This week the NEC was taken over by over 400 independent food producers for the Farm Shop & Deli Show. I went along to see what was new, and just what was god damn tasty: here’s what I found….
In no particular order, my top 10 finds from the show (if you’re hungry, look away now):
I tried all twenty of their incredible pots of greatness, and wow, these sauces are PACKED with flavour! Andre Dang, creater of Manfood, insisted that I try only proper ‘mansized’ samples of these to get the real impact, and I was impressed: there wasn’t one I didn’t like. The range includes cocktail based jams, chutneys, sauces and beer jellies.
2. Funky Nut Co
I tried quite a few different peanut butters at the show, but Funky Nut Co won hands down. I LOVE their range of flavours. No strange ingredients or weird combinations, every flavour I tried just worked. I came away with tubs of unsalted, honey and sea salt (yum) and spicy salt & pepper (just yes) – I can’t wait to start experimenting with how these can be used. And the packaging is just brilliant. Love.
3. Jaz & Jul’s
A sip of their hot chocolate, and it’s like you’ve been slapped around the face with a big slab of dark chocolate. I mean, there are no words.
Now I’ve seen a few different synthetic cocktail slushes in the supermarket freezer cabinets, but Laura’s sorbets at Lushice are the real deal. Flavours include Mojito, Piña Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri and Margarita, and I honestly couldn’t choose a favourite. Oh ok, maybe the Strawberry Daiquiri, but it’s a close call.
Makers of fruit and herb vinegars, Womersley has been going since 1979. How I hadn’t heard of them before now is beyond me: I must have been living in a cave or something, as their vinegars are the best I have ever tried. No harsh, rough vinegar flavours here. Each one is beautifully perfumed, flavoured and packaged. I’ll be ordering the entire collection over the summer to try out.
Spicy Rice Flour Sticks, Crispy Puri and amazing Chutneys – this is my kind of food! I could have quite happily anchored myself to their stand for the whole day.
7. The Sauce Queen
Made by the brilliant Elys Poppy, her range of sauces taste like they’ve just come out of the pan after hours of preparation and love. I normally find pre-made sauces, especially cream based ones, quite flat, and well, boring. These are the exact opposite. They are delicious and you should try them. The peppercorn sauce is to die for.
8. Big Fish Brand
I mean just look at those gorgeous little boats of salmon loveliness. I sampled every one. Salmon in Sticky Maple, Sweet Chilli, formed into delicious Fishcakes and loads more. Their salmon is packed so that it can be cooked, as it is, fuss free.
9. Mama’s Food
Brought to the UK by the lovely Annie Flower, these jars of Ajvar, Malizzano and Wild Figs with Walnuts are a dream. Watch out for some new recipes using these, on my blog soon.
10. Duke Of Delhi
Delicious, spiced chocolate combined with crunchy Duke of Delhi Bombay Mix, these little buttons of chocolate are stunning. My favourite was the Milk Chocolate, Cardamon and Vanilla. And the Milk Chocolate with Indian Cinnamon. And the Dark Chocolate and the Toasted Coconut. And the rest.
The Farm Shop & Deli Show was SUCH a great way of discovering new brands and producers to share with you all. There’s something very special about talking to the very people who have worked so hard to bring their products to life to be enjoyed by the masses. I had a ball.
The Farm Shop & Deli Show is a trade only event and entry is free. I registered for my own ticket and all opinions are my own.