Food bloggers get sent an awful lot of stuff to taste and cook with, it’s definitely one of the perks of the job. Here’s a round-up of some of my favourite items we’ve been trying out this month:
I don’t usually buy strawberries out of season as I don’t like clocking up food miles, and they usually taste pretty bland. However the people at Viva Strawberries sent us some to try, along with a rather brilliant half-term survival kit to help keep the boys amused. The strawberries are attractive, big and juicy, and boy do they deliver on the flavour front. Supersweet, so perfect for eating on their own, adding to smoothies, making fruit kebabs or topping a nice creamy bowl of Greek yogurt!
The Viva Strawberries have been developed to taste like a British strawberry, but are grown in Spain and Morocco. The warm climate allows for a high yield of fruit, so the carbon footprint is smaller than those grown in this country in heated glass houses in winter months.
Viva Strawberries are available in M&S, Waitrose, Tesco and Co-op February – April. £3.99 for a 400g punnet
Knorr Gravy Pots
I pride myself on being able to make my own gravy, but these little fellas are a great corner cutter so get the thumbs up from us. I especially love adding the onion gravy pots to any kind of recipe I’m making involving Quorn mince. It doesn’t have much flavour on its own so needs a good hit which the onion pots really do well at. Having a vegetarian in the house also means a good instant onion gravy is a must to give a bit of moisture to veggie sausages and the like.
The lovely people at Knorr sent my dad a piece of beef and all the ingredients needed for a slap up roast dinner. He really enjoyed the gravy, thought it was “really tasty for an instant product” and says a huge thank you to the team for couriering it all out to his remote canal-side cottage up in Cheshire!
Knorr Gravy Pots are available in Onion, Chicken and Beef with an RRP of £1.75 for a pack of 4.
I got sent a range of cheeses from Castello, whose blue cheese i’d tried previously and loved. My two personal faves were the soft cheese ring with a pineapple coating – delicious spread onto crackers for lunch. The Tickler cheddar was also a winner, made in Devon and full of rich flavours – just blinding as a simple cheese on toast for the boys. Delicious and creamy, light and fluffy, I will definitely be including these on my cheeseboards in future.
Castello Cheese is widely available at all major supermarkets. On writing this article the Pineapple Halo is £1.15 at Tesco and The Tickler Cheddar is £3.99 for 380g.
LSA Coro Dessert Dish in berry
These gorgeous dessert glasses were sent to me to try from a website called Red Candy and I adore them. They look stunning and are ideal for scoops of ice cream or Sam’s favourite trifle. If you’re after new glassware or gift ideas, then this website is a total winner, full of stuff that’s a bit different from the norm.
Set of 4 LSA Coro Dessert Dishes in berry £23 on redcandy.co.uk
If you’ve got a party coming up and want to make your own canapes but don’t want to get bogged down with lots of fiddly baking, then these ready-made cases are brilliant. There’s a huge range to choose from, my personal faves being the cute little veggie cups that are coloured naturally using beetroot and the spoonettes pictured above. If you’ve got guests coming over for drinks, you could just whizz up some simple but tasty fillings like cream cheese and roasted peppers, caramelised onion hummus or feta and peas and fill these little cases, garnish with fresh herbs and everyone will think you’re masterchef material.
Pidy have been making pastry products for the catering industry for over 60 years, and are now launching their range to us home cooks. You can get hold of them from Amazon and Food Angles
Spoonettes – 2 packs of 12 for £7.99
Veggie Cups – 2 packs of 12 for £4.48
Thanks to food PR agency CLIP Creative and PR for the samples
Mu Cheddar Sticks
Brilliant packed-lunch fillers, these little sticks of cheese are made of 100% cheddar and are the equivalent of one glass of milk’s worth of calcium. Sam and Arlo hoovered them up on their way to swimming this week – big cheese fans! Convenient and nutritious – these get the thumbs up from us.
RRP £1.25 (4 Pack) £2.30 (8 Pack)
Disclosure: Thanks to all the food PR agencies who sent the samples through for me to review. These are my honest views on each product and I have not been paid to write this feature.