The Belper Food Festival 2015
One of my favourite days of the year arrived on Sunday - The Belper Food Festival. There’s always a good selection of food on offer from sweet to savoury and everything in between, so total heaven for a foodie like yours truly. A lot of the producers have been exchanging tweets with me in the weeks running up to this event so it was a great opportunity to put faces to names as well.
Typically for a Sunday morning things were running a little behind schedule in the nest and we flew out without having any breakfast. Luckily there was salvation for my rumbling tum from The Proper Cake Company in the guise of their Superduper Nut, Seed and Cranberry bar; what this scrumptious bar hasn’t got in it isn’t worth mentioning quite frankly. It was crammed to the brim with nutritious bits and sweetened with Honey, and hit the spot just perfectly. In life there always has to be balance so where I was being good The Man was being decadent and managed to scoff a very yummy looking Mars and Malteaser slice.
We wandered a little further up the road and came across Biddulphs Pizzas who we had been tweeting with so we stopped to have a quick chatter. The delicious smell coming from his pizza oven was just too good to resist so we had a Pizza between us for Breakfast seconds, and very scrummy it was as well.
We had decided to invite the Tribal Elders over for a “pick and mix” afternoon tea so we set off purposefully to gather provisions for that. However hard we try our good intentions seemed to fall by the wayside and this was no different when we stumbled across Elcocoa Chocolates stall. Before you could blink your eyes several tempting morsels were finding their way into our shopping basket: Fiery Orange Crunch, Bakewell Pudding, Salted Caramel, Elderflower Mojito, Drunken Sailor, Strawberries and Cream, and Berry Black. These little beauties weren’t being shared; they were going to be safely tucked away in my hidey hole to be savoured later.
Next we came across the very lovely Tracey from Humble Homity and Bespoke Brownies and her delicious selection of sweet treats. After a few serious moments perusing the selection we decided on the Eton Mess Shortcake and the Gluten free Turkish Delight Brownie; as you know the Boy Wonder does have a soft spot for Turkish delight and this was declared to be really good by everyone when we tucked in to it.
After a short walk we spotted Kathy and her friend at the Hazelwood Desserts stand, and as you know we are huge fans of her Lemon Drizzle cake and the amazing works of art that are her Rocky Road Crispie Cakes. We came away with a very decadent Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel tart (my Mummy Bird nearly swooned with delight after tasting this), Hazelnut Meringue, Guinness Cake, Strawberry Cake and Chocolate and Orange Cake. The Meringue was delightfully gooey inside and crispy on the outside with a really nice nuttiness to it that drew murmurs of appreciation from us all. The Strawberry Cake was amazing - it tastes just like the Strawberries and Cream Ice Cream that a certain premium brand (two words beginning with H and D) make, complete bliss. Next up was the Chocolate and Orange cake and that had a fantastic zing to it that had everyone begging for a bit more. The Guinness Cake was beautifully moist and I tried it with a little bit of cheese on, and it went very well.
Now before you start thinking that His Nibs sweet tooth had commandeered proceedings let me reassure you that that was the extent of our sweet section of the teatime spread! R.P Davidson and his Cheese Factor stall were at the food fair so a wedge of my fave Hartington Stilton found its way into my eager little wings (and some Derbyshire Oatcakes too), and a few stalls along we came across Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese and grabbed some of their Smoked Cheese, which is absolutely gorgeous ; it soon got gobbled up along with some of The Quirky Cooks Chilli Piccalilli (especially by my Daddy Bird).This Piccalilli was just sublime; the vegetables crisp and perfect size for putting on crackers, the heat was just enough from the chilli and it had a nice mustard punch to it too. Do you think you could make this in a litre size please?! I reckon it would go great on Cheese on Toast too as a perfect winter warmer.
Julies Pickles and Preserves had been sampled by us last year so we wound our way over to say hello and came away with her new flavour for this year; Spicy Carrot Chutney. I loved the zing this chutney had and the texture is just a little bit different thanks to the carrot being grated. Daddy Bird and I really got stuck into this Chutney too as we love nothing more than Cheese and Pickles or Chutney.
The other savoury bits we picked up were Caramelized Onion and Piri Piri Scotch Eggs from the talented team at Staffordshire Savoury Eggs (very yummy), some Chorizo from Jaquest Charcuterie and a delightful Caramelized Onion and Goats Cheese tart from Beautiful Tarts which was indeed a very beautiful tart that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
Our little arms were completely laden at this point so we had to have a journey back to the car to unload our wares in order to carry on. After a little discussion we felt that we needed some nice bread for our gourmet family tea and so Elizabeth’s Patisserie was our next stop. We got a really nice Sweet Chilli Focaccia, a Greek Feta, Olive and Sesame seed bread and a Spinach Bread from them which again went down a treat with our little flock.
Lime Tree Pantry had a great range of pies to choose from and we settled on the Game in Red Wine, Beef Bourguignon and Salmon & Broccoli varieties for our feast. All were voted to be really tasty and were lovely and moist with a good amount of meat/fish in them.
Sage Green Cuisine had a great stall that had a rainbow of colours on it from their myriad of delights and eventually we came away with a slice of their Butter Bean, Coriander and Lime Pate. This had such a fresh clean taste to it and a really great texture; I really regret not buying more of it as I could’ve eaten it all day and night long.
One extra purchase I made was from Khoo’s Hot Sauce after I had tasted their Smoky Sweet Peppers marinated in their Heavy Smoker and Golden Syrup sauces. These were simply gorgeous, a real tapas style dish that would be perfect for a buffet, picnic or BBQ and they had put little recipe cards out so I took one so that I can make this at home.
Now as we all know, you can’t have food without drink so we found ourselves chatting away to those great chaps Duncan and Barry from Amber Valley Wines and sampling their very own Lindway Rose and Lindway White that came from their vines at Wessington. They were both incredibly nice so a bottle of each made their way to our table to have with our food.
Every single one of our purchases were outstanding, so My Flock just want to say a huge well done to the plethora of talented producers that we encountered at The Belper Food Festival. Your passion for your produce shines through in its taste and we savoured every beakful ;)