Each year it’s good to know what food trends and themes are being predicted, so unearthed® category insight manager Ian has picked out a couple that relate to unearthed® or the trends that we’re particularly interested in.
Consumers are becoming more and more interested in where certain foods are coming from and discovering more about the provenance and story behind the product. And this isn’t just the national origin of a product, but a local/regional level as well. Products from different regions are also providing a taste which shoppers are looking for.
unearthed response: Our Chorizo is named after the region in the North of Spain from which it originates – Leon. Sopressata Picante comes from Calabria in Italy and is spiced up with the peppers which grow in the region. But one of our most recent product developments has been to launch a cooking chorizo with manchego (see right) – the perfect way to combine two amazing Spanish products from different regions
Individuals are looking to experience food and drink in all new ways, be it through immersive dining experiences with the lights off or specialising in a certain occasion or meal type. People want to discover and push the boundaries in food and drink and no longer want to eat the same meals at the dining room table. Food is being developed to stimulate the senses in people beyond taste as individuals look to liven up their meals.
unearthed response: We enjoyed a pre-Christmas dinner to Gingerline where we loved the whole experience and the ‘secret’ nature of the event. We’re thinking about some unearthed experiences this year and kick this off with a blogger food and wine mis-matching event.
Although no longer the forefront of cuisine or a leading light in gastronomy, the presence and importance of Spanish as a cuisine cannot be questioned. The trend of using smaller dishes or sharing concepts originates from the Spanish way of dining and this has now infiltrated a number of other cuisines. An ingredient led cuisine, Spanish is being increasingly fused with other ingredients and flavours from other cuisines
unearthed response: We’re just as much in love with Spain as we ever were but why not pair it with some new flavours and cuisines. Olives with chipotle and manchego perfectly combine the spice of South America.
Despite the political turmoil, the region is proving to be a real hot-bed for new and exciting cuisines. Aided by chef’s such as Sabrina Ghayour, the likes of Persian, Lebanese, Turkish and Egyptian are becoming more common place in restaurants and in peoples homes. Flavours like Zataar, Sumac and Baharat are now being included in people spice cupboards while foods like Hummus, Babaganoush and Falafel are established as firm favourites.
unearthed response: This is definitely an area we are keen to discover and bring to you in the near future. In the meantime, our new smoked semi-dried tomatoes are all the way from Turkey. They’re smoked in the UK and are dressed with a lemon and zataar dressing, which brings out the smoky sweetness.
Tell us what food trends you’ll be watching/tasting in 2015…
Each year starts with the promise of change and trying new things. Well this New Year we’re starting off as we mean to go on. With our aim to inspire you to #keepdiscovering we’ve got some new products here for a limited time.
The new flavours will be available in 110 Waitrose stores (store listing here) for at least 8 weeks
- We love independent British distillers Sipsmith® and their London Dry Gin is a classic. It’s distilled the old school way, as it should be, which makes it smooth and full of flavour
- They were crying out for a pairing so we matched them with delicious Greek Kalamata olives and dressed them with some citrus flavours (orange and lime) and juniper – like all good G&Ts. They are perfect with party nibbles – or try with a tall G&T or a Sipsmith® martini (don’t forget the olive)
- This is a mix for real olive lovers as we’ve mixed up Nocellara, Manzanilla and Kalamata olives. All we’ve added is a little dressing (sherry vinegar & lemon) to bring out the beautiful flavours
- Inspired by our travels to European markets we love these olives accompanied with a white wine spritzer. Or if it’s a dry January, an elderflower cordial with soda or sparkling water
- This new profile builds on the success of nocellara olives to the range. Citrus is the perfect pairing with this easy-going olive, but we went one step further and introduced yuzu. This citrus fruit which originates East Asia has a stronger citrus aroma than lemon, so we’ve just added a little bit of juice. Combined with lemon and orange zest we’ve got a lovely a citrusy dressing
- We think this could switch any olive-hater to a lover! Try with a feta and grilled pepper salad
- Back in the early days our olives and manchego were such a popular line. To produce a 2015 trend twist on this classic we’ve added smoky chipotle. Flavour is definitely the hero as the trio of olives + South American chipotle + creamy Spanish manchego are a definite winner.
- Make South America your inspiration and try these olives with some tomato and coriander salsa nachos.
- This is one of the things that perfectly sums up the brand. Simple authentic products and great flavours. The natural flavour of the Chargrilled Puglian artichokes are brought out by the lemon, the chilli adds warmth and the mint creates freshness. A truly traditional Italian recipe
- We love the delicious flavour and can’t get enough of these beauties. They’re great in a rocket and gorgonzola salad (see recipe here)
- We love our semi-dried tomatoes but thought we could add a new twist to harness their natural sweetness. So we smoked them, using a traditional British cooking technique, over oak chippings (in West Sussex. A great combination with a great Mediterranean ingredient
- This the prefect ingredient to cook with but you can also try them in a chicken and grilled pepper salad, see our recipe here
- Chorizo is one of our top sellers and a firm fan favourite. As manchego is probably the best known cheese from Spain, the marriage of the two makes perfect sense. To allow the full flavour to come out, small chunks of Manchego are added into the chorizo mix.
- These are great for a range of tapas dishes, or why not try grilling then serving with lemon and paprika marinated chicken thighs.
So there you have it. Our new lines all unearthed for your enjoyment. A mixture of exciting new products – perfect pairings and on-trend flavours made using some authentic techniques. You can buy all of these items in our 2 for £5 promotional offer, so it means you can afford to experiment and mix and match with some of our other traditional products.
Let us know what you think of these new lines and look out for competitions coming your way
Everything we do is inspired by food and discovering new flavours. So when we discovered, (as in unearthed her for ourselves) Gabriella, an English/Italian blogger who likes to Mangia Bene (eat good) we were very happy. Not only does she make gelato, but she also takes lovely pictures. So when we asked her if she would write us a guest blog with a festive ‘make your own’ feel, she sent us her recipe and beautiful pictures of a traditional Italian canape. Over to Gabriella…
“The festive season is upon us and we all know what that means – Christmas parties and gatherings where food and drink have the leading role. These little Pugliese inspired appetizers help bring a little bit of sunshine to our wintery party table. The Fava bean is a variety of broad bean, Vicia faba. The purée is widely eaten in Puglia and usually served with bitter chicory leaves.
In this recipe I’ve used it as a topping for crostini, a great canapé for a get together where the drinks are flowing. A nice shaving of pecorino cheese on the top for vegetarians and a slice of Parma ham for the meat eaters will finish of these small bites perfectly.
For the puree
- 125g Split Fava Beans
- ½ stick of celery
- ½ small onion
- ½ carrot
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 bay leaf
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
For the Crostini
- 2 Small Ciabatta rolls
- 2 Garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- 2 slices of Parma ham
- 15g Pecorino
Makes 24 crostini
- Wash the beans and put them in a saucepan with a dash of olive oil on a low heat
- Add the roughly chopped carrot, onion and celery. Cover with 300ml of water, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the water has evaporated and the beans have softened
- Add 200ml of water and allow to simmer for a further 15 minutes
- While the beans are cooking you can prepare the crostini
- Slice the ciabatta into bite size pieces and brush some olive oil onto them
- Toast them in the oven at 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for ten minutes until crisp
- Peel the garlic cloves and then rub them over the pieces of bread to give it a garlic flavour. Set aside to cool
- Once the beans are done remove the vegetables and bay leaf
- Blend with a stick blender until smooth – it should have the consistency of purée
- Season with a glug of olive oil and salt and pepper
- Top the crostini with a teaspoon of purée and then a slice of either pecorino or Parma ham.”
You may have read our Taste of London Winter blog recently. Our latest post is a little thank you/guest blog from Tum Kazunga, Head of Corporate Partnerships, from Action Against Hunger.
“Once again, Action Against Hunger donned our chef aprons and headed off to Taste of London to cook up a storm at our 5 Star restaurant pop up! This time, we were at Taste of London Winter, the wintry version of the popular summer show held every November, launching a new version of our popular 5 Star Haute Dog Stand.
At the last Taste festival we had 5 amazing hot dog toppings designed by 5 amazing chefs – this time we knew we had to go one better.
Hold your horses we hear you say, what’s better than 5 delicious hot dog toppings prepared by some of the best chefs in the UK?
Good question, but what about 5 completely different hot dogs, designed by 5 incredibly talented chefs?
So, up to the plate stepped our great friends, Jose Pizzaro (right), Jason Atherton, DJ BBQ, Valentine Warner and Alfred Prasad who each developed a unique, and, obviously, mega-delicious hot dog for us to sell.
But there was one other extra ingredient that we loved, and that was the unearthed® chorizo that they donated to us to add to Jose Pizzaro’s Spanish take on the humble hot dog which included diced Spanish chorizo (from unearthed®)with Manchego and caramelised onions (absolutely delicious!).
All this support helped us raise an amazing £8,700 just from the hot dog stand, so thank you to all our chef supporters and thank you to unearthed®!
In fact, I’m really pleased to report that, aside from generously donating kilos of chorizo, unearthed® also joined us at Taste of London Winter to help celebrate the amazing fact that they have raised over £315,000 pounds for us since 2010 by donating 1p from the sale of each of their products.
On a serious note, it’s amazing that we have the support of great chefs and companies like unearthed® who believe in what we do and support us year in and year out because make no mistake, that support is helping us save thousands of lives, every year.
So thank you unearthed® for your support, it means a lot to us, but more importantly, it means everything to the children you help us reach.”
Have a Merry Christmas all!”
Action Against Hunger team
There’s something pretty special about homemade Christmas gifts and we know that Lyndsey Haskell is a big fan of all things arty, crafy, bakey and gardeny. So when we asked her if she would write us a guest blog with a festive ‘make your own’ feel, she jumped at the chance to showcase some lovely festive biscuits she makes. Over to Lyndsey
“The true test of a great recipe is when you dig it out once a year for a special occasion and the results are perfect every time. Family Christmas recipes often fit into that description and these gingerbread biscuits are made following one recipe that has never let me down.
I have been making these biscuits year after year and they always fill my home with festive scents. They’re guaranteed to make you feel merry and bright and dipping them in chocolate with a sparkly sprinkle of salt will make them look and taste fabulous.
Salt and chocolate gingerbread stars
This recipe makes 2 batches of biscuits, each batch makes around 30 biscuits.
- 175g butter
- 175g soft dark brown sugar
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 700g self raising flour
- 3 tsp ginger
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- zest of an orange
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- Melt the butter, syrup and sugar together in a pan. Leave to cool slightly.
- Mix the flour, spices and zest together in a bowl.
- Add the melted mixture to the flour mix and mix well with a spoon.
- Use your hands to continue mixing and kneading the dough for about 15 minutes. It should be just slightly too crumbly to roll out.
- Add the egg slowly, you may not need the whole thing. You just need to make the dough stick together. It usually takes about half an egg for the whole volume.
- Split into 2 batches. Wrap in clingfilm and place half in the fridge for 20 minutes. You can freeze the other half or keep it in the fridge for about a week if you don’t want to use it all at once.
- Preheat oven to 150°C, 350°F or gas mark 4.
- After 20 minutes in the fridge, knead a little bit more to soften then roll out to about the thickness of a £1 coin.
- Use star shaped biscuit cutters to cut your biscuit shapes.
- Place on baking paper on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Leave to cool overnight.
- The next day, melt chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Dip each biscuit into the melted chocolate, leaving a little bit of gingerbread uncovered. Place each chocolate-dipped biscuit onto a sheet of baking paper and add a sprinkle of salt to each one. Leave to cool, then enjoy!”
When she’s not making delicious biscuits, Lyndsey is a keen gardener. She runs an online shop, What You Sow, the place for people who love to grow things. They provide inspiration for those with a passion for gardening.
Visit the shop or read her blog.