It’s been just over a month since we created “We The Food Snobs” and we have had the absolute pleasure of meeting and speaking with some of the great local producers, restaurateurs and of course the foodies that The Cotswolds area has to offer. We have been surprised by their welcoming attitudes, generosity and intrigue for understanding our aspirations for the future of our blog.
That is why this post is a story about a local brand called The Artisan Kitchen who made us extremely excited when they approached us to see if we would be interested in sampling some of their award winning preserves! At first we thought this must be a joke, as our blog had only been live for three weeks! We never thought in our wildest dreams that anyone would really be fussed to know what we thought about their products. Especially as The Artisan Kitchen had already won awards and recognition and built a serious following because of their work!
We thought we had nothing to lose though and therefore replied immediately before they had time to realise who we were and change their minds! After some researching on The Artisan Kitchen site we found that the preserves were created in mighty Gloucester and the company was founded and single handedly run by Sarah Churchill in 2011. Sarah prides herself on using the very best hand picked local seasonal produce to create her original and flavoursome range of preserves, marmalades, pickles and chutneys. She has also been recognised by The Guild of Fine Food for her work and if it’s good enough to get a gold from those guys, then there was no chance we were going to give up this opportunity!
Sooooo, skip forward to a week later and I (Chris) find a parcel on my step! It would seem it wasn’t a joke at our expense after all! Amazed and extremely excited to see what awaited my eyes, the package was quickly picked up off the step and brought inside for further examinations.
To my surprise, the contents of the box was full of pristinely presented jars packed full of different delicious flavours that were just begging to be gobbled up at once!
As Mark was at work and I had promised to wait to put them through their paces alongside my partner in crime, the natural thing to do was of course make a pyramid of preserves and photograph them!! Promptly sending them to Mark at work to rub it in! We had been given a plethora of jams and a jar of ploughman’s pickle and one more of chutney!
It was lunch time and I thought I had to at least try one so I quickly hopped to Tesco to pick up some cured meats and also some red onion flat breads, which I massively improved by melting mozzarella on top!
Bingo! How good does that look? Divine is right! The chutney was pumpkin apple chilli flavour and was extremely delicious! I slapped it on the flat bread and rolled some bresaola, chorizo and salami salad parcels with a little dollop of chutney in each. This was an exquisite way to spend my lunch and the pumpkin and apple chutney was the necessary addition to perfectly finish off the meal. The apple flavour came through well, the pumpkin gave it a great texture and it was all topped off by a subtle hint of heat from the chilli. I managed to control myself enough to leave Mark half of the pot, however this set a high benchmark for the rest of the preserves to beat! If the chutney was anything to go by, the jams were going to be hitting our taste buds for six!
THE TASTER NIGHT ARRIVES
Presenting The Artisan Kitchen flavours:
Apricot Vanilla & White Chocolate Jam (Limited Edition)
Toffee Apple Jam
Tutti Frutti Jam
Blackcurrant & Sloe Gin Jam
Damson & Raspberry Jam
Gloucestershire Wild Fruit Jam (Limited Edition)
Chris and I rushed down to the shop to purchase a loaf of bread and bag of scones along with a tub of clotted cream to accompany our selection of preserves.
We arrived at my house and promptly began toasting the bread and selected the flavour we wanted to try first (this took some time). We went with the Toffee Apple which was a very nice starting point. It was sweet, rich and the toffee really added an extra dimension to the flavour. We then went for the Apricot & White Chocolate. I could really taste the white chocolate and it worked perfectly with the apricot. The next jam of the evening was Tutti Frutti. This is probably the sweetest of all the ones we tried and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Following on to the Limited Edition Gloucestershire Wild Fruits Jam. Again, at the danger of starting to sound repetitive, this one was delicious and had a really smooth texture. Although they were all extremely tasty, we definitely saved the best two for last. The Damson and Raspberry was full of exquisite flavour and went perfectly with a big dollop of clotted cream on a scone. However, the Blackcurrant and Sloe Gin was by far our favourite! It had a big dose of flavour just like the Damson and Raspberry but the jar was full to the brim of whole bits of fruit and the blackcurrants hit you from the first bite! The sloe gin gave it that extra kick of flavour and made the taste unique and refreshing.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our little tasting session and after a cup of coffee we were ready to tackle the Ploughman’s Pickle. I was slightly cautious with the amount of pickle I spread on my bread, as I am not usually a big lover of pickles. I can say however, this pickle firmly changed my opinion! It had a thick consistency with a slightly sweet taste and a slight vinegary kick, everything you want in a pickle and more.
If you are worrying about Christmas approaching, these preserves would be the perfect addition to any hamper or stocking. We would also strongly recommend taking a look at the Artisan website to peruse the wide range of incredible flavours of chutneys, jams and pickles they have to offer! We wish we could taste them all!
Tip of our Food Snob caps to Sarah for this amazing and unexpected gift. We have been gorging on toast all week! We thank her for her generosity and also for entrusting a young blog like ours with her brand.
We The Food Snobs x