I’ve been writing about food and food related matters for a few years now, and I hate to say it, but as winter approaches I like the idea of curling up in front of the fire or feasting on warming local fare that makes us forget about the wind, rain and snow outside.
Of course the run up to Christmas and New Year is usually party time, and lots of places are gearing up for the season. Everyone had special Christmas menus and there’s lots of choose from apart from the usually turkey dinner.
There are some great places to visit before the festive season too. Christmas fairs and markets abound and you can pick up some fabulous locally food and drink.
But if you can’t bear the though of stepping out into the elements, there are lots of North East producers, members of Taste North East, the region’s not for profit food and drink membership organisation www.tastenorthest.co.uk, who can provide you with the sort of winter wonders – great gifts and tasty treats – to keep the chill out and the smile of your face.
How about a nice cup of tea? Sri Tea from Sunderland, who have gift hampers which include their range of loose leaf teas from Sri Lanka – including Yogi tea, Cinnamon Tea, Floral green and Sapphire Oolong.
Verity Silva from Sri Tea said: “All of our tea is made with 100% natural ingredients and is produced without the use of pesticides or insecticides. We are a family run company based in Sunderland and we have been trading for almost a year now.
“From Christmas we will be adding gift hampers which include our lovely tea along with teapots and accessories.”
For the festive meal M I Dickson meat manufacturers of South Shields have brought out some special Christmas lines – premium pork chipolatas, pigs in blankets – pork chipolatas wrapped in quality streaky bacon – pork, onion and herb Christmas stuffing and premium pork sausage meat for those customers who enjoy making their own Christmas stuffing.
And what Boxing Day would be complete without a hand raised pork pie – select cuts of quality pork, seasoned to perfection and encased in hot water crust pastry. With pickles and chutneys from your local producer, it’s a fair feast.
Continental Larder of Morpeth have some up with something new for as an alternative to cranberry on your Christmas lunch.
Richard Leigh, Director of Continental Larder, said: “We have just brought out a new product which is brand new to the food market in this country. We have developed and produced a product called Confit du Vin.
“It is a red wine jelly made from just French Merlot wine and sugar. The product is fantastic with any strong cheese, especially blue or goat and can be a fantastic alternative to cranberry sauce at Christmas.
“It can also something extra to add to your sauces and casseroles, such as venison or beef bourguignon for those cold January nights.”
The Proof of the Pudding, Alnwick, is already an award winner and its Alnwick Rum Christmas Pudding may be the ultimate luxury treat, with a Great Taste Award in this year’s judging. Packed with top quality dried fruits it is soaked for two days in a generous quantity of the Legendary Alnwick Rum.
It’s easy to buy your entire festive food menu locally – from your turkey to you pudding, from your veg to your Christmas morning gin and tonic.
And it supports your local producers and the local economy, not just during Christmas and New Year, but the whole year through. And if you want to give yourself a New ear present that you can enjoy throughout 2012 go onto the Taste North East website and become a member of their free Taste Club.
Category: North East England Food