October news – squash, smoked salmon & more

4th October 2018

October 2018 Newsletter


The 2019 Waitrose Good Food Guide has just been published and we’re proud to be listed again as the Local Gem.  Also pleased to be listed on The Hardens website; they welcome reviews from ‘ordinary’ restaurant goers which then go towards compilation for their Guide too – if you’d like to post a review on our Café please see link:


With the continuing warm weather, British seasonal produce is deliciously abundant.  Apples are so tasty – 11 varieties now in for you from the crisp Ribston Pippin, handsome Charles Ross, small, sweet Spartan to Cox and Blenheim Orange that can be eaten as a dessert but best used for cooking.

Quince – an English fruit that is so worth making the most of for the next couple of months. When ripe, they have a wonderful fragrance, with a smooth yellow skin but the flesh is hard and bitter. However, when cooked the flesh develops a deep flavour and turns a golden pink. Do take care though when chopping as they are hard to slice. Bake them in low oven drizzled with honey or maple syrup and a glass of marsala. They don’t fluff up like an apple but have a texture of melting fudge and are delicious with a splash of cream.  Adding one to your apple pie or tart will add a subtle fragrance to the filling.

They contain a high level of pectin so work well for making jellies, jams and other preserves – like Membrillo, the Spanish paste that is usually served with cheese such as Manchego.

They also pickle well and make a good match with cold pork or beef.

Squash, gourds and pumpkins of all varieties, shapes and sizes are just arriving in – perfect for cooking wonderful autumnal dishes, ornamental use and the jumbo sizes will be in time for Halloween.  We’ll be sharing tips and carving kits to create your spooky jack-o-lanterns.


In the Shop

Festive Tasting Day, Saturday 1 December, 10.00 am – 4.00pm

We’re holding our Festive Tasting Day again this year and we’ll have more of our fabulous suppliers attending, giving you the opportunity to sample their delicious award-winning festive produce, discuss their products and answer any queries.  Christmas meats – turkey, beef, pork and lamb as well as other poultry and game, pies, seasonal cheeses, chocolates, wines and spirits.  More details to follow.  You’ll also be able to place your Christmas orders on line soon.

Gifts & Houseware

From India Jane, the luxury brand that has timeless appeal with a rustic colonial yet elegant British charm, we’re now stocking her stylish tableware accessories – different size serving trays in the Bee design, soap dishes and square boxes from the beautifully patterned ceramic collection which has been adapted from the archives of the V&A museum in London.


Exciting new products we’ve sourced for you include:

Two new brands of smoked products:

The Pished Fish a craft business run by James Eagle and his partner who have enhanced and improved the staple that is smoked salmon with an alcohol-based cure that delivers a significantly different and wonderful flavour. Not only does the alcohol dictate the cure but also the herbs and spices beautifully complement the drinks. ‘Old Fashioned’ is whisky, maple syrup and orange zest, ‘Gin & Tonic’ with gin, juniper, lime and grapefruit zest and ‘Eric the Red’ with aquavit, juniper, star anise and beetroot. We can’t decide which we like best – all absolutely delicious and definitely not a taste you’d expect from smoked salmon.

Staal Smokehouse is an artisan family business in Yorkshire who traditionally hand smoke a range of award-winning products – cold smoked salmon, oak roast trout, gravadlax, smoked mackerel – perfect for a special occasion or simple kitchen supper.

The new pasta for speedy meals may also appeal. La Tua is an artisan family business making fresh pasta by hand – tortelloni for example are literally hand-folded one by one.  The fillings are made from scratch in their kitchens following traditional Italian recipes using fresh, natural ingredients with no preservatives or colourings. The range includes plain and filled pasta – egg tagliatelle, nduja & mascarpone tortelloni, beetroot & goats cheese ravioli.

Love houmous and bored of dull, bland varieties – try the new delicious organic range from The Precious Pea.  They make everything by hand (look out for the name of the chef) in small batches using carefully sourced best quality ingredients and finest extra virgin olive oil. All are dairy free, wheat free, also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.  The tasty products include organic classic, organic smoked, organic red pepper, organic kalamata, and the award-winning organic turmeric.

Cheeses of the Month

We have three cheeses for you this month that carry the 20% discount – look out for the red star

Cornish Kern – a hard cheese from Lynher Dairies, the makers of Cornish Yarg – longer-matured than the Yarg though and much more dense.  Firm to cut but flaky in the middle, it is buttery with caramel notes and has a lovely deep savoury aroma and coated in black wax.  Catherine Mead and her team have been working on this cheese for years, starting with the idea of a gouda-type recipe, the cheese evolved and with the addition of Alpine starter cultures has produced a flavour similar to that of Comte or Gruyere. It was crowned supreme champion at the World Cheese Awards 2017.

Rob from Corney & Barrow suggests having a go with their Ruca Malen Malbec with this cheese, from the world-renowned Upper Mendoza Valley; liquorice and big fruit, bold baking spices and lovely warmth announce themselves right from the go with this wine and having plenty enough structure and concentration to embrace the hardness of the cheese – a smooth and above all round wine – fit for the Kern!

Baron Bigod – is a creamy white bloomy-rind cheese handmade by the Crickmores in Bungay Suffolk.  It is the UK’s only raw milk farmhouse brie made from the milk of their red and white Montbeliarde cows that graze lush pastures.  The cheese is ladled only by hand and aged for up to 8 weeks in a natural cave-like environment. It has a smooth, delicate silky texture and golden paste with warm earth, farmyard and mushroom flavours.

Rob loves their Sanziana Pinot Noir from Recas Cramele and loves it even more with a soft cheese. The vineyard here is blessed with typically long and gentle autumns, which above all allow the fruit to ripen slowly on the vine, concentrating impressive flavour and character in the resulting wine. Perfect then with such a complex and intricate cheese such as the Baron, which displays similar notes to the ones you’ll find in each side of the pairing.

Blacksticks Blue (v) is a farmhouse soft blue veined cheese handmade from pasteurised cows’ milk at the Butler’s Inglewhite Dairy in Lancashire. Aged for about 8 weeks it develops a distinctive amber hue and delicious creamy, smooth yet tangy taste.  It is soft enough to spread on a cracker or bread as well as used in cooking.

A soft blue is a touch challenging states Rob, especially as he has leant on his old favourites the Ruby Port and Sauternes so-much-so recently – but he’ll give this pairing  the old college try and suggest a wine that exudes both elegance and finesse whilst complemented and supported by refined, well-integrated tannins (something he hopes will cover all bases alike in the cheese!). So the Corney & Barrow St Emilion from Bellevue Figeac is right on the money and with its very pretty, deep ruby colour and combination of cherries, berries and spice on the nose and palate, refreshed by floral notes (he gets violets – do you agree?) should make it the perfect match for the Blacksticks, spread liberally over a cracker.   


The Pearces