. Here’s an idea of what is in the range.
BORCHII WHITE TRUFFLE SAUCE
10% Truffle (Borchii) With this white spring truffle sauce, you will discover unusual flavours. It can be used on toast, pasta, rice and more. It can also be associated with meats accompanied by a red wine of character.
TRUFFLE AESTIVUM TOMATO SAUCE
15% Truffle (Summer Truffle) This tasty sauce is ready to be used in all your dishes such as risottos, pasta, bruschetta’s or an aperitif.
TAPENADE OF TRUFFLE AESTIVUM 15% Truffle (Summer Truffle) This tapenade can be consumed
on toast with an aperitif or hot as a seasoning of your cooked dishes. Rich in flavours it will delight all lovers of the truffle! Very much a summer/ Mediterranean feel.
TRUFFLE SALT MELANOSPORUM
2% Truffle (Perigord) It does well to accompany subtly soups, meats, pasta, rice, semolina, eggs and more.
AESTIVUM TRUFFLE SALT
2% Truffle (Summer Truffle) Perfect to season at the end of cooking grills, vegetables and salads.
OLIVE OIL / TRUFFLE MELANOSPORUM
2% Truffle (Perigord) This combination gives an excellent result on salads, but also fresh pasta, vegetables, meats, fish or crustaceans. Or why not a few drops on the pizza.
OLIVE OIL / TRUFFLE MAGNATUM
2% Truffle (White Truffle) This combination gives an excellent result on salads, but also vegetables, fresh pasta, meat, fish or crustaceans. Imagine, when this diva of a oil will release its aroma on your fresh pasta “al dente”, you will pass for a great chef with any guests.
BALSAMIC VINEGAR / TRUFFLE MELANOSPORUM
Perigord Truffle You can use this to give wonderful flavours to hot meat, pan-fried foie gras or a mixed salad. The modern kitchen combines it with other dishes much more curious and just as surprising as a Carpaccio of slightly salted strawberry. Surprise and wonder guaranteed.
WE INTERVIEW PHILIPPE LISSART TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT FRANCE TRUFFES So Philippe, can you tell us more about how the company was started? l The company was created by 5 truffle farmers, who decided to promote their production through different end products. Truffle is considered a luxury item here in the UK. Is the same for in France? l In France too, but mostly truffle has a mysterious and secret image and a lot of people don’t know anything about it. Some people compare truffle to caviar. So luxury is a good word! We love how you have created products using truffles. How did you decide on these products? l Firstly, all the members of the company love cooking and eating, not just truffle. That’s important because if you don’t love what you do, you can’t do good products. Here, in Lot et Garonne, we an say that we are a kind of expert in cooking some specific products like foie gras and pate’s. We tried and imagine products that people would love to have in their kitchen and easy to use, like sauces. Even the truffles are easy to use. Simpler is the cooking; more the truffle flavor is sublimated.
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What recommended uses would you be happy to share with us for your truffle products? l Never cook a truffle on a fire or oven. Just add the truffle at the last moment, just before you serve. For example: cook some pasta. When it’s cooked, put the pasta on a hot plate with butter and add the truffles. Put a cellophane lid on it and wait 2 minutes then serve and eat. No need to over complete Of course, chefs always invent new recipes with truffle, so you can easily imagine that you can do more expert cooking with it. How soon can stock be sent over to the UK from your company? l We can send any products that you can find on our website. We have a professional page and people from any country can easily contact us for prices and conditions. What is your favourite dish with truffle in? l I’m not sure… there are so many! But, if you insist that I choose one, truffle butter is something crazy to taste. Easy to do and you can add it with a lot of cooked dishes like pastas, rice, vegetables and meats etc…
We know that you work with several farmers who collect truffles, are they excited to see how the products take off in other countries? l Yes, and we hope to help young farmers to produce this magical mushroom. Today the world production is under the world demand, and I think it will stay like that for many years to come. Are you doing any UK trade shows this year? l Not this year, but we hope to develop the UK market in the future. We know that English people love good food, and good products so we’ll try to satisfy your truffle needs.
Lastly, can you give us just a couple of reasons why it’s important for a delicatessen to stock your truffle products? l It’s important to show that truffle isn’t just a Christmas product or a product that you only cook for a great event. It seems that truffles are so expensive and that’s half true. Our products use different kinds of truffles. Each of them have their own specific flavour and you’ll find the most expensive and the cheapest. So, you can easily eat truffle during all the year, our products are made for this reason.
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SALT COD FROM THE BEAUTIFUL SHETLAND ISLANDS THIS MONTH, WE BRING TO YOU SOME OF THE FINEST SALTED FISH YOU CAN BUY! A FAMILY BUSINESS STEEPED IN TRADITION FOLLOWING A HISTORIC WAY OF LIFE â€“ LET US PRESENT TO YOU THULE VENTUS
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hen casting our minds to the Shetland Islands, we think of the rugged landscape and the wild seas. Of which, the fishing community, has been a staple part of the Shetland Islands history for many centuries and is still central to the economy today. This is where we begin this story. HISTORY Over six hundred years ago, Hanseatic merchants from Germany were coming to Shetland to buy the finest salt cod in Europe. This ‘stockfish’ became the staple trade of the islands, finding customers as far away as Portugal and the Baltic. But for hundreds of years before the Hansa ships discovered salt Shetland cod, the islanders had been curing cod and other fish to feed themselves during the long, wild winters. Salted fish was laid out to dry on the pebble beaches with boys standing by to rush the drying fish inside if the rain started. It is from this basis and rich tradition that Thule Ventus started their family business. David Polson, owner of Thule Ventus grew up firmly alongside the traditions of his forefathers. Salting fish and mutton was a big part of his early life. His father would take him fishing in a traditional 17-foot wooden vessel, which would be rowed with just four oars. They worked the handlines and set lines for pollock, skate, mackerel, haddock and cod. Their catch would be salted, with some set aside fresh for supper. Having left school, David worked for the Island Ferries, where the Salt fish was a staple part of the diet, and part of every crewman’s right of passage was to know the art of salt curing. It is with his background and knowledge that David can bring, what he believes to be the finest cured cod available. All fish is landed by local boats on to the Lerwick or Scalloway fish markets in the early hours. It is filleted by lunchtime and salted by tea-time. The fish slowly absorb the salt and give up their moisture. The fish are checked regularly and once they have ‘taken enough salt’, the excess salt is removed and the drying process commenced. The process taking two months at least!
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PROVENANCE AT IT’S BEST The fishermen who catch the fish, like their ancestors, have come together as fathers, sons, neighbours and friends to form crews that own and operate their own vessels. They endure the worst sea conditions and weather imaginable to bring ashore some of the best seafood in the world. It is hard to find a product in our opinion with as much care and tradition put into it. SUSTAINABLY FOCUSED After two decades of sustain effort and sacrifice by Shetland nd other fishing communities, the cod stocks on the Shetland fishing grounds have recovered and are now able to be fished sustainably. There has been a huge reduction in the days a boat can be at sea and the amount that can be out fishing. The remaining vessels are now equipped with a larger mesh net which allows smaller fish and other varieties to escape and grow. This effort toward sustainability has created a good and sustainable stock level on the fishing grounds and allows this fantastic tradition to keep going. NOT JUST COD Thule Ventus also offer other fish species, such as Coley, Pollock, Link or Whiting and more, however if you get in touch with them directly they can advise on stock levels and availability.
EXPLAINING HOW TO USE THESE PRODUCTS TO YOUR CUSTOMERS There is a plethora of salt fish recipes from world-class chefs easily at your disposal, however the first bit of advice is here: Before cooking, you need to soak the fish in water for 24-hours or as directed by the recipe. This draws out most of the salt, leaving a delicate, unique flavour and texture. Simply place in water and change the water twice, making this the ultimate slow food. OUR OPINION OF THE BENEFITS OF STOCKING THULE VENTUS PRODUCTS Being that Salted fish is cured and packed, the shelf life is impressive at up to 9 months. This is a real advantage and for us, a huge benefit for a deli owner. With a great mark up on trade prices and no minimum orders, and a fantastic story to go along with the products, we would say these should be flying off your shelves. Overall, we love the new packaging and adding that to the former benefits we’ve mentioned, we’d think that these are serious contenders for shelf space – yes you heard that right, shelf not fridge space. Being ambient and being able to be stored with your other dried goods, these packages of delight are definitely worth it in our opinion. l Get in touch - Thule Ventus Ltd. Tel: +44 01950 477 787 Email: email@example.com
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admit it - I’m addicted to cheese. I thought I was able to cope, but with more and more great cheeses being brought out and finding gems like the Cheshire Cheese Company, It’s a struggle to not over consume this wonderful food item. After our brief love affair with The Cheshire Cheese Company when they sent us a valentines gift of a heart shaped cheese, it was a definite that they had to come and guest star in our cheeseboard in the last issue. Since then, and after finding out more about this interesting and forward thinking company, our relationship has blossomed further. You could say that the Cheshire Cheese Company’s range is eccentric, or unique – however, these buzzwords are a welcomed delight to us in the ever-busy cheese world. Walking along the line of cheeses on their stand at a trade show in the recent past, I felt as though I was either hallucinating or been on the gin samples a tad heavy – however that wasn’t the case as Laurence Bass said. Tucking into a slice of the El Gringo Chilli Lime Tequila cheese, and with a taste explosion happening, I was almost (almost) speechless. However, Laurence wasn’t done and my taste buds were in for a real workout. Next, I try some of the Jamaican Jerk Sauce Cheddar, then over to the Caramelised Onion & Rioja… my mind was going on overdrive, I wasn’t able to comprehend all these amazing flavours coming from mere cheese. Coming to the end of the journey, I sooth myself with the Irish Whiskey & Ginger Cheddar and finish up on my favourite, the humble Black Bob. What a journey, and this is one that you can easily take your customers on by stocking some of this fine dairy fayre. l
AFTER TAKING OVER OUR CHEESEBOARD LAST MONTH, WE WANTED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CHESHIRE CHEESE COMPANY
Tel: 0808 189 0725 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cheshirecheesecompany. co.uk
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HERE’S AN INTERVIEW WITH LAURENCE, SO THAT YOU CAN ALL FIND OUT A BIT MORE ABOUT WHAT IS FAST BECOMING ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PURVEYORS OF CHEESE! SO LAURENCE, TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT HOW IT ALL STARTED l Our business was started six years ago, when our two founders Simon & Richard, with a background in Sales & Graphic Design teamed up with David, our Cheese Maker, to create unique, interesting and fun ‘blended’ cheese truckles. Despite having no dairy experience, they had a passion for great food and in particular, artisanal cheese. Soon we were selling at local fairs, artisanal markets and had a growing online business with a burgeoning ‘Cheese Club membership’. I joined the business in late 2014 to open up business to Delis, Farm Stores, Cheese Shops, Garden Centres and Gifting Companies as we saw increasing demand and potential from this channel. Ironically, I had a background of only working in Food, more latterly with Tyrrells Crisps and Green & Black’s Chocolate but loved the quirkiness of the brand and the fantastic taste and delivery of the products. At the same time we opened up a couple of our own retail outlets under the ‘Cheese & Wine Emporium’ banners. HOW HAS THE RECEPTION BEEN TO YOUR RANGE BY DELICATESSENS SINCE STARTING? l Most delis love our range as it brings new flavours and variants into cheese. I think we as a nation are now really open to experiencing different taste sensations and combinations that maybe 15-20 years we wouldn’t have embraced. Our fun design and quirkiness allows us to bring some unique ingredients married with fantastic, artisanal cheese. The key for me is to ‘sample’ where possible as I know that as soon as consumers try our cheese, more often than not, we deliver on taste. Of course we do have some traditional cheesemongers and deli owners who are not fans of blended cheese and for that preference we have our award winning Extra Mature Cheddar, Vintage Cheddar and Traditional Cheshire.
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WE LOVE THE FACT YOU HAVE SOME RATHER INTERESTING FLAVOURS, WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS FROM FOR THESE? l We like to play around with flavour combinations and see if they work. We visit food shows, read food publications and blogs and see which ingredients would work and what’s either ‘on trend’ or ‘coming down stream’. Of course, some flavours just won’t work in cheese. We end up rejecting many flavours before we find the right balanced ones. WHAT ARE YOUR MOST POPULAR CHEESES IN YOUR RANGE? l Our most popular cheeses are our ‘Black Bob Mature Cheddar’ (named after the Black Bob cat) and our Caramelised Onion & Rioja Mature Cheddar. For our greatest fans / cheese club members, variants such as Tequila, Chili & Lime and Sticky Toffee Heaven are really popular.
WHAT SETS ASIDE YOUR MORE CHESHIRE CHEESE FROM OTHERS IN THE MARKET? l I believe a number of things are important for us as a business and brand. Firstly and most importantly, we have to produce great cheese that consumers love and the number of Cheese and Food Awards we’ve won over the past six years is testimony to that. Secondly, I believe our packaging is ‘stand-out, different and quirky’. Packaging will draw attention and potentially an initial sale but thereafter it’s whether the delivery and experience of our cheese is good enough to warrant a ‘repeat sale’. Our range is wide and varied so often the case, if you don’t like one variant, you’ll love one of the others. All our range is Vegetarian Society approved so can be enjoyed by a growing section of consumers. We love experimenting with local food & drink in our variants. For example our Old Hag Ale & Mustard uses Wincle Ale, which is brewed about four miles from us. Our latest Summer variant, Cheshire Cheese with Lemon & Forest Gin, uses a
local gin sourced from Macclesfield Forrest, which is, again just down the road from us. I think using these local flavours adds a bit of authenticity to our range. Some Deli owners compare us to the Snowdonia range, which has done exceptionally well over the past ten years. I like to think we are their irreverent, cheeky, young cousins who can offer something different and compliment their top sellers.
WE LOVE THAT YOU HAVE A WHOLE PAGE ON YOUR WEBSITE FOR RECIPES TO BE MADE USING YOUR CHEESES, WHERE DID THIS IDEA COME FROM? l We used to get so many questions at Artisanal Markets, Fairs and more latterly Trade Shows about how to use particular cheeses that we wondered what the best way to convey this was. Most ‘Foodie’ companies will offer this and it seemed only natural to us to offer usage tips and recipes to our followers to enhance their Cheshire Cheese experience. WHAT IS YOUR OWN PERSONAL FAVOURITE CHEESE AND WHY? l Our Caramelised Onion & Rioja Mature Cheddar is a must for me at weekends with a nice bottle of red wine. I also love our Cheshire with Black Pepper & Garlic, El Gringo Tequila, Chili and Lime Cheese.
ARE YOU PLANNING TO BRING OUT ANY MORE CHEESES IN THE NEAR FUTURE? l Yes, absolutely. As I said we’ve just launched our Cheshire, Lemon & Forest Gin for the Summer and we’re working on some great Autumn Specials at the moment.
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THE AABELARD APRON - A PROPER PIECE OF KIT!
he sun is shining, and it’s the day of our barbeque. Our guests are arriving from near and far, brandishing dishes of potato salad, trifle and wine. Suddenly I need to ensure they see me, and me alone as the barbeque champion that I like to think I am - the king of the grill. I rush to the kitchen cupboard and adorn myself with any self-professed barbeque kings outfit of choice – the tatty old striped apron. However, with getting much more involved in the kitchen of late, I have found myself in need of an apron more than just for my barbequing occasions. And now, the red and white striped, burnt and twisted apron feels tired, out-dated and obsolete. I feel that I would like a better piece of equipment, one more befitting of my newfound love of the kitchen. Roll on a few weeks and I visit Peter Sidwell from Simply Good Food TV in his studio and find myself suffering from ‘apron envy’ after spying him in his rather fantastic Aabelard creation. THE BACKGROUND Aabelard’s founder, Philippa, likes to feel ready for the day by putting on her apron. But she began to wonder why it wasn’t good enough for the demands she made of it, in the kitchen, the garden, or the workshop. Why, when she enjoyed clothes, did she have to cover them with something that didn’t look great? This conundrum led her to ponder more, and wonder where were the deep pockets, the long straps, and the generous cuts of fabric? Why all the floral prints and boring stripes? What if you’re particularly petite, or a taller, larger person? What was out there for men? Everybody needs aprons, but many avoid them because they’re not the most stylish of garments. Philippa designed her aprons, hand-made the prototypes and tested them herself until she found the perfect fusion of utility and style. Aprons that not only do the work you need them to do, but do it beautifully.
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AFTER EDITOR CHRIS MCNEILL FOUND HIMSELF GETTING ‘APRON ENVY’ RECENTLY, WE JUST HAD TO TELL YOU MORE ABOUT THE AABELARD APRON BRAND WHAT MAKES AN AABELARD APRON? From the waxed cotton fabric, to the double-faced soft Italian leather straps, these Aprons are pure quality. They use a densely woven traditional hand made Scottish waxed cotton, a fabric developed over years to suit the toughest rigors of outdoor life. The fabric itself has a dry finish, giving off a wonderful matt appearance, even more so than traditional waxed cotton. It’s water-resistant, durable and breathable. The natural characteristics of the fabric give it a slightly distressed appearance and a certain understated luxury. Moving on to the leather details and straps, Aabelard uses double sided soft Italian leather, coloured with soluble dyes and finished lovingly with a second waxed coating. The leather has its very own unique marks and tonal variation, which will age beautifully in time. A feature you can’t miss is the heavyweight antiqued brass buckles and fixings, which make the Aabelard apron as durable as it, is beautiful. They are also generously proportioned with no skimping on fabric, and as Philippa says “there’s nothing worse than an Apron that doesn’t go all the way!” The Aabelard apron is a perfect choice of garment for cooks, both home and professional, gardeners, hobbyists and perhaps even for the self professed barbeque king like myself. THE RANGE There are currently two aprons in the range, The Atelier and The Heritage. l The Atelier
Featuring a crossback strap to add a dash of style to this accessible, luxurious look. Long, caramel leather straps are double-faced to ensure comfort.
They stretch easily down over the shoulders and back, making this the perfect apron for those who prefer not to have a strap on their neck or those who want lots of freedom of movement. It’s also perfect for those with a larger chest. The soft leather breastplate with antiqued brass buckles defines this apron as a modern classic. Materials: • 280g 100% waxed cotton, dry finish • Full-grain, semi-analine Italian leather • Antiqued metal trims • 100% heavyweight cotton webbing
Features: • Fully adjustable, double-faced leather straps for a uniquely personalised fit • Double-seamed pockets for superb durability • Leather-backed rivets for additional pocket strength • Riveted tie-ends for superior finish • Wipe clean with damp cloth • Handcrafted in UK
l The Heritage
This traditionally styled apron is casual but smart. It features extra-deep, wrap-around pockets, strengthened with antiqued brass rivets. The full cut of the apron, combined with the wonderfully long ties means that it suits all sizes and can be easily tied at the back or brought around to the front. An adjustable leather neck strap has a Sam Browne stud enabling three different strap adjustments. The Aabelard signature buckled leather breastplate completes the look.
Materials: • 280g 100% waxed cotton, dry finish • Full-grain, semi-analine Italian leather • Antiqued metal trims • 100% cotton heavyweight webbing Features: • Double-faced leather neck strap with 3 adjustable settings and Sam Browne stud • Double-seamed pockets for superb durability • Leather-backed rivets for additional pocket strength • Riveted tie-ends for superior finish • Wipe clean with damp cloth • Handcrafted in UK WE INTERVIEW PHILIPPA TO FIND OUT MORE
So Philippa, tell us a bit more about how Aabelard Aprons came about? l Well, I’m sure that I’m not the only person who lives in an apron, but I literally wear one every day. As soon as I get home from the school drop off it’s like my work uniform. I stuff the pockets full; cook in an apron, garden in it, paint, fix and DIY in it. I use it for silversmithing which is one of my hobbies. The trouble was, I couldn’t find one that I really loved and that could work as hard as I do, so I decided to make one and so Aabelard was born.
We love that you use well-sourced materials to make your aprons, how do you source these? l I wanted to make sure that I really could guarantee an apron that would last a lifetime so to do that I needed to source the very best quality materials. The waxed cotton I use is from a Dundee-based manufacturer, established way back in 1864, that is one of the world’s leading waxed cotton fabric specialists. Their modern technologies allow me to use a specific velvety Superdry fabric that has all the water repellent properties of traditional waxed cotton without any of the stiffness, oiliness or odour. The leather is sourced from Italy and is supersoft and malleable and the antiqued brass fittings are manufactured specifically for Aabelard. All of these top quality materials are then handcrafted into the aprons by a small, family run manufacturer of bespoke and luxury leather goods in Grantham, Lincolnshire. How has the reception been to your aprons from the market? l The market reaction has been
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OUR VERDICT Another feature we love is that these aprons are customizable; you can even put your name or business name on them! Customers would find it hard to not be impressed if seeing you in one of these when entering your shop. Having some for sale would be the icing on the cake. These aprons may be luxury and things of beauty, however they are designed with the intention of being able to cope with the rigors of life and work. l www.aabelard.com great! It’s wonderful to be sent messages of thanks from customers who regularly send me pictures of themselves in their aprons and give me the lowdown on exactly what they get up to in their aprons. They’ve been termed the ‘Little Black Dress of aprons’ by the Daily Mail and were a Top Luxury Pick in Vogue. Food journalist, Tim Hayward says ‘he hopes to be buried in his.’ John Whaite and Cherish Finden are fans.
We feel that your aprons would make a brilliant product for our readers to stock, have you got many retailers offering your aprons? l Obviously, I think that Aabelard aprons are a great product to stock and we work closely with a limited number of specialist retail suppliers. If you’re the type of shop that like to source unusual products for your customers, especially looking ahead to the Christmas market then I’d love to hear from you. More than that though, a branded Aabelard Apron makes an outstanding first impression – if you want your staff to really stand out from the crowd, contact us and we’ll take through how to get your company logo debossed into the leather section of the apron.
It’s great to see your aprons making an appearance on various stages and cooking shows such as on Simply Good Food – has this helped raise awareness for your brand well? l Simply Good Food TV is such an awesome initiative and I can’t thank them enough for their support. Peter Sidwell has graced the screen in his Atelier apron which suits his height well and their team will be wearing branded SGTV aprons at festivals around the UK in the summer. I have to thank Vhari Russell for her introduction to the
Daily Mail for their recent article on ‘grillionaires’. Combine this with their Twitter competitions and you’ve got a wonderful platform for raising product awareness.
Although we would associate the apron in this magazine with cooking, what other uses do your customers have for your products? l You’d be amazed at what people get up to in their Aabelard aprons: fruit picking, bicycling repairs, basket weaving, pottery, painting, jewellery making, car maintenance, homesmoking, ‘shedding’, barbequing, hairdressing, street food selling. Oh, and they’re popular with tattooists! The list goes on and on. I think the secret is that these aprons really work for you in any situation. They’re incredibly durable, incredibly well made, wipe clean, insanely comfortable and they look great on both men and women.
Do you find yourself always in an apron because of your work as well as hobbies? l With my Aabelard apron, it’s so comfortable I forget I have it on – I usually wear the Atelier model, especially at shows, where the cross back design means there’s no weight on my neck so I can wear it for hours. Plus, as the waxed cotton warms to your body, it moulds to your shape making it even more comfortable. Do you have any plans to add more styles to your range in the near future? l In the near future, I hope Aabelard will start to curate a collection of other products that are Useful Made Beautiful to become the home of stunning and eminently usable items.
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l a e R e h TCOFFEE BEAN CO! WE MEET THE REAL COFFEE BEAN CO, THE BRAND WHO BELIEVES IN FAIR TRADE, NATURAL HARVESTING METHODS AND OVERALL A GREAT CUP OF COFFEE!
ne quiet evening I was happily tweeting away when I notice the brand name ‘The Real Coffee Bean Co’ and I instantly wondered if this was the same guys who started ‘The Real Basmati Co’, of which I am a fan. To my delight, this was to be the case, and I got in touch with Shahid to find out some more. The guys are real perfectionists, they strive to find the best and most natural products they can and will go as far as it takes to get them. This is what has seen them make a success of their Real Basmati Rice Co, and now the same with the Real Coffee Bean Co. Their desire to find products, which are naturally produced by traditional methods and their desire to give back to the community, is very admirable. The coffee that they have picked is all Fairtrade and hand picked. They only source from small holding farms, estates and cooperatives. Then, they actually roast the coffee here in the UK. They believe that not only is the quality of the beans superior, but the traditional methods used to cultivate the beans ensure that with every cup of their coffee, the consumer enjoys the taste of the sun-dried beans that have made it. Each bag also contains information
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on where exactly the beans were grown and harvested, which I feel is a really nice extra touch that many customers would enjoy seeing. Shahid explains “When you purchase a bag of coffee from us, you are not just helping us, you are also helping the farmers in the world get a fairer price for their hard work”
There is a lot of work that goes into a cup of coffee, more than many realise or appreciate. Let’s take a look at some of the process.
THE COFFEE PLANT Being a tropical plant, it requires a very narrow temperature range, striking the balance by not being too hot or too cold. Coffee plants grow in a range of soil types and prefer the more acidic soils that have good drainage, where regular pruning is also necessary to keep a productive tree. When the Coffee plant has developed and becomes a shrub with a straight trunk it will have dark shiny leaves that will grow along the branches in pairs. When the white flowers open, a strong yet refreshing scent will conquer your senses. SEED GROWING • When ripe, the fruits of the Coffee plant are red, though they can be orange, pink or yellow on some varieties. • These fruits take 7-8 months to ripen. • The best time to harvest the bean is when the fruit is a cherry red. • Harvesting is done by shaking the trees, forcing the tree to drop its fruit.
FRUIT SORTING • Once the coffee fruits have been collected the sorting process takes place, separating the ripe from the unripe. • The maturity of the fruits are distinguished by colour, where yellow means they’re not mature enough and black means they’re too mature. • Other visual defects are also sorted at this stage.
CLEANING PROCESS • The outer cases are removed once the fruits are ripe and can be done through several processes such as ‘Wet Processing’ or ‘Dry Processing’. • The cleaning process is used to remove the Silverskin, Parchment and Mucilage. • The Mucilage is removed straight away by coaxing microorganisms to eat it. The bean, still covered by the Silverskin and Parchment, is then dried in the sun. THE SELECTION PROCESS • A hard, green-blue bean is left of varying sizes. • Some beans may be broken and must be sorted to separate between the malformed and damaged seeds. • The seeds are separated by size, density and colour Once all this is done, they are bagged and ready to go!
BRAZILIAN COFFEE 100% Single origin Taste: High notes of peanut and chocolate with a smooth, medium body. Milk develops the flavour into tones of caramel. Roast: Medium Grind: The ground coffee is Omni-Grind. This is suitable to use in your filter-cup, chemex, cafetière, or other desired filter type. For an espresso machine you will need whole beans and then fine grind them.
COLOMBIAN COFFEE 100% Single Origin Taste: Medium roasted to produce a full, nutty flavour. Low acidity, toffee and butterscotch notes develop with milk. Roast: Medium Grind: The ground coffee is Omni-Grind. This is suitable to use in your filter-cup, chemex, cafetière, or other desired filter type. For an espresso machine you will need whole beans and then fine grind them.
HOUSE BLEND COFFEE Taste: Full bodied and full of flavour! Rich deep cocoa balanced by some sweet caramel notes and subtle roasted hazelnuts in the background. A smooth and creamy mouth feel with a long syrupy finish. Roast: Medium Grind: Our ground coffee is Omni-Grind. This is suitable to use in your filter-cup, chemex, cafetière, or other desired filter type. For an
espresso machine you will need whole beans and then fine grind them. l
Email: email@example.com Web: www.therealcoffeebeanco.com
WE INTERVIEWED SHAHID MEHDI TO FIND OUT MORE So Shadid, what made you start The Real Coffee Bean Co? l We had launched the Real Basmati Rice Co a few years ago, and felt there were not enough smaller independent quality coffee brands out there. (Also we love our coffees, we have to get our coffee fix) We saw not many coffee companies were using natural methods to harvest coffee. Also there’s a growing market in speciality coffee. How has the reception been to the brand from other retailers? l We have had a very good reception from retailers and coffee shops; they love the natural bags and the Fair trade aspect. We have had many referrals. There is a lot of traction from the brand and interest. We are getting daily enquiries from coffee shops and deli. What makes your coffee different to other coffee companies? l All our coffees are Roasted in the U.K, I think what sets us apart is the harvesting techniques used. All out coffee beans are naturally sundried in the open as supposed to with machines. What you find is the natural taste and characteristics of the Brand comes out.
30 seconds with a poor extraction! But there are some incredibly skilled baristas out there who know their craft
How do you select your coffee beans?
l We buy our coffee based on taste, if
the coffee doesn’t taste good, we don’t want it. We assess the coffee at different stages of the supply chain to make sure we have a consistent cup, and that we actually receive what we have bought. This includes tolerances for moisture levels, defect counts and, of course, taste. We like to source sustainably too; a lot of our coffees are from certified farms which gives us peace of mind that we are doing our bit for the community and the environment.
What is your idea of a perfect cup of coffee? l For us it’s balance. Whether it’s a black Americano, or a frothy cappuccino, it needs to have a good balance. On your journey to finding the ultimate cup of coffee, have you come across many bad ones? l Lots! Unfortunately, we know just how many people are involved in the coffee supply chain. From the farm owners, to the pickers, to the exporters and the roasters. And this whole process can be ruined in under
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Can you tell us more about why you picked Colombian and Brazilian beans? l We chose Columbian coffee as it is known for well balanced coffee beans. And it’s has the perfect geography for growing some great tasting coffees. Brazilian - there are 3 main growing regions that produce some of the best coffee in Brazil, and the oldest growing regions is Mogiana where our Fair Trade coffee is sourced from. This area is known for its rich red soil, which produces some great sweet, well rounded coffees. Your house blend is fantastic, how did you come up with this? l Trial and error. We knew we wanted a good, punchy roast and tiny bit of Robusta to help it work through milk. But there is a high percentage of good quality Ethiopian in there which gives it lovely subtle, floral note as well. Are you looking to bring any new products to market in the near future? l Yes we are planning to add new coffees to the mix, more Fair trade coffees from Kenya, Ethiopia ,Italy and Java to name a few. We are also looking at adding Nespresso tablets to our line. Lastly, what advice would you give to our readers about picking coffees for their shelves? l I would state look for speciality coffees preferably Fair trade as you are helping smaller farmers around the world.
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Rules FOR COOKING PASTA ANYONE CAN COOK PASTA BUT ARE YOU FOLLOWING THE RULES FOR THE BEST COOKED PASTA? DID YOU KNOW THERE WERE EVEN RULES FOR COOKING PASTA? READ ON…. THE GOLDEN RULE FOR l COOKING PASTA IS 1, 10, 100. That is 1 litre of Water and 10 grams
of Salt for every 100gs of Pasta. This means starting with a large tall pot filled with cold water and placed on a high heat, but why so much salt? Salt is there to bring out the natural flavours of the pasta and does not significantly increase the salt in the final recipe, most will end up down the plug hole. Italians say that pasta water should taste like the sea in order for it to be properly seasoned. Bring the water to a fast boil and then add the salt. There is actually a scientific reason for when to add the salt! Salt raises the boiling point of water and so it will take longer to boil if added before. With the water boiling and the salt added it is time to add the pasta. Never add pasta to cold water and bring to the boil! As you might expect there is a reason for this; tepid water allows the starches to breakdown before the proteins ‘set’ the pasta, the result a pasty pasta without character, as the Italians might say. There is no need for any type of oil. Sufficient boiling water (1litre to 100gs) and stirring will prevent the pasta sticking together. Whilst oil may prevent sticking, it does remain on
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the surface of the pasta and as a result the sauce will slip off and will not be absorbed into the pasta, which is not what anyone wants! Once the pasta is added bring back to the boil and cook in boiling water for the time on the pack. It is best to check as well by breaking the pasta and checking the inside two minutes before the cooking time is up. A white centre vein means uncooked pasta, when this has almost disappeared it is ‘Al dente’ and excellent Italian pasta is always served ‘Al dente’! Taste 2 or 3 times during the cooking. When it is time to drain the pasta from the water, an important rule is to always save some of the cooking water. Also it is important to note that the pasta does not need to be rinsed. Once drained it is time to add the pasta to the ready prepared hot sauce; that way round, and not the sauce to
the pasta. The saved cooking water can be added to the sauce, a little at a time, to make it creamier and bind better with the pasta as you toss in the pasta, that’s if it’s needed. If you are adding the pasta to sauce consider that 2 minutes in a pan with sauce is like 1 minute in boiling water. A good quality pasta like Garofalo can be served and enjoyed without a sauce. Let me introduce you to Spaghetti Aio e Oio, Spaghetti with just Garlic and Oil, a loved spaghetti recipe in Italy and a life saver whenever the fridge is worryingly empty. It is simple to make and very tasty if the spaghetti is premium quality, like Garofalo. Garofalo offers a wide variety of pasta shapes and it is up to us and our imagination match the right taste to the right pasta shape and not limit our creativity and always create something extraordinary. So remember: Boil water, add salt, add pasta and creativity. l
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