Sunday Selection: Top Picks from Speciality Food Show

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This week is a selection of products that piqued my interest at the Speciality Food Show 2015. This year’s show was enormous and I didn’t have time to see everything. Lots of interesting new small producers, a few large country stands like Portugal and Japan. So much to discover and lots of lovely branding and packaging too. Anyway, on to the highlights.

Ten Acre is from the Midlands where they have farms of popcorn trees. Not really, but they do make a variety of pop corn flavours of which the Wasabi one was quite outstanding. Also, loved their branding too.


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Marquinhas – Some Portugese Cherry Liquer.

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Noa – a new Swedish drink, all natural, full of superfoods.

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A lot less raw honey sellers this year but this one stood out. Origin Honey sells not just honey but mead and honey beer too.

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Shinzo Powdered Sencha Green Tea – I had a long chat with the people at Shinzo and learnt so much about powdered green tea and Matcha. They sell normal tea leaves and a powdered version to make tea with. Their powdered green tea is quite delicious and at a fraction of the price of Matcha. One of my favourite discoveries from this show.

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Love Beets – Beetroot flavours seems to the be in everything from crisps, popcorn to hummus and juice. I liked this beetroot juice with other fruits, it was less earthy and a good alternative juice drink.

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Marsfield – Not a name known to consumers as they have been selling to trade but keep an eye out for their clotted cream ice cream. Rich and decadent.

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Boom Curry Kits – A new curry product, just add meat. Every flavour has different recipes of herbs and spices. The promise is that you will not end up with a generic takeaway curry taste.

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South Devon Chilli Farm– They grow a massive variety of chillies and most of their production goes into their sauce, chilli jam and chocolates.
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Peach Flavoured Sake – Opening up new markets of Sake drinker with these flavoured sake. Fragrant and very drinkable. I can see this as an ideal product to have at a picnic or a lunch in the pub garden.

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Rude Heath Sprouted Oats – Sprouted oats, whole spelt and whole wheat flour is new to me. It seems there is much added health benefits to these being sprouted. Needs further investigation. I am sure there is research somewhere.

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Hasslacher’s Organic Panela – I’ve never heard of Panela, which is a natural cane sugar. It looks brown and taste quite caramelly. There are a host of reasons why this is a great substitute to plain white sugar. They are starting to sell it widely in the UK. I think you can get it at M&S and some speciality shops. They also make Colombian drinking chocolate which was quite delish.

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Nudie Coconut chips – Now this is a very innovative product. Combining the popularity of all things coconut and creating a snack food is genius. I have only ever had coconut chips dried and sweet. Here they have added flavours like salt and vinegar and sweet chilli and surprisingly, it works. Didn’t have a chance to look at the calorie count but I guess it must be up there.

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Sowan’s Tricolour Quinoa – This Irish company had this on their stand. Packaging the 3 most common quinoa varieties in one makes a handy pack. Wonder about the cooking instructions as the different colours cook at different rates.

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Nana Nice Cream – This is Margie’s invention, a healthy, dairy free ice cream made from a banana base. She sells a few flavours like plain banana and chocolate. Lovely stuff. Get some!

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Benoit’s Chocolate Factory Ready to drink hot chocolate – A French Chocolatier, Ireland based, making hot chocolate ready to drink in a carton with good chocolate (not powder) and Irish Milk. The combination is a winner and the taste test proved it. (His name is not Benoit either!) .

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British Charcuterie – is growing from strength to strength. There are more producers this year than ever, making everyhing from air dried ham, salami to nduja.

Cannon & Cannon – These guys curate the best artisan producers and supply it through their stall in Borough Market.

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Capreolus – A Dorset based artisan charcuterie maker. I met him at the Bath and West Show and he makes some stunning meats like the local lardo and a Dorset Nduja which I used to  make my prize winning Cheese Toastie. They sell all their goodies online.

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The Speciality Chocolate Show

A large part of this year’s show was devoted to Chocolate. I had a quick bomb through and these are the ones that I liked.

Montecristi 70% Manabi Cacao – made into disc for patiserrie chefs. Love the flavours and I think they are soon to bring to market a bean to bar version for the retail market.

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