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The Real Food Festival: Foodtripper's Top 10 for 2010

The Real Food Festival: Foodtripper's Top 10 for 2010
In a few short weeks The Real Food Festival comes to life for the third time. To help you navigate the world's largest urban farmyard Foodtripper has come up with ten must-visit producers.
 
And don't forget, the Real Food Festival Shop right here on Foodtripper is open for business all year round. And we have a pair of tickets to The Real Food Festival to give one lucky winner. Enter here.
 
 
Bacheldre Watermill
Novices Matt and Anne Scott took on the running of Bacheldre, a 1575 mill in Welsh marches, and triumphed. The couple produce a range of organic, stoneground flours- including interesting products such as Malted 5 Seed Flour, Spelt Flour, Rye Flour and our favourite, the unique Oak Smoked Strong Malted Blend Flour, which lends a smoky depth to baked goods. Bacheldre have a fan in Brit food enthusiast Tom Parker Bowles, and the standard is so high the flour's on sale in Moscow's Globus Gourmet store. Matt and Anne's latest launch is their own range of sourdough breads- Malted 5 Seed, Oak smoked and Wholemeal.
 
Bestbier Cheese
Cheesemakers Arthur Alsop & Nichola Walker operate from a tiny dairy deep in East Sussex- flash by too fast in the car and you'll miss the sign pointing you to a true gem. Lucky visitors are treated to copious quantities of samples, friendly conversation and often a preview of new cheese experiments. Amongst their vast number are Five Ashes, Wealden log, Sussex Mansion, Mayfield Swiss, Charlotte's Provence, Sussex Crumble, Sussex Farmhouse, Nic's Kitchen, Arthur's Spice Road and Sussex Blue- truly flying the flag for the invaluable and overdue artisan British farmhouse cheese revival.
 
Casa De L'Oli
Suffolk couple Tim and Simone Pringle are the owners of a gorgeous Southern Catalonian olive grove- and also the producers of a stunning range of oils. Mentored by the locals, Tim and Simone learnt the Catalonion methods which yield the finest results. Accordingly, all the oil is extracted by stone-crushing the fruit within 24 hours of picking. A beautiful range of flavoured oils use superior Arbequina olives pressed with whole fruits and vegetables- rich in both colour and taste. On offer are Lemon, Orange, Smoked garlic, Wild herb, Red chilli, Green chilli, and Oak smoked- and we're already yearning for the proposed Vanilla variant.
 
Choc-affair
The baby of Linda and brother-in-law Ian, Choc-affair is a minute,100% Fairtrade company with delicious products and honourable values. Linda's first foray into the world of chocolate-making was the creation of a dairy-free hot chocolate for her daughters- and, from a little acorn, a big oak tree duly grew. The stand-out for us is the satisfyingly substantial chocolate chunks- all hand-made and hand-packed in big brown paper bags. Milk chocolate is flavoured with Aniseed, Lime, Bergamot, Orange, Rhubarb or Rose, whilst dark pairs with Peppermint or Bergamot. In keeping with Choc-affair's ethical approach, mail orders are dispatched in careworn recycled boxes- but as we all know, it's what inside that counts.
 
Karimix
In the eighties original, authentic condiments were hard to come by in Britain- and that's where Karimix stepped in. Although based on treasured, inherited family recipes, the company fully embrace fusion flavours- offering an intriguing, extensive and thoroughly versatile range. Numerous Guild of Fine Food awards attest to the quality of offerings encompassing Thai Shrimp, Malaysian Peanut Satay and Sri Lankan Tamarind relishes, whilst sauces include Vietnamese Chilli & Fennel, Indonesian Tamarind & Garlic, Indonesian Satay and Szechuan. The Pineapple Achar, however, is phenomenal- made to an authentic Malay recipe, it's fiery, sweet, sour & salty all at once. Unmissable.
 
Moonmud
A true original in a sea of gooey chocolate puds, Moonmud is, as the name suggests, rather out of this world. Available in Double chocolate, White chocolate, and Mocha brownie varieties, Moonmud's described as a 'smooth-frozen dessert combo of freshly baked cake with creamy custard', all coated in crisp Belgian chocolate- although that hardly does it justice. Moonmud was a serendipitous discovery by creator Damian Oraki, who impatiently scoffed some cake whilst it was still frozen. Don't try and recreate the sensation at home- the process is highly secretive and patent-pending- although Damian is ever-willing to whip up a batch to your bespoke flavour requirement.
 
Rainha Santa- Portuguese Food
Portuguese food remains rather elusive in the UK- and Rainha Santa do a sterling job of enlightening the masses with their delightful range. The Clements family took over the 130 year-old company in 1991, and have rendered Rainha Santa a much-valued source of top-notch Portuguese specialities. Everything sings with flavour- from Elvas greengage preserve, bitter and sweet marmalades, and Elvas and chestnut honeys, to grassy and sweet Alentejo and Tras Os Montes olive oils and the prized Rui Simeao 'Flower of Salt'. Don't miss the amazing, spoonable, pungent Serra da Estrela sheeps' cheese, unusually coagulated using cardoon thistle rennet.
 
Mr Todiwala's Splendidly Spicy Pickles and Chutneys
This take-home range of condiments is the brainchild of Café Spice's Cyrus Todiwala, capturing the intricate Indian flavours of his authentic menu perfectly. Miles away from the gluey, sickly offerings of the supermarket shelf, Todiwala's recipes yield vibrant results- often surprising, always delicious. Chutneys and pickles include Beetroot; Pumpkin, carrot & date; Squash carrot & fig; Swede; Asparagus and the sublime Parsee wedding pickle. Those who remember 70's Bombay duck won't be so shocked by the meat based pickles- in Beef, Prawn, Venison and Wild boar incarnations- but, unlike the aforementioned dish, these truly will be consumed with relish!
 
Game For Everything
Kent-based head chef Mark Gilchrist is becoming a bit of a Brit food hero- championing game cookery to eager converts countrywide. Souring is all done locally and meats are highly seasonal and often wild, shot by the man himself. As a keen game hunter since the age of seven, Mark's credentials are undeniable, and he shares his skills through online video tutorials, DVDs and regular television appearances. Mark's game pie is justly famous- packed with juicy, tender chunks of meat set with proper jelly inside perfectly crispy-crumbly pastry- but also look out for suet puddings, rabbit in olive oil and wood pigeon, which comes potted or encased in puff pastry.
 
Hipo Hyfryd
Welshman Gareth describes himself as 'merry'- indeed, few who sample his wares could fail to feel a little so inclined themselves. A life-long preoccupation with food lead Gareth to the conclusion he wanted to earn a crust in the 'edible' area- specifically, with chocolate truffles. Self-taught and unarguably self-made, the humorous chocolatier is a-bubble with enthusiasm and new ideas and, with beguiling melt-in-the-mouth flavours including maple syrup, rose petal, lavender, hemp, coconut, chilli pepper, salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar, we can't wait to see what he thinks up next.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
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7 April 2010
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