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27 April 2016

A Blossoms Syrup fruit explosion

Photos: © Blossoms Syrup
Blossoms Syrup sent us an array of fruit syrups to test which have been keeping our taste buds occupied with a kaleidoscope of fruit flavours.
From vibrant berries through to tropical delights, Aude Dupont Dudley, of Blossoms Syrup has captured the concentrated essence and pure flavour of real fruit.

Aude says:
“They are best used in drinks, desserts and drizzled on anything that requires explosive fruit flavours. Try them for yourself and you will soon realise what you have been missing.”

We have to agree, and if you’ve ever tried a mass-produced ‘fruit’ ice cream syrup, it will simply pale in comparison to a Blossoms creation. Admittedly, a Blossoms syrup has a higher price tag, but a little goes a long way.

Aude sent us small samples of each (except for one in the 100ml bottle size) so although we don’t have quite enough for multiple recipes, we are able to try them out as drizzles to get the full effect of their flavour. Some we’re mixing into drinks or stirring into yogurt. We’re also thinking of pouring over homemade pancakes or waffles for a weekend breakfast.

So let’s go through them all…

The aroma is hay-like, almost herbal conjuring up memories of walking down a country lane on a late summer evening.
The flavour is rich and deep, almost savoury with hedgerow undertones.
Drizzle over some soft cheese slathered on a digestive biscuit and you’ll have instant cheesecake.

Wonderfully fragrant smell with a jammy, perfumed and tangy flavour.
There are definite floral notes much like violets.
It would be superb with anything chocolatey or creamy, maybe a white chocolate soufflé or mousse.

Think of how your hands smell after picking lots of strawberries. That is what instantly hits the nose with this syrup, taking you to summer afternoons.
Like the raspberry it’s fragrant and super jammy but with a hint of caramel and faint spiciness.
It would be good drizzled over other fruits such as melon or oranges.

Sour Cherry
Pleasingly, this syrup has a wonderful almond smell and on tasting we experienced a flavour explosion that is true to a luscious ripe cherry. Nice sour tang and a pleasant bitter, slightly tannic back note.
Cherry loves chocolate, of course, so how about putting some on a chocolate brownie? Or odd as it may seem, with coffee cake. For a savoury meets sweet moment, drizzle over goat’s cheese with walnuts.

A little wild plum that packs a punch, the Sloe Syrup has herbal aromas coupled with the deep flavour and perfect sourness you’d expect from a hedgerow fruit.
Seem obvious, but add to gin. Very handy when you don’t have sloe gin to hand, you can make it in an instant!

Even if you’re not a rhubarb lover, we think you may like this syrup. A sweet/sour sherbet-like combination with aromatic candied strawberry notes and the fruitiness of a cooking apple. Not bad for a vegetable stalk.
Being partial to a drink now and then, we may try a drop in some vodka. For a meaty moment this syrup would make a great glaze for roast lamb, ham or pork. You could Try Blossoms Syrup’s recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken.
This is the sample that we received in a big bottle so look out for some of our recipes using it soon.

If like us you’re not fond of the abundance of pips in a pomegranate, this syrup has all the flavour but none of the offending seeds.
With a good tang and a slightly dry, tannic finish it would lend itself to a number of Middle Eastern influenced dishes.

We were really hoping that this would be good and not vague in the flavour department. On the first taste our expectations were met with a fresh burst of tropical sunshine, ripe perfume and resinous qualities of the perfect mango.
We reckon a splash of this in salsas will have your barbecue guests coming back for more.

Passion Fruit
Yes we know it’s passionfruit, but it does smell of grapefruit. Just like the pomegranate it’s so much nicer without the seeds (in our opinion) so this syrup is just perfect.
The flavour is deep, fresh and zingy with a sherbet tang that makes your cheeks tingle.
A crisp, chewy meringue, some thick cream with passionfruit syrup spooned over is just gorgeous.

This has a great smell of a freshly cut pineapple and the flavour is ‘wow!’ Remembering what fresh pineapple actually tastes like, this did not disappoint. It’s juicy, tangy slightly boozy (but without the alcohol) and like the best sweets you’ve ever tasted.
It could work with savoury foods, although we won’t attempt to pair it with cheese, 70s style. Pork, ham, bacon, now there’s something to consider.

With true intense flavours like these it's no wonder top class bartenders love them and having a high fruit content, they’re a mixologists dream.

We are pleased to award Blossoms Syrup our 'Artisan Food Trail Approved' status for their: 

Blackcurrant Syrup
Raspberry Syrup
Strawberry Syrup
Sour Cherry Syrup
Sloe Syrup
Rhubarb Syrup
Pomegranate Syrup
Mango Syrup
Passion Fruit Syrup
Pineapple Syrup

To find out more about Blossoms Syrup visit their page on 
The Artisan Food Trail here.

14 April 2016

Artisan Food Trail members at Food & Drink Expo

Food & Drink Expo 2016, the biggest food and drink show in 2016 is coming to the NEC, Birmingham, 18th – 20th April.

Providing the number one route to the UK food and drink market, it helps hundreds of companies showcase their wares, including a number of Artisan Food Trail members.

Buyers and decision makers across the whole industry, from grocery, wholesale and speciality retail to foodservice and manufacturing, will be visiting to uncover the hottest trends, latest product launches and the industry’s vision for the future.

The Artisan Food Trail members exhibiting are:

Blossoms Syrup – Stand F149
Blossoms Syrup is a unique British producer of 100% natural fruit syrups "Made with love in Bucks", best described as most versatile food and drink ingredients. There are 11 flavours available in different packaging to suit retail with 100ml bottles and gift boxes, food service companies, the on-trade and other food producers. Read more…

Breckland Orchard – Stand D168
A family owned soft drinks based in Cambridgeshire...making wonderful soft drinks...otherwise known as Posh Pop.
Founded by Claire Martinsen in Spring 2009 it has a range of 12 gently carbonated pressé style drinks. From Pear & Elderflower, to Strawberry & Rhubarb and Ginger Beer with Chilli.
There is also a range of No-Added-Sugar very low calorie presses in three flavours. Read more…

Love at First Bake – Stand N150G
Great Taste Award winning gluten and wheat free bakery based in the Brecon Beacons.
Producing cakes, sweet and savoury muffins, traybakes and brownies
Available for both foodservice and 'Grab n Go'. Read more…

Spice Drops – Stand E89
Spice Drops are liquid spices, a convenient and better tasting alternative to
dry herbs and spices: exceptionally versatile for use in a wide variety of food and drinks.
Now available in newly designed packaging to be launched at the show.
Read more…

To find out more about the event visit the website www.foodanddrinkexpo.co.uk

7 April 2016

AFT Introducing: Oakley Grange Farm

Photos: © Oakley Grange Farm
Oakley Grange Farm, in the heart of Leicestershire, is over 200 years old, and has been run by the Mee family for the past two generations. Richard and Inger took over the farm in 2001 and farm organically, raising beef cattle, pigs, sheep and laying hens alongside wheat, fruit and salad vegetables.

Their café is part of a busy working farm and boasts views over the countryside as well as into rural life. Tractors and animals alike can be
seen from the café windows and visitors can also benefit from their local
and farming expertise.

As much food as possible is either grown or reared on Oakley Grange Farm, and if not, they try to source from local suppliers. Everything is freshly prepared and served by Inger and the team in a relaxed and welcoming environment.

In the café, breakfast, afternoon tea, coffee and cake, is served as well as a wide range of hot lunches and sandwiches. The breakfast includes their own sausages, bacon and eggs along with roast tomatoes, mushrooms and toast made from the farm's home baked bread.

Organic beef, pork, lamb, eggs produced on the farm can be bought in their shop plus other carefully sourced  groceries including biscuits, preserves, pickles and chocolates.

To find out more about Oakley Grange Farm visit their page on 
The Artisan Food Trail here

4 April 2016

Make a date with Manufactured Yorkshire

A little while ago we announced that The Artisan Food Trail is a supporting partner for Manufactured Yorkshire in 2016.

Manufactured Yorkshire 2016 is now only a month away and the seminars are filling fast. This year MY16 takes place on Wednesday 11th May at Centenary Pavilion, Elland Road, Leeds and aims to bring in up to 1,000 delegates.

For those in the food world there are plenty of opportunities to gain insights to grow your business as well as attend 'Meet the Buyer'  sessions with Approved Food and Asda.

The seminars cover numerous subjects from the future of the UK's manufacturing to ethical, sustainable food as well as food innovation to supply chain management.

The FREE TO ATTEND trade show brings together food and drink producers/manufactures together along with the engineering and textile sectors.
Shortly after the event's website launched it had already received hundreds of registrations. We'd urge you to book now to avoid disappointment. Once the seminars are full, they will close.