Gosh isn’t time flying at the moment, I can’t believe we are at the end of may already. The kitchen has been busy as usual the last few months and here’s the highlights of the new things we’ve tried.
Firstly is a company called When in Rome Wine, selling craft Italian wines from small and independent producers in boxes, and trying to smash peoples opinions on boxed wine. Founder Rob Malin, dreamt of creating his own wine business since living in Turin 10 years ago where he met his wife. The pair also fell in love with the way the Italians drink their wine (bought in bulk and decanted into bottles or carafes). ‘Even then I can remember thinking ‘it’s absolutely nuts that we aren’t doing this in the UK,’ he recalls.
Boxed wine is around 30 per cent cheaper to produce and up to 60 per cent cheaper to transport than its bottled counterpart and those savings are passed on to the customers – It’s also very convenient and once opened, the wine stays fresh for up to six weeks.
The wine is all hand picked from Italian wine co-ops and small producers and all come in 5 litre boxes – the equivalent of 6.5 bottles. The wines on offer include a Falanghina – the house white of fish restaurants and pizzerias across the Bay of Naples, a deep, fruity red called Nero d’Avola – made by a Sicilian wine co-op – that’s proving to be a real hit with red wine lovers. There’s also a Merlot from Romeo and Juliet’s hometown, a Chardonnay from Abruzzo, a robust Barbera D’Asti made by a fourth generation winemaker and Juventus fan, an organic red called Toscana Rosso and a Sauvignon Blanc courtesy of a family whose vineyards have been producing grape since Roman times.
We tried the Nero d’Avola, and it’s safe to say I think we were completely sold on it. I only had a taste and a sip due to the pregnancy but the real authority on red wine in our house is Mr Foodie Couple Lee and he adored the wine, finding it really fruity and full of flavour. It went really well with earthy meaty dishes and it disappeared in super quick time! I think we will certainly be trying a couple more as soon as I’m able to drink again!
Second up this month are some new drinks from Ugly. A slightly unusual name but certainly grabs your interest. These drinks are sparkling flaruvered waters, but made from pure ingredients and fruit essence or oil, so no sugar, no sweetener, no sodium, no artificial preservatives / colourings / flavourings.
The drinks are available in 2 flavours – Lemon & Lime and Grapefruit & Pineapple, RRP 99p / 330ml can – from the Ugly website, Selfridges, Whole Foods, Vital Ingredient & leading independents.
I really enjoyed these drinks – they were incredibly refreshing and certainly nothing like that sweet flavoured water you can find commonly on the shelves, these had the bitterness that you get from plain sparkling water but with that twist and tang of citrus which worked so well for me. The lemon & lime particularly I will buy over and over again!
We also have been sampling this pack of marinades from Puréety.
Each pack includes 2 sachets of concentrated marinade, which makes a little go a long way. The range of flavours is good, but by far our favroutie was the Texan Hickory, we loved the sweet smokey flavour.
Coming up to what hopefully will be a really great summer these will be perfect for basting of meat destined for the BBQ, or simply for stir frys. They have a range of other products too, so worth having a check on their website or on twitter.
Next a quick word for Holy Cow Sauces. We are really loving their sauces at the moment, and feel they are by far and away the best jarred or packet sauces to make a quick curry that we have found. Particular love for this Goan Curry Sauce which we thin out a little with coconut milk and the leave to simmer before popping in our prawns or fish – delicious!
Shaken Udder Milkshakes are perfect for summer days – they are 100% natural, low fat and low sugar milkshakes, packed with calcium and immune-boosting vitamin B12. I really like them because unlike some other milkshakes they are quite light and not too thick, so don’t leave you feeling weighed down.
This summer Shaken Udder have come up with some recipes for alternate ways to use their milkshakes perfect for the sunshine like their Summer Lolly recipe – blending Vanilla milkshake with fresh berries and freezing for the ultimate ice lolly!
Shaken Udder are available in Top Banana, Chocolush, Vanillalicious and Salted Caramel so there’s one for everyone – I hope they bring out a strawberry soon too!
Last up this month but certainly not least is the second new speciality pizza of the year from Papa Johns. This one is the BBQ Beef Brisket, consisting of brisket burnt ends, bacon, onion, crispy onions and Cola BBQ sauce.
As usual with Papa Johns this pizza really hit the spot. The brisket meat was really charred and smokey and I liked the combination with the crispy onions which gave it texture and the sweet sauce which really taste of Cola!
The Pizza is available for delivery and takeaway right now, so check it out!
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