Sometimes it’s really difficult to find handmade, speciality foods created by people who cherish their ingredients and concentrate on small production runs where quality over quantity is paramount. Foods like these you usually only find in delis and farm shops, and virtually never in supermarkets. It’s a real pity because it means you can miss out on some remarkable products.
A couple of weeks ago we exhibited at the Speciality Fine Food Fair in London. It’s a fabulous fair, but sadly it’s only open to the trade. However, it’s a great place to spot hidden foodie gems and we are delighted to share with you our favourite brands in the hope that you can find them too, either in a farm shop or on line.
This family run firm was set up in 1973 and is based in Nottinghamshire. It is the sole producer of Alderton ham, which has won numerous awards including the Millennium Speciality Food Tasting Award for ‘Best Ham’ and Supreme Champion, beating over 1,100 varied products from around the world. The company also sells a range of mouth-watering pates, from wild boar through to smoked salmon.
Olives Et Al
Specialising in stuffed, marinated and pitted olives of the highest quality and taste, this Dorset based company is renowned for its imaginative product combinations such as olives with cumin, coriander and cardamom. It also supplies a wide selection of salad dressings, antipasti, nuts and snacks. We also love its stock of olive wood kitchen serving accessories.
Few companies can boast that they regularly achieve three gold stars in the annual Great Taste awards, but this one certainly can. This year alone they won the top accolade for their Potted Trout, Potted Grouse and Potted Wild Boar products. Moreover, their potted Wild Boar with Smoked Ham Hock and Sherry has just been rated amongst the top 50 food products in Britain.
With over 120 different curds, jams, marmalades and fruit coulis to choose from, Thursday Cottage gets the prize for being one of the most inventive food producers out there. It’s just won six Great Taste gold awards, in particular for one of our favourite preserves – Gooseberry Jam with elderflower. It also produces a range of sugar-free products which are ideal for diabetics.