Friday, 2 October 2015

Foodie Parcels in the Post - September 2015

Although the calendar says October I'm sticking my head in the sand about how far through the year we are. Don't even mention the "C" word. There is a definite Autumnal feel in the air, tattie holidays are looming and the clocks will be falling back. October also brings my birthday. No chance of stopping time so I'm just going to embrace it whilst looking back at the Foodie Parcels In the Post that arrived in September.







Foodie Loon doesn't often show much excitement when yet another parcel arrives for me, however his ears pricked up at the mention of a box of brew. Beer 52 is the UK's largest and fastest-growing beer club. For £24 every month members receive a selection of 8-10 beers, a snack and a copy of Ferment magazine. Alas my popcorn crisps had burst open in the post but thankfully all the beers arrived in one piece (if I was a subscriber I'd have received a credit/refund or replacement). Expert tasters choose the contents for each monthly box which enables members to experience beers that they wouldn't normally come across plus providing great exposure to superb small breweries. I was delighted to see a bottle from my local Stonehaven brewery Six Degrees North. There was a good mixture of styles both light and dark in the selection, all were eminently drinkable and the magazine provided an informative read. If you fancy joining the craft beer discover club discount code QUINE10 will get you £10 off your first box at www.beer52.com




A fishbox isn't a new concept for me as I already subscribe to one from Coast & Glen, however I was interested to see what Peterhead based Skippers Choice could offer in their recently launched product. The skipper in question is none other than Jimmy Buchan who along with his trawler Amity II starred in the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning Trawlermen TV series. I received a Starter Selection Box priced at £49 which contained 2.9k of haddock, smoked haddock, fish pie mix, and salmon plus an extra 2 fillets of Honey Roast Salmon. It arrived well insulated and vacuum packed direct to my door and was ready for cooking instantly or freezing for later. As well as listing the contents, the delivery note gave detailed instructions of how to keep the fish in prime condition.The haddock fillets were Angel Cut which comes from smaller haddock with both sides of the fish folded out flat. Personally I prefer the larger fish flakes from a select cut, but both the standard and smoked haddock were very tasty. The latter found its way into a hearty Cullen Skink for American visitors. The salmon fillets were huge and my daughter absolutely loved them and said they were the biggest she'd seen. Whilst the rest of the catch comes from boats landing at Peterhead - Europe's biggest white fish port - the salmon is sourced from carefully selected freedom salmon farms on the West Coast of Scotland. I can see that Skippers Choice would be a great option for those who are perhaps less experimental and adventurous in their fishy tastes than I am. If you like top quality fresh sustainable white fish, yellow fish and salmon it's the perfect choice.


Having recently returned from 10 days in Singapore, a box of oriental snacks from Chimasu was a very welcome Foodie Parcel In The Post. I'm always fascinated by the sheer variety and apparent quirkiness of far eastern foods. From £14 - £18 per month Chimasu subscribers receive 12-15 original snacks from countries such as Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. I received a mixed selection but you can state your preference as love, like or no thanks for Biscuits & Cakes, Crisps, Candy, Nuts, Peas and Seeds, Noodles & Soups, Tea, Fruits and Seafoods. I absolutely adored the savoury goodies in particular the shrimp crackers. My kids loved the Hello Pandas. All the products come with English translations of contents and ingredients so you know exactly what you are getting. Use discount code CHIMASU15 to get £5 off your first box at www.chimasu.com


BBQ season is almost over for the year. If truth be told you could almost say that it hasn't really ever begun. The Grill Mates range from Schwartz means that you can have the flavour of barbeque in your kitchen all year round even if the weather gods aren't shining. They all work equally well under the grill, in the oven or on a griddle pan. As well as the marinades we're absolutely loving the Perfect Shake Chips seasoning blend with paprika, onion and garlic. You can see how I used the Deep South Brown Sugar Marinade Mix in this awesome recipe for Jack Daniels Bourbon Shot Steak Sandwiches.


Regular readers will know that I have a soft spot for vintage kitchenalia. I simply cannot walk past a charity shop without popping in for a sneaky peek at the bric-a-brac shelf. Enamelware is one of my favourite finds however for many reasons vintage items aren't always usable in a modern kitchen. Prestige has just launched a Vintage Kitchenware Collection which unites their iconic heritage and classic design with the features and benefits that we expect from cookware today. The retro collection comes in a red/white or blue/white colourway and comprises of stunning cookware and counter top accessories, crafted from a variety of materials including enamel coated steel and ceramic. The nostalgic 21cm Casserole Dish can be used in the oven and hob (alas not on my induction hob) and its also dishwasher and freezer safe. rrp £29.99 To win the entire range worth £340 in either red or blue share your favourite kitchen memory on the Prestige Facebook Page


I'm a big fan of the innovative Oxo Good Grips range of products and already have a lot of them working hard for me in my kitchen. I've not yet cooked a roast chicken to try it out on but I can already tell how useful the Poultry Lifter is going to be. I've currently got large forks that I use to transfer roast birds but this will be great for a one handed operation without piercing and damaging the skin. As always with Good Grips products there's a comfy ergonomic non slip handle.
The new GreenSaver Collection has been designed to help keep your produce fresher longer. Made from coconuts, an all natural, non-toxic activated carbon filter located in the products absorbs ethylene gas and slows down the ageing process. I'm going to be trying out a Crisper Insert and Produce Keeper over the next month and will report back with my findings. #WatchThisSpace


When a parcel of jelly making goodies arrived from Hartley's including some sachets of their new What's Your Flavour jelly crystals with instructions to 'mix with your favourite drink' there was only one thing for it. Gin & Tonic Jelly. My kids meanwhile were more excited about making Vimto Jelly and Cream Soda Jelly. Of course you've always been able to make a boozy jelly just by adding a slug of alcohol but this no flavour base enables you to get more creative. One sachet of What's Your Flavour, 300ml boiling water and 200ml of squash, fruit cordial or fizzy drink and Bob's your uncle. Really simple to make and fantastic results. The kids swore that theirs actually tasted fizzy - I'm not so sure. My G&T jelly was fab but I think I was perhaps a wee bit heavy handed with the quantity of Gin as boy was it strong. Next up is Irn Bru Jelly, Coca Cola Jelly and Beer Jelly. So much wibbly wobbly fun.



Bacon tastes good. Fact. This is Bacon are a Kent-based producer of traditionally made, free-range, hand-rubbed and air-dried bacon. However they don't just stop at damn fine bacon but also make a range of flavoured bacons and bacon made from animals other than pork. What?! I sampled their Naked Bacon - standard pork bacon from a rare breed pig hand rubbed with a salt and spice mixture, 7 day cure and 4 hours smoking. Beef Bacon - made from beef belly with a 10 day cure and 10 days air dried. Lastly was the quacking (sorry!) Duck bacon which was my absolute favourite. 5 days curing and 1 day air drying. It's healthy too with a third less fat than pork bacon. They're just about to launch a Crowdfunding initiative to enable them to step up production levels and bring more awesome bacon through more UK letterboxes. #thebaconiscoming The crowdfunder will go live on 7th October at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thisisbacon

Disclosure : Thanks to Beers52, Skippers Choice, Chimasu, Schwartz, Prestige, Oxo, Hartleys and This Is Bacon for providing the above products. I was not obliged to review positively in return. All views expressed are my own. This is not a paid post. 

If you're a brand who'd like to have your product featured here, please do get in touch claire@foodiequine.co.uk

5 comments :

  1. the second review I've seen of beer 52 and looking more and more like hubby gonna get a subscription for christmas!!

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    1. Remember to take advantage of the discount code!

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  2. What a great selection of goodies - its interesting to see new subscription services popping everywhere, and both the beer and oriental goodies sounds excellent!

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  3. Wow - what a great selection of samples! The Chimasu box looks very exciting!

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  4. The bacon sounds amazing! Duck bacon? I have to try that. I will definitely be contributing to their crowdfunding campaign.

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