Our Blog Has Moved

29 August 2014

Savoury Seedy Crackers

Photo: © childsdesign
***
These crispy seedy crackers are so simple to make, it seems almost insane to go and buy something similar from the shops. Plus you can flavour them with almost any seed you like. We've used caraway seeds, but sesame, poppy, fennel or even cumin seeds would also be excellent additions – it very much depends on what you prefer.
Linseed meal is included too for extra flavour and it's good for you as well. We wonder if that cancels out the naughtiness of the lavish amounts of cheese we like to eat with these crackers?

View recipe

Photo: © childsdesign

28 August 2014

Alan Coxon flies the flag for Great British food

We're very pleased that AFT member, Alan Coxon has been appointed as ambassador for food drink by the UK Government. This could yield some superb opportunities for The Artisan Food Trail and its members, not to mention the rest of the UK’s artisan food and drink producers.

Alan Coxon met at Number 10 Downing Street and the Prime Minister’s office where he was invited to assist in the Government’s international GREAT Britain campaign.

Alan says, “I am honoured and extremely proud to be a part of the GREAT Britain campaign and I hope that my involvement will make an impact and a difference for the British food, beverage and tourism industries.”

Alan Coxon’s skills and experience as a multi award-winning chef, culinary innovator, TV presenter, author and food archaeologist makes him the ideal candidate to represent and promote the British food, beverage and tourism industries as part of the GREAT campaign.

Working closely alongside Visit Britain, the national tourism agency and UK Trade and Investment, the campaign will involves Alan where he is be helping to promote and expose British food and drink around the world, with the aim of increasing awareness and generating export opportunities.

Alan remarked, “Wherever I go around the world I love to extoll the virtues of our GREAT British culinary heritage; where every ingredient has a place of birth and every recipe a creator. We have a fantastic menu of dishes that have travelled the globe and evolved through the centuries that remain truly GREAT today.”

Over his 30 year career in the industry, Alan Coxon has made numerous important contacts which he will be using to his advantage, having worked in leading hotels and Michelin starred restaurants across Europe, cooking for royalty, heads of state and stars of stage, screen and music.

In addition, Alan will be wearing his ‘Food Archaeologist’ hat helping to promote the culinary heritage within British Tourism.

Alan added, “I am looking forward to working with all the partners involved in the GREAT Britain campaign that are pro-actively working towards making a positive difference around the world and allowing me this opportunity to assist and represent my country in this way.”

At The Artisan Food Trail we’re also looking forward to this campaign and wish Alan every success in carrying it forward on behalf of Britain’s food and drink industry.

Objectives of the GREAT Britain campaign
The over-riding objective of the GREAT Britain campaign is to generate jobs and growth for the UK economy. The campaign generated £500m for the UK economy in its campaign’s first year, and an estimated £600–£800m in 2013/14.

The campaign contributed to:

  • A record year for British tourism in 2013.
  • Significant increases in applications for undergraduate study in the UK from target markets like India, USA and Brazil.
  • More than 1100 UK companies receiving support for their export plans.
  • Nearly 600 new inward investment leads, which led to five companies establishing new operations in the UK.

Useful links
Alan Coxon on The Artisan Food Trail
www.gov.uk/britainisgreat
www.visitbritain.org
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-trade-investment
www.greatbusiness.gov.uk

26 August 2014

Packing heat and flavour too: Capsicana's Habanero Sauce

We've been working our way through the range of chilli sauces from Capsicana Chilli Co  each one living up to our expectations and the same can be said for the Habanero Sauce.

The Habaneros is a chilli which sits at the higher end end of the heat ratings and ranks from 100,000 to 350,000 on the Scoville scale. That's pretty darn hot and Capsicana give it a 'five chillies' graphic on the label as a warning before you liberally douse your food with it.

That said, it isn't just all about heat. Admittedly the Habanero does have a prickle which creeps up but it is the flavour that's astounding. A real kick of fresh fruitiness is exciting on the palate like freshly zested lime. It really has instant wow, and that heat? Well it is quite capable of slapping you around the face like an incensed Señorita but the sting subsides soon enough leaving you wanting more.

The Habanero Sauce taste so fantastic, don't just use it as a table condiment, make it an essential ingredient too. Even the merest amount has the ability to carry a lot of flavour, so if you're a little shy of too much fire in your food, the sauce stands up well in the merest of quantities.
Use in marinades, add to sauces, casseroles, soups, baked beans or whatever you fancy.

Being 100% handmade in small batches in the UK, made with fresh Habanero chillies, contains no artificial ingredients is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, the Habanero Sauce gets our seal of approval.

We are pleased to award Capsicana Chilli Co our 'Artisan Food Trail Approved' status for their Habanero Sauce.


To find out more about Capsicana Chilli Co visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here. You'll find links to their website where you can buy the sauces online.

22 August 2014

AFT members exhibiting at Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2014

Speciality & Fine Food Fair is the leading UK trade event that exclusively targets food and drink buyers from the speciality and artisan food industry.

Taking place at London Olympia on 7th – 9th September, the 2014 show will be packed with exciting new products and will also feature cooking demos, seminars and business forums.

Set within Speciality & Fine Food Fair, the Speciality Chocolate Fair is a showcase of luxury and gourmet chocolate. Source products from around 65 fine and artisan chocolate producers from the UK and the rest of the world.

The Artisan Food Trail is not exhibiting this year but we are planning to visit as this is one of the many trade events that gives us the chance to catch up with some of our members as well as meet other artisan food and drink producers.

It looks like we're going to have jam-packed day as there are no less than 17 of our members exhibiting! With numbers like that, there's the potential for The Artisan Food Trail to have its own area next time. That's something we'll need to talk to the event organisers about to check the feasibility of such a thing.

We've created a handy table, below, which includes the AFT members exhibiting at the show.
If you're visiting and are a business looking to source the best artisan food and drink we invite you to visit our member's stands to discuss your requirements.

Exhibitor Details Stand AFT Approved Products
Breckland Orchard
Multi award winning boutique soft drinks – aka Posh Pop. Flavours include Ginger Beer with Chilli, Elderflower, Plum & Cherry and Cream Soda with Rhubarb. The drinks contain no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. Gently carbonated to let the flavour really come through. More details…
1158
Cambridge Muffin Company
“Amaizing Muffs”, scrumptious gluten-free savoury muffins in 6 sensational flavours. A versatile wholesome wheat-free savoury snack, free from preservatives. See their exciting new product range (available ambient, chilled and frozen) can be used by catering, events and retail professionals.
V42
Capsicana Chilli Co
Supplies a flavoursome range of handmade chilli sauces into independent retailers throughout the UK. Also have a broad range of dried, smoked and powdered chillies supplied into retail and in bulk quantities for caterers/manufacturers.
More details…
V100
Ceylon Tearooms
Offers exquisitely exotic chutney condiments and beautifuly fragrant herbal tea. The business is guided by the principles of the ancient art of Indian Ayurveda Cooking and uses this knowledge to masterfully create taste sensations which are made locally but for global taste buds.
V116
Yes
Emmett’s of Peasenhall
Emmett's has been making ham and bacon since 1820 and held a Royal Warrant for over 35 years for their signature Suffolk Black hams. All production takes place in Peasenhall where the original smokehouses are situated.
V128
Filbert’s Fine Foods A multi award winning company producing all natural gourmet snacks (available in both retail and food service packs). As well as their ever popular air roasted nuts, try the new range of Pocket Snacks and Tasty Seeds.
More details…
434D
Fudge Kitchen
Hand-crafting their special recipe fudge for over 30 years using traditional methods. The fudge is devilishly different to anything tasted before. Visit and sample some of their deliciously different flavours. The range also includes luxury sauces, drinking fudge and make at home kits.
More details…
151
Great Glen Charcuterie
Artisan producer of wild venison charcuterie based in the Highlands of Scotland. Using local wild venison to produce a range of charcuterie such as salami, chorizo, pepperoni and bresaola. More details…
419
The Kandula Tea Company
Importers of premium whole leaf teas and infusions from the ethical tea plantations of Sri Lanka. Taking an innovative approach, working closely with their tea blenders to create a collection of rare green and white Single Estate teas, classic Orange Pekoe blends and spiced fruit and herbal infusions.
More details…
1063
Love at First Bake
Based in Mid Wales, a dedicated, gluten free bakery producing delicious, handmade sweet and savoury products including, layer 'share' cakes, mini 'single serve' loaf cakes, sweet and savoury muffins. Every recipe is developed to ensure that all can enjoy, not just those living with gluten intolerance or wheat allergy.
625
Yes
Morton’s Traditional Taste
Norfolk smokehouse sourcing the best local ingredients combined with age old techniques to produce award winning smoked poultry.
Products include oak smoked chicken and oak smoked Gressingham duck
Also available year round, free range slow grown chickens and Bronze turkeys for Christmas. More details…
V13
Nila Holden
Artisan bakery and proud suppliers to Fortnum & Mason specialising in decorative & personalised cakes and cookies for weddings, gifts and corporate occasions.
Will be launching new seasonal cookie collections at the show.
V85
Primrose’s Kitchen
Makers of award winning gluten free raw vegetable muesli using the finest ingredients such as gluten free oats and 22% raw vegetables as well as beneficial seeds.
The range has also been extended to include to raw almond butters with hemp and chia and superfood smoothie blend powders for optimum health.
V109
Simply Ice Cream
Hand made luxury award winning ice cream made in the heart of Kent using natural ingredients sourced locally. Available in over 31 flavours in the retail range and many bespoke flavours in the foodservice range. Hand whisked and potted giving the ice cream a rich smooth consistency, truly heavenly! More details…
1152
That Hungry Chef
Britain's best-travelled chef, Pratap Chahal, brings over a decade's experience of working in London's top restaurants to his first venture as That Hungry Chef. From the Curious Curries Collection to the Mojo Risin' range, Taste the flavour revolution about to take over Britain!
V107
Truffle Hunter
Makes a full range of truffle products and supplies the finest fresh truffles to restaurants, food hallls, delis and the gourmet chef at home. Based in Gloucestershire the range includes truffles oil, honey, salt, mustard, pasta, butter and various preserved truffle jars. More details…
1038
Wild at Heart
Bringing an array of award-winning relishes, jellies, fruit cheeses, jams and a pesto to the table all based on traditionally wild English fruits and leaves. Made by hand as you would at home with nothing you wouldn't find in your own kitchen.
530F
Yes

For more information about the Speciality & Fine Food Fair visit the website: www.specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk

18 August 2014

Aromatic Chilli Beef

Photo: © childsdesign
***
It has to be said that we are lovers of spicy food. It doesn’t have to be ragingly hot but the flavour is definitely number one on the list.
This recipe uses three types of dried chillies which have their own unique flavours and fruity characteristics and when combined with Indian spices marry so well with beef.

There’s certainly nothing ‘authentic’ about the recipe but it does taste darn good. We suppose this is what you get when Mexican meets Indian.

View recipe

12 August 2014

Well done to AFT members winning in the 2014 Great Taste Awards


We would like to congratulate all our Artisan Food Trail producers who entered the Great Taste Awards 2014* and won gold stars for their excellent produce. 


16 producers… 35 awards… 47 stars!

Here they are:

Producer Product Stars
Alder Tree Gooseberry & Limoncello 3
Alder TreeStem Ginger & Rhubarb 2
Alder Tree Summer Pudding Parfait 1
Alder Tree Blackcurrant 1
Alder Tree Summer Fruits 1
Alder Tree Tayberry 1
Alder Tree Damson Gin 1
The Artisan Smokehouse Smoked British Beef Fillet 2
The Artisan Smokehouse Free Range Smoked Duck 1
The Blackface Meat Company Pheasant Stuffed with Blackface Haggis 1
Breckland Orchard Elderflower Posh Pop 1
Breckland Orchard Ginger Beer with Chilli Posh Pop 1
Ceylon Tearooms Sweet Kandy: Liquorice Herbal Tea 1
Great Glen Charcuterie Black Pepper Venison & Pork Salami 1
Great Glen Charcuterie Venison Chorizo 1
Hafod Welsh Organic Cheddar (Holden Farm Dairy) Hafod 1
The Hungry Guest New York Cheesecake 2
The Hungry Guest Lemon Marmalade 1
The Hungry Guest Granola 1
Love at First Bake A Little Bit of Passion Cake 1
Love at First Bake Chocolate Marshmallow Cake 1
Morton's Traditional Taste Twice Smoked Gressingham Duck Breast 1
Morton's Traditional Taste Twice Smoked Chicken Crown (Cooked) 1
Samphire Rare Breed, Free Range Pork Pie with Onion Marmalade 1
Simply Ice Cream Blackcurrant Sorbet 2
Simply Ice Cream Christmas Pudding Ice Cream 2
Simply Ice Cream Chocolate Ice Cream 1
Simply Ice Cream Honeycomb Ice Cream 1
Truffle Hunter English Truffle Oil 1
Truffle Hunter Black Truffle Salt 1
Wild at Heart Elderflower Jam 1
Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars Golden Raspberry & Apache Chilli Vinegar 3
Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars Raspberry Vinegar 3
Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars Orange & Mace Vinegar 1
Yare Valley Oils Oak Smoked Rapeseed Oil 2

Did you know that we have 
our very own awards system?
Take a look at our Artisan Food Trail Approved 
products and producers here

* The Great Taste Awards are run by the Guild of Fine Food which is not related to The Artisan Food Trail. We like to list the AFT members that have won as we're very proud of their achievements.

10 August 2014

Artisan Food Trail featured in Country Homes & Interiors magazine

Our telephone rings often, mainly with welcome enquiries and sometimes sales calls, but one April afternoon there was a call from a journalist writing for Country Homes & Interiors magazine.
She had been asked to contact us regarding a piece to be included in the
'10 Ways to Make Life Lovely' section and wanted to interview me on how
The Artisan Food Trail works in finding the best food producers from a consumer perspective.

Click photo for larger image
In certain situations I can be a little nervous but to have the chance to talk about food and The Artisan Food Trail will usually bring me out of my shell, so I was excited to grasp the opportunity.
Published in the September 2014 issue, although not a big article, the snippet explains very well, just how people can use the The Artisan Food Trail to find the best food producers throughout the UK.

I am so thrilled we have been noticed and given this kind of publicity, it means so much to me and makes the journey, getting this far, very worthwhile.

Lisa Childs, 
Founder – The Artisan Food Trail

4 August 2014

Competition! – Win a place on a 'Grow Your Own Fruit & Veg for Autumn & Winter' Workshop with Roots Shoots & Leaves

Photos: © childsdesign
*** 
We're very pleased to offer you the chance to win a place on a Grow Your Own Fruit & Veg for Autumn & Winter workshop with Artisan Food Trail member Roots Shoots & Leaves.

The workshop will be held on Saturday 27th September 2014 at the RSL HQ
in Hampshire.

The workshop looks at the sowing, planting and maintenance of fruit and vegetables for Autumn and Winter. This is a practical hands-on course, so you'll be getting your hands dirty learning the skills and techniques that will help you in your own garden over this time of year.

So if you want to learn more about growing your own fruit and vegetables why not enter the competition. There's just a simple question to answer and we'll draw a luck winner from the correct entries.

Sorry this competition has now closed

Competition! – Win a place on a Gourmet Herbs Workshop with Roots Shoots & Leaves

Photos: © childsdesign
***
We're very pleased to offer you the chance to win a place on a Gourmet Herbs workshop with Artisan Food Trail member Roots Shoots & Leaves.

The workshop will be held on Saturday 13th September 2014 at the RSL HQ
in Hampshire
You will be shown how to choose the right herbs for your garden and how herbs can enhance your cooking as well some as more unusual concoctions. Make herb vinegars, butters and oils.

So if you want to learn more about herbs why not enter the competition. There's just a simple question to answer and we'll draw a luck winner from the correct entries.

Sorry this competition has now closed

3 August 2014

Mr Filbert’s French Rosemary Almonds Approved

Photo: © childsdesign
***   
Of all the garden herbs, rosemary has to be one of our favourites with its heady fragrance and wonderful aromatic flavour. There’s nothing like a good sniff of rosemary to lift the spirits and clear the head.
It complements lots of different foods too especially lamb but is equally good with chicken, roasted vegetables or even fish. It only takes a little sprig of rosemary to infuse a dish because the leaves are so full of oils.

Read full review

We are pleased to award Mr Filbert's our 'Artisan Food Trail Approved' status for their French Rosemary Almonds.


To find out more about Filbert's Fine Foods visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here.