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Chutney, Relish & Piccalilli From The Northumbrian Pantry

Published On Wednesday 10 Nov 2021 by Sticky Beak
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Northumbrian Pantry is husband and wife team, Alice and David Murray; David does the marketing stuff which leaves Alice to cook up the magic! The thing I love about Northumbrian Pantry’s way of working is how they forage and pick a lot of fruits and vegetables from local hedgerows, fields and gardens to ensure the flavours are at their peak. Anything they can’t find wild, they aim to source from local gardeners and producers to limit the environmental impact their jams, jellies and chutneys have. They also use partially recycled glass in the jars they use to house their (entirely) small-batch made range and the labels are paper; both measures further reduce waste and environmental impact.

His Nibs came away from his visit to their stall at the Fine Food North show with a trio of goodies for us to sample: Hannah Glasse’s Paco Lilla (Piccalilli), Smoky Tomato and Chilli Chutney and Chilli Relish.

The Piccalilli has a sunnier-than-sunny colour thanks to the Turmeric within it, and a superb texture and taste. I loved the fact that the vegetables (Cauliflower, Courgette, Carrot, Onion, Peppers, Green Beans and Cabbage) had all been chopped small enough to fit on crackers or in sandwiches, but big enough to provide a crunch when bitten into and a good texture. The balance between sweet (sugar and honey) and spice (Mustard, Turmeric, Cumin and Coriander) was superb; it’s easy to see/taste why this won 2 Great Taste Award stars in 2021.

At the other end of the colour spectrum is the deep red tone of the fine textured Smoky Tomato and Chilli Chutney, and this yielded its happy, bouncy sweet Tomato taste straightaway in my mouth. The fruit/vegetable is paired with a cheeky note of smokiness that partnered (rather than overwhelmed ) it, and then a marvellous bite from the chilli sits on the back of the tongue and develops over time, getting stronger as more of the chutney is consumed. I thoroughly enjoyed the complexity of this savoury condiment, both with some cheese and as a topping to the farmhouse bacon in my breakfast butty.

The Man Bird’s favourite offering from the Northumbrian Pantry was, unsurprisingly, the Chilli Relish and it did have a gorgeous vibrant colour to its fine texture, matched by the punchy notes of the spices within it. I had bought some charcuterie from a local deli as a treat for The Man Bird and this little minx went really well with them all; I had it again in the evening for supper atop some mature cheddar and crackers. Versatile? Yes. Tasty? Very. This jar of jolliness has got it all and deserves the Great Taste Award star it was given in 2020, 100%.

Northumbrian Pantry has an extensive online shop on their website, www.northumbrianpantry.com  so I might just have to do a spot of cupboard stocking – I really fancy trying the Blackcurrant jam with Juniper and the Strawberry jam with Tellicherry Black Pepper!


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