Sunday, 28 June 2015

Culinary Captures - June 2015


Welcome to Culinary Captures! 

This will be my monthly (or thereabouts) round-up of food and/or food related goodies that  have come my way or that I have seen on my travels and want to share with you!
I hope you will enjoy reading about them and that it will give you a snapshot and flavour of different things to investigate or try!

 

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Whilst in Herefordshire recently, one of England’s cider counties, I enjoyed a rather smooth yet appley pint of Robinson’s Cider.  Nothing beats a chilled drop of cider in the counties that it is made in!

 

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With so much emphasis on protecting the bee population right now and labouring the rather sober fact that without bees we won’t have crops, it was nice to see a positive side. 
At one of Herefordshire’s National Trust properties Croft Hall, I saw they were having a honey tasting session whereby you could sample of the local honeys for sale at their gift shop.  As well as being a functional spread or baking ingredient, it was nice that the honeys were being sold in aid of a good charitable cause.

 

 

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New Shirley/Solihull eatery Frais Living is renowned for its gluten-free menus and of being purveyors of healthy food in general at their Parkgate Centre outlet.  They were recently testing out a potential new item for their drinks menu which is the Jellynut. 
A tropical fruit (same principle as a coconut but more mango looking) which when you slice away the top and piece the pith with a straw, you can drink the refreshing nut water.  A great alternative to a soft drink and much fun to consume!  I hope their trial was successful and that they add it to their menu as a standard item.

 

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Now then.  This funny, spikey little fruit when prepared resembles something that could be mistaken for a Bushtucker Trial item in ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’! 
These are known as Rambutans.  When you cut them open, you will see they are quite small, a white ball with a stone in the middle.  This Thai specialty is lychee-esque surprisingly sweet when eaten and I chose to have it with my cereal which against the crumbly granola granules, it makes for a contrasting texture.
I purchased my pack of rambutan from my local Tesco supermarket but they can be purchased at speciality food stores also.


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When attending last month’s Asparafest (see my post), one of the stallholders I came across was selling Croome Cheeses, a Worcestershire company that specialise in different flavoured cheeses.  Many flavours were for the taking, but I have to give a special shout out to the Worcestershire Honey & Fig one. 
On a Cheddar-esque base, the sweetness from the honey and fig comes as an aftertaste and is truly scrumptious.  I used it as a topping for my aubergine parmigiana this week and it worked a treat.  But to have it on a cheeseboard arrangement will have you receive plaudits at any dinner party you host!


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How I smiled when I saw the Bhangra Bus!  As one of the catering vendors at the Lunar Festival in Tanworth In Arden Warwickshire this month, I loved their attractive decoration and their Indian inspired food and drink. 
As festival season is now in full flow, I hope you come across it yourselves and if you do, then try their mango lassi or if you want to warm your bones then a nice cup of chai!


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Walking past my local Le Creuset store in Solihull, I was greeted by one of their team who presented me with a very vivid Le Creuset shopping bag with a number of recipe booklets inside. 
Noting their new aqua coloured ‘Cool Mint’ range, a contrast to their trademark orange, the booklets highlighted the various recipes which could be achieved using their dishes/pots.  With a number of vegetarian offerings to try, it’s tempting to purchase one of their orange (or cool mint) beauties to road-test the recipes in!

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Everyone is going mad for spirilizing their veg right now and with the mighty success of the carb-free ‘Courgetti’ (courgette-spaghetti), the guys at www.lovesweetpotatoes.com have introduced Spoodles which using the same principle are sweet potato noodles!  With some recipes online, take a look to see what you can make.  What are your thoughts on spirlizing?

 

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New Indian restaurant Umami has opened its doors in Harborne Birmingham.  Mandeep Bajwa, formerly of central Birmingham restaurant Itihaas has taken over the reins as chef and is a welcomed addition to the ever growing food scene of Harborne!  
 
 
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Note:  All items/services featured have been personally selected and I have not received any incentive or compensation to feature them.

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